May 30, 2012

Adventure Along the Amazon River

Ashley Wilkins, R. N. - Hand of Hope Medical Outreach Director

Living in a hammock on a boat on the Amazon for a week is not easy. Of course, hammock or no hammock, living in the Amazon is never easy, which is exactly why Hand of Hope wanted to reach the people living in this desperate area. We traveled for 7 hours in a boat down the Amazon and arrived in Curua Brazil, a remote village with very little medical or dental help. We were faced with life and death situations requiring immediate attention. 

From day one, our clinic functioned more like an emergency room than a normal day-to-day medical/dental clinic. One little boy’s story paints the picture perfectly, 8 year old Claudio. He arrived with a previously undiagnosed heart murmur, as well as a high fever. If the heart murmur was not worrisome enough, while we were caring for this little boy his temperature spiked to 104° F and he was becoming increasingly lethargic. The cardiologist on our team diagnosed him with an infection around his heart. Claudio didn’t have long to live. So, we started an IV on him, gave him antibiotics, and prayed. Children Claudio’s age that don't respond quickly to treatment can easily die very quickly. So, we monitored him all day, giving him the appropriate medications and fluids. 

He had not improved by the time we were closing the clinic for the day. All we could do at this point was make arrangements to have him sent by the fastest method there, by boat, to the next biggest city where there was a hospital that could treat him. The boat was leaving at 9pm, but miraculously at 8pm his fever broke and he was almost totally recovered! Jesus very likely saved his life, the lives of 5-6 other patients on this day and the souls of many more! 

Our time on the Amazon was an incredible experience, one we will never forget. In one short week we treated 3,388 patients and prayed with nearly 400 to receive Christ. Although our team was there for a short term mission, I am so thankful for the on-going work being done by our ministry partner, Project Amazon, who serves remote Amazon villages all throughout the year on the medical/dental boat purchased by Hand of Hope. Lives being changed, people being helped, Christ's name brought to the most remote parts of the earth. All because of you, thank you for serving with us!

Hand of Hope is the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Our goal is simply to help as many hurting people as we possibly can, to alleviate human suffering and to help Christians grow in their faith.

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