Baylor Nursing Team Brings Health Services, Joy and Spiritual Rejuvenation on Mexico Mission TripSept. 4, 2008
They journeyed South with the idea of serving the Mexican people by providing health services. What they experienced, instead, was a time of joy and spiritual rejuvenation.
Ten Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students and three faculty members recently spent seven days in Mexico City's Atizapan de Zaragoza district, providing free health services and treating patients with severe medical conditions, such as gout, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension.
In a week, the Baylor nursing team treated nearly 1,000 patients in the general and women's clinic, one of the highest amounts a Baylor medical mission trip has served in a short six-day span. A pharmacy also was set up and medications were provided free of charge to the patients along with services from a dentist and ophthalmologist.
"Every year the project has grown to include more services," said Marie Daly, a lecturer in the Baylor nursing school who helped organize the trip. "We were all brought together under one roof with the common purpose of giving of our talents and time to the Mexican people. In every way our students benefited from going on this trip, from gaining experience in their clinical skills to learning about serving God by serving others with one's talents."
While the Baylor students gained valuable experience using their clinical skills in a cross-cultural environment, it was learning about serving God that resonated most with the group. Each afternoon, the group's missionary representative led the team in prayer walks through the neighborhoods around the clinic site. Daly said it was a time to reflect on the day and pray for the people in the community. For many, this trip represented the first time they had been on a medical mission trip.
On several occasions, they encountered familiar faces of those that they had seen earlier in the clinic. The students were encouraged to address spiritual and emotional issues as appropriate, and many of the people who came for health care were given Bibles provided by the IBM missionary and the Christian school. Daly said there were many opportunities to share about the freedom one has in Christ, and on many occasions students prayed with their patients.
"What would not have happened so spontaneously at home occurred freely in this experience," Daly said. "At the end of the day, we shared a time of debriefing in the mission living room. It was during this time that we experienced laughter and crying as we opened our hearts to each other."
As they returned to Dallas, Daly said a noticeable silence fell over the group, not from being tired, but the fact that the experience had come to an end. The students and faculty had to return to their normal responsibilities and routine, but Daly said the special bond that was created in Mexico will never be broken.
In addition to Mexico City, the Baylor nursing school has taken medical mission trips to Honduras, Uganda and Ethiopia.
For more information, contact Frank Raczkiewicz at 254-710-1964.