In October 13, 2015 we left on our first Medical Mission trip to Mamore River, north-east Bolivia in the State of Beni, one of the poorest states in the country; Pr. David Gates and his wife Becky were organizing the trip, they had grown up on the river and they were anxious to go back and bring help to many people that live there. We brought boxes of Bibles, books such as The Great Controversy and others by Pr. Alejandro Bullon, medicine and health informational pamphlet. In our group we had 2 doctors, 1 dentist, 1 Physical therapist and 4 nurses; in total we were 25 people, but only 19 traveled by bus , the rest went by airplane. In United State our family participated in a canoe trip on the Buffalo River with Pathfinder some years ago. But now it was very different, we didn’t have all the necessary things, no raincoat, no pills for water purification, only bleach, no sleeping bags, no sun protectors, no life jacket. We learned how live without them.
God blessed us during the trip and he provided all our needs. The team was great, everybody was willing to share the message of the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
We will share some pictures with you.
Leaving Santa Cruz, at 4:00 pm on a windy day. We traveled with this bus all night to get city of Trinidad early in the morning. From there the road was gravel.
Our first breakfast was on the street, there was plenty food for everybody.
From Trinidad the bus was going 30 miles per hour. When it was time to go to bathroom, the bus driver stopped and opened the door and said “bathroom.” You would have to go to the bathroom in the forest. Some people used this time to walk, as you can see in this picture the road was long and we arrived at 3:00 pm at little town called San Joaquin.
Everything was dry, the region was having a drought.
Wednesday 14th, we arrived at San Joaquin with 7,000 inhabitants. This is our group, we come from many countries: Hungary, Romania, Austria, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, United States, Mexico and Australia. That night a SDA family gave us a place to sleep.
In the bus , we continued the trip early Thursday 15th, in the morning for two hours to Puerto Siles, on the Mamore River. A small town.
After breakfast everybody were ready to leave in these boats. Everyone was glad that the boat had a roof, the sun was hot. We were going to Coperativa, there was no SDA presence.
I was sitting on the canoe with Camila ( wife of the owner of the canoe). I asked her if she had a bible, she said “No, last year I had one but when the flood came I lost it.” She was very happy when I gave her a new bible.
The Mamore river is known for predators, there are many species that live there, alligators, sting rays and boa constrictors. We could see lots of alligators on the shore.
After 2 hours of going all together, the leaders decided that we need split and go to visit the houses that were on the shore of the river and talk with them, know their needs, talk with them about the 8 Laws of the Health, take their blood pressure, share the literature. The big boat went directly to Coperativa Town to prepare the Health Fair, On the left, Miguel, Camila and Dr. Arelli, Kathe, Lara and me, Ezequiel and at the end Camila’s Husband. With no life-jacket everybody was scary at first in this small canoe. After 10 minutes everybody was ok.
This was the first house, no body were there, but we left some literature. The water was very low.
The second house that the group visited was called “Lemons.”
The place was a Ranch, here are the three families that take care of the place. They were very kind, the ladies prepared something to drink. They opened their house for us to come in. We shared our Faith, Bibles and all the books we brought. The tallest men, Marcelo, was responsible for the all the jobs. There was 9 children in total most of them were at the school. They shared with us their needs for a water filter, they were short in vegetables ( most they diet is meat and fish) and medicine is hard to get as well.
On the same Ranch there was a airstrip that the owner uses. Eliezer, Miguel and Marcelo went to see it . We were thinking that GMI airplanes could bring food and medicine to them. Marcelo said that only we need call him and say that is for humanity help to be able to use the airstrip. Beside the airstrip they have this tame bull.
One of the men, 30 minutes earlier was kicked by a horse on the arm and was in pain, we asked if his wife could come with us to get some pain medicine. We finished with a prayer and we continued our trip on the canoe for 10 minutes to Coperativa, This is Coperativa.
Pastor David was going to talk with the leader of the town and explain what we were doing and asked for a special meeting with all the community. he was very open and thankful, he offered the chapel for the Health Fair.
Everybody showed the gift that they received.
Pr David Gates and sister Becky had many years working as missionaries. First, we gave Bibles, health pages and small books for the kids then Pr David gave a short worship talking about the Coming of Jesus.
After that, sister Becky explained the eight Law of Health with the big posters.
Finally, it was time for the medical team to work. The Dr. Arelli passed me the people that had back problems, or muscle pain.
The dentist was not yet and Pr David was willing to help as a Dentist. He did a tooth extraction on this girl. Most of her teeth was in very bad condition.
This shed is next to the chapel. You could see two black tanks. They are used for filtration water. They take the water from the river and pass for different stones and sand to get the water clean, but they don’t put any chemical such as bleach. The government promised to bring some chemical to purified the water but never came.
Here the Mission trip don’t finished, there were two more Health Fairs.
We want to share this Bible verse with you.
” For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy “
Psalm 72:12 &13
What a loving God we have!!!
Thanks you so much for your prayers , your emails of encouragement, your positives commentaries in Facebook and your financial support. All of them are a blessing to our hearts.
God bless you!
Mirta & Miguel Farias