Guatemala (MNN) — Greg Yoder, Executive Director of Mission Network News, is away this week with Orphan Outreach in Panabaj, Guatemala. Although Orphan Outreach does not have a primary focus on medicine, they do support medical efforts. This week in particular, that is exactly what they are doing.
"We were here, as you remember, about a year ago," says Yoder. "When we got to Panabaj, we noticed there was an incredible absence of medical care. So it was at that time that we decided we needed to come back and do a medical clinic. And that's what we're doing here. We're actually conducting a week-long medical clinic to help with the incredible needs that exist here in Panabaj."
The needs are indeed great. The poor and declining economy has limited jobs and increased poverty, keeping many from access to medical care. In the meantime, many people are still suffering in the aftermath of a detrimental mudslide.
"This area of Panabaj where we're located was an area where a mudslide came through four years ago and wiped out most of the village," says Yoder. "Many of the people are still dealing with the stress related to that; many of the ailments that we're seeing are actually related to that."
As Orphan Outreach provides medical care this week and continues to support Christian education by sending children to school on scholarships, the Gospel is the central focus. Of the many people in Guatemala who claim to be Catholics, not as many actually know Christ.
"Many of them at least know about the Bible. Many of those who claim to be Catholic, though, don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we're able to talk with these people, they're able to hear the Gospel. Many of the kids listen intently, and because their kids are listening intently, parents are listening intently."
In the few days that Orphan Outreach has been ministering through this clinic, no one has yet come to the Lord. But the group is working with the faithful Pastor Diego, who will be instrumental with any follow-up as lives are inevitably changed.
As the trip continues, please pray for the team. A couple of team members have already fallen ill, eight bags of luggage have been lost at the airport, and many medical supplies were confiscated en route. Pray that these would be returned so that the medical mission can be as effective as possible. Pray also for the salvation of the many people that will be touched through this trip.