Several BJU students had the opportunity to start the New Year on a medical mission trip to Honduras.
Nine BJU students joined a team of 45 people, including about 15 medical professionals and 25 non-medical workers, including students and volunteers. They worked primarily with Iglesia Bautista El Faro to minister to people while attending to their medical needs.
Deanna Fry, a senior cell biology student, went with the team. Her job was to check the patients’ basic health needs and take their blood pressure.
Fry said most of the people who visited the clinic came with minor issues, such as joint pains or headaches. Many of them were unaware of common health practices.
Fry said that if someone came with a headache, the medical team would educate them about the importance of drinking plenty of water, especially in the hot climate of Honduras.
But meeting health needs wasn’t the only priority of the medical team. The clinics also had evangelism centers, where the project members could talk with patients and share the Gospel.
Throughout the week, the clinic saw about 3,200 patients, with about 110 of those accepting Christ as their Savior.
Fry originally became interested in the mission trip during one of her physiology and anatomy classes. Fry said she remembered thinking that God wanted her to go on this trip. Not knowing where the money would come from, Fry pursued the opportunity. “I put the deposit down, and God provided the rest,” she said.
Hyohyun (Esther) Park, a senior cell biology major, also had the opportunity to go to Honduras. “When I shadowed a physician’s assistant in Honduras, I realized how important it is to be ready and equipped with what you need,” she said. Park applied the principle of Matthew 24:44 to her work: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
Park said the volunteers initially expected to treat 400 patients a day. But the team leader challenged them to work towards a goal of treating 800 patients.
Park said that it rained for the first few days, which was unusual for the season.
“We expected a small amount of patients due to the weather change,” she said. “But God was still good and working in the local people’s hearts, so we had almost 1,300 patients for the two rainy days.”
Joshua Roach, a sophomore nursing major, said he enjoyed seeing God work in Honduras.
“The main reason I wanted to go on the trip is because I think God is calling me into the medical mission field after I graduate, and I wanted to get some exposure in that area,” he said.
Roach said he enjoyed serving alongside other BJU students as well as people from all over the country.
“I definitely learned a lot through this experience,” he said.
Brittany Butler, a senior pre-med major, said she has wanted to go on a medical mission trip like this for a long time, but the opportunities kept falling through. This year, she prayed that God would allow her to go.
Two weeks before the deadline, Butler made the decision to go.
“I prayed and prayed for money and sent letters to different churches,” she said.
Within three days, all the money came in.
Butler said she learned a lot about trusting God through this experience.
“You believe it’s going to happen, but you can’t see beyond what’s right in front of you,” she said. “If God can provide for this, He can provide for anything.”
Butler said that there was only one hospital in the state, and the patients usually had to buy their own instruments for surgery. Many of these patients came to the medical mission team for help.
Butler said, even after hours and hours of waiting, the people didn’t complain.
“They were so grateful to have someone to meet their needs,” she said.
Butler said she is interested in working on the mission field long term. She loved meeting the physical needs of the patients because it allowed her to share the Gospel to meet their spiritual needs.
“I want to be able to use medicine to share the Gospel,” she said.