Monday, March 26, 2012

Mission of Hope in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Medical Ministry Grew out of a Mother's Pain

A Milestone Monday Feature

A rainy hike on Mary Gray Mountain...

Fot the lack of $75, little Marcelo lost his leg. At the age of eleven, Marcelo developed a severe infection. His Mother took him to the local hospital only to learn that she could not afford the needed antibiotics. Marcelo's leg had to be amputated.

Charlottesville Nurse Cindy Thacker, who always had a passion for bringing healing for the suffering of those in difficult places, was moved to action when she learned of Marcelo's plight. She became Marcelo's foster Mother and enabled him to recieve much needed care and therapy.

But Cindy thought about the ones left behind. She started Mission of Hope, Bolivia [click to read] in 1996, initially hoping to improve conditions in Santa Cruz Childrens' Hospital. The group collected money, supplies and medical equipment to give to Childrens' Hospital. Sadly, when Cindy later visited Childrens' Hospital she learned that many of her donations had simply dissapeared. "One day, I made a search of every room of the hospital. A lot of the quipment I had donated was not there. I asked where these things were, and nobody could tell me."

Not only that, but Cindy learned that patients were being charged for medications she had donated.

Now seeing that only the establishment of a free hospital for the poor would make any difference, Ms. Thacker expanded her vision. When a hospital facility came up for sale in Santa Cruz, she raised over a half million dollars to buy it! Members of the University of Virginia Hospital community are regular supporters of the ministry and surgery teams from UVA regularly visit Santa Cruz to make life-saving and life-changing surgery available to the poorest of the poor.

Cindy writes: "The people we serve live in extreme poverty. Many of them have been turned away from public hospitals because they did not have money to pay. Many of them have suffered for years with their medical problems. Most of them have been treated badly by other people simply because they were poor.

Our desire is to be a blessing to these people by not only taking care of their medical needs, but also by treating them with dignity and respect. We want to be a blessing to them by showing them the love and kindness they have not experienced in their own society. We also want to share with them the hope that we have in Jesus Christ."

May Trip to Finish Staff Housing/Orphanage

I will be joining a team on May 17-25 to complete work on House #3 at the Mission of Hope Complex. This house will provided much needed space for staff housing, orphan housing and day care. The complete cost for me to go is $1800. Generous friends and family have contributed much toward that. There are other team members who we would love to have on board, I'm thinking of a window expert that I know. Also, we will need to pay for materials.

If you are moved to help us, please make your check payable to "Mission of Hope, Bolivia." In the note line please write "Kirchman, May 17 Trip." Any extra funds will be used to help my fellow team members and to purchase materials. Mail contributions to: Mission of Hope, Bolivia, P.O. Box 103, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Like Journey photos? You can help finance our trip by purchasing prints of your favorites. Contact Me [click to email] for details.

...through a world of surprising colors.

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