The mission of Caring Partners is to equip churches all over the world with healthcare to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. One vital way Caring Partners accomplishes this mission is by setting up primary care clinics in national churches around the globe.
Because our church partners around the world serve in many different settings, each church-based clinic is unique. From a church located in the middle of the Amazon, with a building made of bamboo poles and a thatched roof, to a large, multi-story facility in a bustling city, our clinic sites can vary tremendously. And these variations can cause some unique challenges!
For example, our clinic this past June was held in downtown Guatemala City. Similar to any urban setting around the world, real estate is expensive. Our church partner has overcome these costs by maximizing their small lot by building up - three floors up, in fact!
For church services, it's a great set-up - the children's classes are conducted on the roof, where three small classrooms share the rooftop, along with a large open space, perfect for the kids to move around and play. But, for a medical clinic, it's not always as practical.
During our June clinic, an elderly woman in a wheelchair was one of our medical team's patients. At registration, the woman said she specifically came to the clinic to see our team's dentist, Dr. Alex Gamber, but the problem was Dr. Alex's dental chair and equipment was on the 3rd floor!
Team Leader Rick Lalli called on Dr. Alex to come downstairs to be sure he would be able to help. Sadly, the woman had a multitude of dental problems, but what she really wanted Dr. Alex to fix was her front tooth, which desperately needed filled. With great compassion, Dr. Alex assured her he could help, and our team then went into action.
Like the four companions who carried their friend to Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 2, Rick and CPI Team Member Dillon Leisure, along with Marcos and Demas from the Genesaret Church, each grabbed a side of the woman's wheelchair, and carried her up the three floors to Dr. Alex's station. Dr. Alex lovingly cared for her, and was able to save her front tooth. As the team carried her back down the stairs, the woman beamed with delight, smiling for everyone to see. And following her visit to Dr. Alex, the woman was able to visit our "Clinic of the Soul", where she heard about the Great Physician who loved her, and gave His life for her.
"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."