Baylor Missions Sends Medical Missions Teams Around the World During Spring Break

  • Peru 2019 mission
    For the first time, students in Baylor’s Medical Service Organization (MSO) partnered with Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing for a medical mission trip to Peru. Baylor’s team worked with community members to complete health screenings and promote health education in the area. (Photo courtesy of Kara Warren)
  • Columbia 2019 mission
    Eighteen students with Baylor’s the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) along with two Spanish faculty members, spent their spring break assisting in clinics in the province of Villeta, Colombia, through a partnership with One More Child Global. (Photo courtesy of Joan Barrett)
  • Dom. Rep. 2019 mission
    Ten students with Alpha Epsilon Delta and two faculty leaders partnered with One More Child Global to serve in the Azua community by providing health education and continuing long-term construction work One More Child Global is completing. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Hanagan)
  • Dom. Rep. MAPS 2019 mission
    Baylor students in MAPS joined with the El Buen Samaritano organization to provide health care support and education to residents of sugar cane bateyes, settlements around sugar cane fields, and La Romana. (Photo courtesy of Holly Tate)
April 16, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (April 16, 2019) – Over spring break, Baylor University sent 10 teams around the world for various mission trips to integrate faith with academic disciplines and hands-on service and participate in global engagement. Four of those teams centered on health care for underserved communities while serving in the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Peru.

Dominican Republic

Two Baylor student organizations – Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) and the University’s premed honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), traveled to the Dominican Republic, where each group partnered with a local organization to serve families and community members.

Baylor students in MAPS joined with the El Buen Samaritano organization to provide health care support and education to residents of sugar cane bateyes, settlements around sugar cane fields, and La Romana. The 11 pre-health and public health students and faculty worked with local health care staff to provide basic health screenings and education for community members on diabetes, nutrition, dental care and women’s health.

“Experiences, such as these, push people out of their comfort zones,” said Beth Lanning, Ph.D., associate chair and associate professor of public health in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. “It is when we are uncomfortable and when we are ‘stretched’ that we tend to learn the most. The students were amazed at how individuals with so little could be so joyful and full of hope, especially as they worshiped God, and how ‘little’ acts of kindness mean so much.”

Karla Bautista, a senior biology major with a focus on public health and member of Baylor’s Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students, shares her personal journey and passion for serving others through her faith and academic discipline. Video by Morty Ortega, multimedia specialist, Baylor University Marketing & Communications.

Lanning said students also struggled with the social injustices present in society in the U.S. and abroad.

“The problems that individuals face, such as those in the Dominican Republic bateyes, can seem to be so impossible to solve that we don’t think what we are doing really makes a difference,” Lanning said. “But God does not ask us to solve everyone’s problems. He just asks us to be willing to go and step out in faith.”

Ten students with AED and two faculty leaders partnered with One More Child Global to serve in the Azua community by providing health education and continuing long-term construction work One More Child Global is completing.

Emily Johnson, a senior biology major from Stockton, California, said the group brought several duffel bags full of medical supplies, including gloves, antibiotic cream and surgery masks, and school supplies to share with the Azua community.

“It seems basic, but on one of the days we were shadowing the surgeons, they had to use shoe covers as face masks because they had run out, and later they ran out of scrubs and had to cancel the surgeries for the day,” Johnson said. “It’s always a joy to deliver the supplies because their resources are stretched so thin. Anything we can bring helps.”

On the trip, students saw different levels of health care when they visited local, rural and city hospitals. Also, the group provided lessons on nutrition, vaccinations and hygiene while relating the subjects to the Gospel. Johnson said this trip opened her eyes to medical service across cultures.

“While a lot of the medical services are lacking in resources, the doctors are some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met and have been the best examples of patient care I have ever seen,” Johnson said. “When I think of what kind of doctor and person I want to be, I definitely draw on their examples.”

Colombia

Eighteen students with Baylor’s the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) along with two Spanish faculty members, spent their spring break assisting in clinics in the province of Villeta, Colombia, through a partnership with One More Child Global. Students had opportunities to observe the field of medicine without the prestige and wealth typically associated with it.

Caleb Graham, senior University Scholar from Plano, Texas, said he saw many interesting cases in health care, and the partnership with One More Child Global helped the team serve the community and its residents.

“Our team worked in clinic every day,” Graham said. “Some days were spent creating a clinic within a local church of Facatativa, and the rest of the time we established a free clinic in a military base for their families.”

The team made an impact by serving mothers with no prenatal care and adults with diabetes, but Graham said the Colombian people impacted him the most on the trip.

“The pastors at the church, the soldiers at the camp and even the medical professionals were so humble, dedicated and thankful for us being there,” Graham said. “Their extreme generosity and genuine kindness are worth far more than the medication we brought them. So, while Baylor may have impacted them through this mission, it was they who truly impacted us.”

Peru

For the first time, students in Baylor’s Medical Service Organization (MSO) partnered with Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing for a medical mission trip to Peru. Twenty-five students and two faculty members worked with Operación San Andres (OSA) to serve residents in the Collique community, an area of harsh living conditions due to the mountainous terrain. Baylor’s team worked with community members to complete health screenings and promote health education in the area.

“The Baylor chapter of MSO stresses the importance of developing service relationships,” said Jeanne Carey, M.Ed., B.S.N., director of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing Simulation Center. “They recognize that any significant impact is going to be realized through a commitment over time. That's why it was really important that we find an organization like OSA to partner with – an established entity that knows the needs of the community.”

Baylor MSO member Grayson Jackson, a senior University Scholar from Grapevine, Texas, said his work brought a fresh perspective on the human condition in heartbreaking and heartwarming ways, and he saw an abundance of hope in places plagued with deep poverty and insufficient access to health care.

“Of the many gifts we can offer our brothers and sisters across the world, perhaps the greatest is our love, for it builds bridges that transcend even the most seemingly insurmountable of barriers,” Jackson said. “Love knows no language nor race nor creed. This connection we made in Collique will surely allow countless others to fill their hearts in compassionate service.”

For more information, visit the Baylor Missions website.

ABOUT BAYLOR MISSIONS

BU Missions seeks to create tangible opportunities for students to understand how they can use the knowledge and skills they gain here at Baylor University to love people around the world and in the Waco community.

As part of the Office of Spiritual Life at Baylor, our Mission is to nurture theological depth, spiritual wholeness and missional living in the students, staff and faculty at Baylor by offering integrated formational programming, transformative missional experiences, competent pastoral care and worship that is responsive to the Christian Tradition and sensitive to the culture.

Global Missions collaborates with faculty and staff from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds along with our global partners to implement spiritually rich and challenging experiences for our students. It is our hope that the students who participate in our trips not only enjoy the experience (which is important), but also discover a sense of vocation and calling as they see first-hand how they can use their discipline to serve.

Learn more at www.baylor.edu/missions.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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