I have returned from my first Jungle Medical Mission trip. It was such a surreal experience. Our team consisted of 1 vascular surgeon (Brush Babb), an eye doctor (Nathan Henson), a dentist (myself), Pastors Scott Dillon and Keith Powlison, a do all friend of Keith’s (Roty), Brian Powlison, and an assortment of children/grandchildren…totaling 12 people.
We traveled from Cusco to Diamante on the River Madre de Dios. It was a long haul with many great memories, stories, patient encounters, and opportunities to share Jesus. Some incredible scenery was captured on film including our winching out a police truck from a giant washed out hole on a bridge that would not be there upon our return, our boat ride on the River, and our driving extremely close to cliffs for much of our 7 hour truck rides.
The city of Diamante was truly unique. It consisted of roughly 80 families (340 people), a Posta (health department building), no running water, electricity solely provided by a gas generator from around 6:15 pm to 8:30 pm, no cell service, no internet, etc. The health department was run by a 20 something year old new graduate nurse who was isolated from her friends and family during her 6-month rotation there. We had access to a pay phone that ran off battery power. Out sleeping arrangements were in 5 rooms with only 6 beds (remember we had 12 people).
Despite the conditions, the entire town greeted us well, were grateful for treatment received (general medicine, eye care, and dental). We all worked hard a sweated a ton. With no running water, you can imagine the smells we produced. Many in Diamante were believers in Christ and had received some Biblical teaching. However, they were unhappy with their pastor and many had shallow beliefs that waned with struggles in their lives. I feel so honored to be able to share the Good News of Jesus and His love and commitment to us regardless of our circumstances.
I do look forward to another Jungle trip. It is a fantastic opportunity to share our team’s gifts as well as the Gospel with so many who have minimal or no access to quality medical care. I hope you enjoy our photos.
In His name,