In July a team of 11 people traveled to Peru on a medical team. The team included seven students from the University of Kentucky Medical and Dental schools and is the result of the partnership between GO InterNational and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations chapter in Lexington. We also had Gerson Grandez, a dentist from Lima travel with our team. The team worked with GO partner Wilkinson Grandez, local pastor Raymundo and Eduardo, an engineer who has worked with GO on several clean water projects in the region.
The team traveled to Alianza where we were based for two days. The first day we traveled up river by small boat for two hours, navigating the sandbars and other obstructions in the low water to reach the village of Alfonso. There we worked in a local health outpost providing free care and medicines to the poor in the area. We also saw the community well and filtering system that GO InterNational had helped the community install last year. At the end of the day we were hosted by the local pastor and saw the church and center he is constructing to reach out to students who travel to the village to live while they attend the only high school in the entire area. The ministries in Alfonso are a great example of the holistic approach to ministry that GO seeks to implement through our international partners.
After another day serving in a health center in Alianza, the team traveled to Yurimaguas where we served in two other health centers. The villages of Natividad and Indepencia are both on the outskirts of Yurimaguas. They are new developments in the last five years as the poor from the surrounding region migrate to the city seeking work. The areas are marked by poverty,lack of basic services such as electricity and water, inadequate housing, and lack of access to medical care. We encountered many needs beyond what our team could provide, but we trust the Lord to bless the efforts we made to help the people. During each of the clinics, our students taught basic community health lessons and also presented the gospel which can lead people to true healing and life. It was a great opportunity for these young doctors-in-training to be exposed to caring for the poor in the world. As one student said, “it reminded me of what is important and what we are studying for.”