Marlow missionaries dispense medicine
“Always, the trip home is a lot quieter than the trip going because you reflect a lot on the people you met and on how God may have touched them but also on how he touched your heart.” DR. CHE MILLER
It's a long way from Marlow, Oklahoma, to Mindo, Ecuador, but eight members of Marlow's First Baptist Church relied on their faith in God to close the distance and to connect two communities in the love of Christ.
The five women and three men traveled to Mindo, a town roughly the size of Marlow near the equator 9,000 feet in the Andes of South America, last month. The group included two doctors and other medical professionals, and they took with them several large duffel bags packed with medicines. Their plan was to set up a temporary clinic in a church and for eight days take care of as many of the health needs of as many local people as they could. The group Dr. Matt Ivory, Dr. Che Miller, Justin Thompson, Kristin Glover, Mary Cobb, Oretha Ledford, Billie Stephenson and Cyndi Woolwine ended up seeing as many as 500 people ranging in age from just a few months to 90 years or more. They stayed busy, taking time also to share Bibles and Christian materials and to worship with the people whenever they could, but Ivory described the end of each day as "the kind of tired you like."
Glover, a registered nurse, added that she felt energized by the appreciative, open-hearted people of Mindo. She said she went on her first mission trip outside the United States prepared to help an impoverished community, but not expecting to be so much the beneficiary of God's grace.
"At the end of the day, they helped you to understand and to open your heart to things," she said of the people of Mindo.
It took a full day of travel to fly from Oklahoma City to Houston and then to Quito, Ecuador, and then to journey by rented bus the rest of the way to Mindo, where the group from Marlow had arranged to stay in a simple hostel-like inn.