The wonderful volunteers from International Health Service returned to MAG’s mission base in Rus Rus from February 18-26, 2013 to conduct a free medical and dental clinic. This is the third consecutive year that MAG has partnered with IHS to deliver critically needed care to the Miskito people of Eastern Honduras. As usual, most people arrived on foot. Some came on horseback, some on stretchers, some as whole families, some as entire villages, many walking for several days – just for the chance to see a doctor, to have a tooth pulled, or to have their eyes examined.
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these...you did for me." Matthew 25:40
This year the MAG team working with HIS was a little larger than in past years. MAG pilot and Honduras Program Director Westley Wiles oversaw the clinic and flew patients to other IHS sites for special medical attention. Carlos Paz, Director of Pastoral Ministries, spent his days translating between patients and medical staff and spent evenings preaching and sharing God’s love with the transient families and groups populating MAG’s
missionary compound. Denise Wiles handled the hospitality needs of the thirteen member IHS team and MAG staff. The Wiles’ daughter, Rachel, and two visiting missionary kids also assisted with translation efforts while Karen Dodson, MAG’s Medical Services Coordinator, observed clinic operations and assisted with hospital procedures. Geraldina Coleman, Rus Rus Hospital’s Head Nurse, translated, directed patient flow, and helped with triage. Our national staff as well as volunteers from the village, also helped to make this year’s IHS clinic a great success.
Having walked for a day or more, whole families wait in line to receive medical and dental care from the visiting IHS team.
Over the course of the ten day clinic the IHS team saw: 1041 medical patients. 12 cases required Westley to fly them to other IHS team locations for specialized treatment or surgery. 287 dental patients. This included the extraction of 235 teeth and flouride treatments being given to 74 children. 156 eye patients. 75 sets of reading glasses and 119
pairs of sunglasses were dispensed. 3,538 prescriptions filled. This included vitamins for those who came to the clinic and for family members unable to make the arduous journey.
A patient with a severely broken leg is carried to a waiting MAG aircraft to be flown to a larger hospital for emergency surgey.
This was also special as it was the first year that evening worship services were held, enabling Carlos to preach to all those who had travelled in to our village and were basically camping there waiting to receive care. Many people responded during these services by making commitments to follow Christ. One was Eduardo, who had been a critical medical patient at last year’s IHS clinic in Rus Rus. Last year Eduardo’s physical life was saved, this year he gained eternal life!
One family from a remote village came to the clinic for help. It seems their village had just killed their local witchdoctor for not doing a proper job of preventing illness and disease among them. They’d cut off his head and buried it believing that would make them healthy. It hadn’t worked. Many in their village were still sick and dying. Consequently this family walked to the clinic believing their problems remained because the villagers hadn’t buried the witchdoctor’s head deep enough in the ground. From out of that utter darkness they travelled to the village of Rus Rus – a beacon of light for them – where they received needed physical healing as well as spiritual truth – both in the Name of Jesus. It was a successful clinic, indeed!
Bobby Dobbs, one of Missionary Air Group’s volunteers, recently received an Emmy Award from the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for one of his video productions in conjunction with the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television (UNC-TV). Emmys are awarded to recognize outstanding programming broadcast over commercial and public television stations across the country.
Bobby Dobbs with his Emmy Award.
Bobby is a North Carolina native, a UNC grad, and a long-time Burlington resident who worked 30 years in the television industry before starting his own company in 2005 which provides a wide range of professional services for corporate, private, and non-profit clients from across the media spectrum.
A volunteer with MAG since February 2011, Bobby has shot, edited, and produced four videos for the mission as well as several “special purpose” pieces. Shortly after being introduced to MAG through a friend, Bobby met Sean Donnelly, MAG’s President. “Sean’s passion is contagious. The ministry they do in Rus Rus (Honduras) is amazing. It’s great when God connects you to something that is helping people and sharing Christ’s love. MAG’s need for video was immediate, I was available, and God just made it happen.” Three weeks later, Bobby was at MAG’s jungle hospital in Honduras shooting video of International Health Services’ two week medical clinic. (Click here to watch that video) "Video is a powerful tool to tell stories. The more people that see how God is using MAG, the more people will support them.”
Bobby’s local and international volunteer experiences with MAG have shown him the critical role volunteers play in helping MAG accomplish its mission of delivering help and hope by air. “MAG is such a small ministry they are in constant need of people who can volunteer to do a wide range of tasks. Everyone should have the experience of going to an underdeveloped country to see what it’s like to live every day in that situation.”
Bobby (in left corner) shoots video of a hygiene education class for children in Rus Rus, Honduras.
Bobby is married to Kaye, his wife of 38 years. They have two grown children, Taylor and Anna. The Dobbs attend Westover Church in Greensboro, NC.
Is the Lord leading YOU to help MAG deliver "help and hope" to the people of the Moskitia region of Honduras? To discover how you too can volunteer your time and talents with Missionary Air Group, please submit the form on our CONTACT page.
July and August saw a tremendous amount of cargo arrive at the Rus Rus Hospital, much of it donated supplies and equipment that will have a great and immediate impact upon the people living along our little section of the Rio Coco. World Medical Mission, an arm of Samaritan's Purse of Boone, NC, donated a number of new and used medical instruments that will directly impact patient care. Adult and infant scales, oxygen generators, IV pumps, fetal monitors, and nebulizers were all donated to assist MAG in its mission to show genuine compassion to the Miskito people by meeting their need for medical care. Other equipment, purchased from donated funds, was brought in to upgrade the labratory capabilities of the hospital, enabling some basic blood analysis critical to "everyday" patient care in the jungle. More equipment and staff training is needed.
Sean Donnelly unpacking an infant scale and other equipment donated by Samaritan's Purse.
Another critical need – that of clean drinking water – was met by another generous company. Aquamira, a Logan, Utah based company specializing in water purification, donated two DIVVY mobile water treatment systems to allow MAG to meet the need for clean water not only in the hospital, but in the entire village – and beyond. One system was installed on the hospital grounds to serve Rus Rus and the other is prepared for emergency deployment anywhere in the region by MAG aircraft as a disaster reponse asset.
Much of the village turned out to pump the first purified water that some of these families have ever had. Many people, particularly young children, die each year in this area due to dysentery and other water-borne parasitic illnesses. MAG President Sean Donnelly, while on assignment as the relief pilot in Rus Rus in July and August, had the opportunity to fly the system in and do the installation. Sean reports, "The people were so appreciative. It meant alot to them to be given this gift – not the system per se, but a way to keep their children from getting sick from dirty water. They understand how important this is – and were truly grateful. What a blessing [for me] to be the one who got to bring this in to them. Really cool!"