Pierre, South Dakota Volunteer-in-Mission Medical Team to Samaná, Dominican Republic
The VIM team from Pierre, South Dakota is the first medical team that we have hosted in the Dominican Republic. Along with Julia the team leader, we decided to take the team to work at three sites in the Samaná area on the north side of the island: Monte Rojo, Honduras, and Villa Clara.
We also decided it would be best to find Dominican translators who are conversant with medical terminology. We asked our neighbor Ruth, who has completed most of her own medical training to find some friends who might be able to help us.
She found three colleagues not only willing but enthusiastic to translate and who happen to be young medical doctors like herself.
The three recruited Dominican MDs, Joby, Josy, and Nelson not only helped to translate but were given the opportunity to work directly with the patients with support from the two American MDs: Dr. Tom and Dr. Cindi. A special bond formed among the doctors with great appreciation for one another’s gifts and graces.
Dr. Ruth is a specialist in nutrition and health. She met with all the patients in small groups to discuss topics like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol problems and their relationship to the Dominican diet. Many of the patients said it was the first time anyone had ever told them about these things. Ruth has a fervor about nutrition and it is not hard to imagine that she is the daughter of a highly gifted pastor of the IED church.
Pastor Dan prayed for the patients, especially those who have illnesses and disabilities that have no remedy such as those who have suffered too long with maladies they could not afford to get fixed in time. Too late for treatment but never too late for a time of prayer and spirited encouragement from new friends.
The rest of the team: Peggy, Kayla, Kristin, Karen, Mitchell, Dan, Brady, and Kathy served as physician’s assistants, doing intake, administering deworming meds, organizing patient flow, and entertaining the children. We learned once again that when we touch the lives of those who suffer, the Spirit of Jesus is especially present and in that encounter we all are touched.
Ardell and I, the IED Church, and the many patients who were served are very grateful to the Pierre, South Dakota VIM medical team. And a special thanks to Julia who has now led her first medical team with great success and in the Dominican Republic.