Day 4

Our ministry was super slow this morning so we prayed and sang and walked around town talking with different groups about the clinics and the church we were working with. By 11 am we had quite a crowd of interested and hurting people.

Let me tell you about one man in particular. His daughter had heard of our presence so she came to the clinic to ask about her father who was bedridden at home due to a paralyzing injury twenty years earlier. We sent a few people with her to the home and checked him out, prayed with him, and presented the gospel to him via the EvangeCube. In the end, with tears in his eyes, he accepted Christ. In the afternoon we sent the pastor and a nurse to him, this time with medicines for a few of his medical problems but also with a device called the Proclaimer that has the New Testament on cassette. It is solar powered and requires no batteries or other power for operation. He cannot read due to the accident´s effect on his vision, so this audio Bible provided by the church pastor will be a real blessing. The pastor will continue visiting him to help him grow in his faith.

By the end of the day we had seen many patients with the usual variety of physical complaints, all of whom also received the touch of the Gospel message in the counseling and prayer area. Over 60 accepted Christ and 15 asked for pastoral visitation and Bible study. What a blessing!

As it turns out, September 8 is the date Catholics celebrate Mary's birth, and in Cocachacra it is celebrated with a week long fiesta which started today. The fiesta is centered at the Catholic church a half-block away from the clinic and includes the following: bands, dancing, singing, processions with a large statue of Mary carried on a grand wooden platform, fireworks, rockets, dynamite blasts, food vendors, and several Masses through the week. All of the above goes on at all hours (yes, as in all 24 hours) of the day and night! This night in particular seemed to be the loudest band playing, singing, fireworks, and dynamite blasts! We are receiving a wonderful cultural welcome! Although we do not necessarily agree with the reason for the celebration (Mary's birth is celebrated because the Catholic church believes that Mary's conception was also immaculate) the music and celebratory atmosphere certainly added a new dimension to medical missions! Often the choice of music for the processions did not seem quite “right,” as in the selections “Somewhere over the rainbow,” “YMCA,” and “In the Navy.” I'm not kidding!