The Jamaica Medical/Dental/Vision Mission through the continued generous support of Good Shepherd completed two very successful missions, Feb 23– Mar 3, 2018 and Mar 2-10, 2018. Two mission teams totaling 46 dedicated volunteers travelled from the USA, Canada, and Jamaica to provide quality primary medical care, dental examinations, dental extractions, prescription medications, health awareness education, physical therapy, vision care, eyeglasses, and other health related services to over 1000 patients.
Providing quality health care is the vehicle through which the mission accomplishes its main goal, to share the Word of God! Each patient is prayed for individually, bibles are distributed when available, and opportunities to share personal testimony abound.
Our Christian based mission, initiated (and still coordinated by) Bill and Karen Henwood, serves in collaboration with St. Elizabeth Parish and the Jamaican Ministry of Health in areas not regularly visited by Jamaican physicians or other healthcare providers, specifically Type 1 clinics. Patients travel great distances to visit our healthcare providers in loaded buses, cars, taxis, and motor bikes with the majority walking on foot, often many miles, over rugged mountain terrain to the rural communities in which we serve. For most patients, our doctors, dentists and optometrists provide the only care they receive during the year. Our teams try to return to the same areas to provide a continuum of care. Both patients and team members benefit from the long-term relationships developed over the years and look forward to seeing old and new friends on each return trip. Our team members are ever humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve such gracious people who have little in the way of material possessions, but who are so very rich in spirit and God’s grace.
As part of our ongoing commitment to these rural communities of Jamaica, the next mission trips are currently being planned for:
Mission trip 1: February 22 – March 2, 2019
Mission trip 2: March 1 - 9, 2019
Please consider joining one of the mission teams. It can be life changing! You don’t have to be a medical person to participate. We welcome physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, EMTs, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, optometrists, pharmacists, as well as non-medical volunteers to serve as general helpers, prayer warriors and worship leaders. Each participant on the mission team donates of their own financial resources to cover their travel and expenses while on the mission trip. The participant donation per 9-day mission trip is $995 plus airfare, and includes all meals, accommodations and in-country transportation.
If a mission trip isn’t on your bucket list, there are several ways you can participate:
- Sew cloth bags. Each patient receives their medication, toothbrush and eyeglasses in a 7x10” cloth bag lovingly sewn and assembled by Bev Wolfe, Marjorie Lell and others. These bags are extremely popular with the patients and provide a level of privacy. We distribute over 1000 bags each year. Fabric and instructions are on the table in the parish hall. A big thank you to Bev Wolfe for coordinating this project for many years!
- Donate toothbrushes. Every patient takes home toothbrushes for their entire family.
- Donate funds for medicine. The cost of medications is $7000 - $8000 annually.
PLEASE JOIN US!
On behalf of Bill and Karen Henwood, Melissa Watson, and all past and future volunteers, we extend our heartfelt thanks for your continued support. For more information, or to sign up for a mission, please contact Melissa (Good Shepherd parishioner and Mission Team Coordinator) or visit the website www.jmusa.org