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Year of disasters brought good, bad to medical missions


DALLAS, TX — Contributions may be down, but the rosters are full as medical missions prepare to send teams around the globe in 2006.
From the South Asia tsunami to Hurricane Katrina, donor fatigue has affected several ministries, representatives said at the 24th annual Medical Missions Seminar Jan. 6-7, hosted by Searcy, Ark.-based International Health Care Foundation.
“In a way, I feel that we’re tapped out,” said Malena Rampy of Olive Branch Ministries International, a Texas-based medical mission. But the ministry has a number of medical professionals booked for upcoming trips to Central and South America.
Olive Branch will sponsor medical missions in Nicaragua this year in conjunction with Mision Para Cristo. Benny Baker, the ministry’s director, said that a drop-off in support followed Katrina, but it’s not a cause for concern because “I have never seen our brotherhood not respond to a need.”
Mision Para Cristo has scheduled more church members to visit Nicaragua in 2006 than 2005, Baker said. Part of the increase is due to Baker’s move from the pulpit of the Minden, La., church to coordinating the ministry full time. The Garland Street church, Plainview, Texas, oversees the work.
Predisan, a medical ministry in Catacamas, Honduras, canceled some activities because of Katrina and other hurricanes. But the ministry also sponsored several successful fund-raising events in 2005. Predisan also has a large number of doctors, nurses and dentists signed up for upcoming trips, said Dr. Amanda Madrid, executive director.

By Erik Tryggestad
The Christian Chronicle

February 1, 2006
DALLAS – Contributions may bedown, but the rosters are full as medical missions prepare to send teams aroundthe globe in 2006.

From the South Asia tsunami to Hurricane Katrina, donor fatiguehas affected several ministries, representatives said at the 24th annualMedical Missions Seminar Jan. 6-7, hosted by Searcy, Ark.-based InternationalHealth Care Foundation.
“In a way, I feelthat we’re tapped out,” said Malena Rampy of Olive Branch MinistriesInternational, a Texas-based medical mission. But the ministry has a number ofmedical professionals booked for upcoming trips to Central and South America.

Olive Branch willsponsor medical missions in Nicaraguathis year in conjunction with Mision Para Cristo. Benny Baker, the ministry’sdirector, said that a drop-off in support followed Katrina, but it’s not acause for concern because “I have never seen our brotherhood not respond to aneed.”

Mision Para Cristohas scheduled more church members to visit Nicaragua in 2006 than 2005, Bakersaid. Part of the increase is due to Baker’s move from the pulpit of the Minden, La.,church to coordinating the ministry full time. The Garland Street church, Plainview, Texas,oversees the work.

Predisan, a medicalministry in Catacamas, Honduras, canceled some activitiesbecause of Katrina and other hurricanes. But the ministry also sponsoredseveral successful fund-raising events in 2005. Predisan also has a largenumber of doctors, nurses and dentists signed up for upcoming trips, said Dr.Amanda Madrid, executive director.

Katrina divertedcontributions from medical missions, but the storm also gave church memberschances to show what they have learned from medical missions, said Dr. PattiPatterson, board member of Olive Branch Ministries and vice president for ruraland community health at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.

West Texas wasflooded with the storm’s refugees, Patterson told attendees at the seminar, andyears of working in Third World countries gavemedical missions workers the resourcefulness and know-how to serve them.

SeveralLatin American ministries, including Predisan and Mision Para Cristo, rose toprominence as they responded to natural disasters, including Hurricane Mitch in1998, Baker said. Regardless where they happen, disasters give medical missions“a greater opportunity to tell the story,” he said.

Filed under: National

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