His face was so swollen that his eyes were mere slits. He looked drained of strength. The boy was dangerously ill. Members of our Line Management Team in Woliso— one of five JVMI medical missions in 2012—knew it. “This boy needs to be seen immediately!” JVMI volunteer Bob put his arm around the boy and together with the relative who had brought him, they helped the boy to the front of the line and into the clinic. An abscessed tooth had gone untreated far too long and now the infection was so severe, it was clear that the boy was in serious condition.
Before they reached help the ugly truth of his infection began dripping from his distorted face. Once in the treatment tent, the volunteer medical team intervened to stop the life-threatening infection from advancing any further in his young body. He needed antibiotics urgently. An IV was started and the boy lay on the cot, tired and weak. Without our help, he would certainly have died. He got to us just in time.
When referring to our medical missions, we often say that we bring life-saving medical care, and that illnesses or conditions easily treated easily treated in our culture can be deadly in the impoverished areas we serve. We say it because it’s all too true. Most infections are, to us, not a frightening matter. We simply make a call, schedule a doctor’s appointment, pick up a prescription for antibiotics, and in a few days we are healing. But in places where throngs of people have no physical or financial means of accessing medical care, people go without proper care, sometimes for far too long. Infection from an abscessed tooth, without treatment, renders a young boy’s face unrecognizable, burns his body with fever, and slowly siphons away life.
This week JVMI kicks off our 2014 outreach year with the first of our medical mission trips. A skilled and compassionate team of staff and volunteers is headed back to Woliso, Ethiopia. It has been two years since our last clinic there when we came to the rescue of the boy with the life-threatening infection. We don’t know what medical conditions await us. We don’t know what special people enduring these conditions will need. Each life is important. Each one is the reason we go.
Our team is eager to get to work dispensing the love and compassion of Yeshua (Jesus) along with the medical, dental, and eye care so desperately needed in Woliso. Medical professionals are preparing to see thousands of patients in a matter of five days. Our non-medical teams in Line Management and the Prayer Room play a vital role in the function and purpose of our mission trips. Our medical outreaches deliver more than physical healing. We share the Good News of Yeshua with hurting souls, too.
Pray with us as volunteers are preparing to leave home, step into the adventure of a new culture, and make a dynamic difference in the lives of desperately needy people. Please join us in praying for all of the many logistical matters that are necessary for such a huge undertaking. We look forward to letting you know how things are going as we hope to receive field reports as often as communications means allow.
Check out our 2014 schedule of medical mission trips on the Medical Outreaches page of our website. These life-giving clinics are not possible without people like you praying, donating, and volunteering. Why not come with us on one of our upcoming outreaches? Pray, plan, and come along! There’s a vital role waiting for you on any of our JVMI medical missions!
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