Serving on the May 2017 Nurses for the Nation’s trip was such a privilege. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I have been very blessed to serve on mission teams since 2006 and every time I obey and go, the Lord shows me His amazing glory and grace. This trip had many firsts for me. The Lord provided His word every day for the entire team to witness His power!
Sunday, Carlos Guerrero, our NFTN partner, shared a sermon on Luke 5: V1-11. Even though we read this verse many times before, it moved us all in ways we could never explain. The message called us to be fishers of men, and we were. . ., over and again as the week went on. We saw God’s unconditional love with the children’s ministry that we participated in and helped Carlos and Jeanette coordinate. Ecuadorian teenagers also assisted with the ministry and were good role-models for the children. One afternoon, Carlos received word that a new village, Sitio Nuevo, wanted our medical team to visit. The NFTN team piled into Carlos’ SUV and met the female president of the village. She asked us to serve there during our visit.
Monday the Lord gave me a scripture verse: 1 Corinthians 12:12-28 emphasizing we are all one body, even though we make up many different parts. This message truly unified us as a team and prepared us for our mission. We served in Bolivar both on Monday and Tuesday. I was very proud of the entire team. Everyone adapted quickly to our compassionate care routine and as a result, we were able to see many patients within the first two days. Donna, a NFTN member, who had served in other countries, learned the Spanish language quickly. She performed amazing work. Morgan and Stephanie, two other team members, adapted very quickly to the environment of care while using their great care skills. We could feel the presence of the Lord in Bolivar, and witnessed the work Carlos and Jeanette, both who poured into the Ecuadorian people through teachings and the love of Christ.
One woman we visited through home visitation, was reading her bible when we visited her home. Our service visits through NFTN, are a follow-up after Rosetta the Ecuadorian nurse, and Jeanette, our nurse partner, who make home visits throughout the year to check on diabetic and hypertensive patients to ensure they are taking their medicine.
Our other two team members consisted of a Dentist, Phil, and his wife Ellen, a dental hygienist, who accessed over one-hundred patients our first two days. They evaluated the tremendous need for dental care in Bolivar. They performed their first tooth extraction on a young man Tuesday afternoon. We were all so excited to see the launch of this unique care, and knew that God was opening a door for further dental service in Ecuador in the poor villages.
On Wednesday, Phil gave a devotion about ‘The Rooster.’ He reiterated that in Luke 24: V 54-62, Peter denied Jesus three times. We studied about God’s amazing grace! In fact, very time we heard a Rooster crow (which happens on a frequent basis in Ecuador), we remembered that Jesus forgave us for our sins and offered us the gift of salvation. His amazing love for us holds no bounds! It was very powerful devotion which left us all with a lasting message we will never forget. This prepared us for visitation into a new village, Sitio Nuevo. This was the first time our partners, Jeanette and Carlos, introduced a service team into this village. Rosetta and Sylvia, friends of our partners, were Ecuadorians that also accompanied us to the new site. We could assist new diabetic and hypertensive patients, offer OTC medicine for colds, gastric issues, minor infections, and again, evaluated a great need for medical and dental care and teaching.
Even though we had prepared devotions in advance, the Lord continued to give us fresh new words for us to ponder daily. Thursday, the Lord gave me Corinthians 4: V 13-15. It was a solid confirmation, our work, through the grace of God, was needed and anointed.
What a blessed day the Lord gave us in Sitio Nuevo. Stephanie, our team member, lead an eighty-year-old man to Christ. He lifted his arms in praise as we all felt the presence of the Lord in our midst. Our interpreters were amazing and such great examples of the hands and feet of Christ. Eleven people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Sylvia, our Ecuadorian helper rededicated her life to Christ. It was an amazing day.
Thursday afternoon Phil and Ellen performed more dental extractions while Phil, Stephanie, and Jeanette lead a dental teaching class for about one hundred and fifty people. We gave them all dental hygiene bags to take home. Donna, Morgan, Stephanie and myself lead a mini clinic in Bolivar that was also amazing. Everyone worked so hard and were true servants of the Lord. Overall, we saw 152 patients in Bolivar, and 75 in Sitio Nuevo. Total? we performed medical assessments with 227 villagers and 240 dental assessments in total.
Finally, on Friday, the Lord Blessed us with a time of rest. The Psalm 96: V 13 rang true for the entire team: seemingly, the heavens rejoiced, and the earth was glad. Stephanie rededicated her life to Christ in the sea of Ecuador! It was a blessing beyond belief for everyone. Carlos baptized her in the ocean as we stood in amazement with how the Lord touched each one of us on this incredible mission.
Thank you all for your amazing support, prayers, and for giving me a week that I will never forget.
– Renee Morton, May 2017