Saturday, August 20, 2005

Venezuela - Medical Clinic

Weeks prior to leaving for Venezuela, we re-packaged thousands of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals. We carry all of our supplies in the suitcases we are allowed to check at the airport. Most drugs are packaged with more cotton and air than they need. Most drugs are packaged with more cotton, air and box material than they need. In order to stuff our suitcases with as many drugs as possible, the drugs must be re-packaged. This gives us the opportunity to presort them into common prescription amounts.

The clinic happens in conjunction with the morning carnivals. In a few hours several hundred people are seen by the medical staff. We take a physician, a nurse practitioner and a few other nurses and orderlies. There are a few Venezuelans brought in by either the church or ITAM who also compliment the staff.

Obviously, the clinic can't address every ailment, but the medical staff can at least offer advice and the Venezuelans who work with us may be able to connect people with local help. Another thing - our staff can also pray with and offer the hope of the gospel to people in need. One account from this week is that a Bible was given to one of the patients who mistook it for a prescription. The patient read much of it through the day and came back later to have the "prescription" explained. It's the hope of the gospel that heals the most wounds.

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