March 2021 Newsletter
Updated: May 6
Dear Christian Friends,
Because of the pandemic, practically all mission teams have cancelled plans to work with us on different projects. We have missed them and hope once things return to normal, they will again make plans to travel to Estancia. However, there is one mission team who did come this year. This particular team has been coming for 20 years - the Medical/Dental/Carpentry team. Dr. Freddy Martin heads up the medical, Dr. Mark Webb heads the dental, and Gary Edwards heads up the carpentry part of the team.
As always, the carpenters did a great job in building furniture for our churches. I asked for a picnic table for the Loreto Church, and they made time to build it. My Sunday School class, made up of students who are 10 – 12 years of age, are excited that they are going to help by painting the table. We wanted a seesaw, but time ran out; maybe next year. It was wonderful having the team, and I am grateful for their hard work.
The medical and dental part of the team worked in different villages, but the numbers were reduced greatly. We could not allow large crowds and were limited to around 20 from each church. Most of the people needed to consult with the medical team, and those who needed dental work were able to do so.
In this month’s newsletter, I have asked Dr. Webb, the dentist, to give an update on where we are concerning the dental part of the clinic. Dr. Webb started coming yearly in 2000 and continues to serve the people in our area. He recently retired and plans to possibly come for longer periods of time.
We are blessed to have Dr. Freddy and Carol move to our area. Dr. Freddy has resident status and is regarded as a Mexican. Carol is considered a tourist, but has plans to have a more permanent status. She must wait to apply since most offices are closed because of the pandemic. Hopefully, the offices will be in service again soon.
There are two mission teams planning to work with us this summer. When we were contacted, I was very glad. We miss having teams work with us.
DR. MARK WEBB - DENTAL CLINIC UPDATE…
In late 1998, I received a phone call from Dr. Freddy Martin asking if I might be interested in joining a Medical/Dental team headed to rural Mexico. At that time, I was unable to arrange to leave my practice, but I told Freddy that I would be interested in learning about plans for the next trip. I did not know if I would hear from him again. However, in the summer of 1999, Freddy and I began discussing a mission trip to Bethshean Mexico Mission in January of 2000. I joined Freddy, several nurses, and a construction crew for that trip, and I have been returning to the Mission every year since.
In the beginning, I was only able to perform extractions and rudimentary examinations with the patients seated in regular chairs or lying on tables. However, we made progress every year as we were able to obtain new equipment and supplies. Many individuals have been instrumental in helping us purchase necessary instruments. The Kiwanis Club in Bristol donated funds for portable dental equipment which included a dental chair, compressor, and unit. Central Holston Christian Church, my home church, has contributed money allowing us to buy additional equipment as well as cover travel expenses. A local Bristol dentist donated a dental operatory chair. I’ve even had patients from my private practice donate money toward useful supplies.
As our equipment has improved, our ability to provide more dental services has increased. Our dental team has grown to include assistants and hygienists, and we are now able to do restorative fillings and teeth cleanings. Through generous financial contributions and the leadership of Cris Garcia and the Bethshean Mission Board, we are now on the verge of opening a full Medical/Dental Clinic. In addition to the medical rooms, we will have three fully furnished dental operatories. This clinic will be a blessing to the people of Estancia and surrounding villages.
I had no idea what the future would hold when I made my first trip to Bethshean Mexico Mission twenty-one years ago. I have indeed been blessed with many wonderful experiences and even more wonderful friends. God has been good!
DR. FREDDY MARTIN - BETHSHEAN MEDICAL CLINIC UPDATE…
March seems to have flown by like the March winds. This month has been busy with different activities over the course of the month. At the beginning of March, Carol and I drove down to Estancia de Animas to start our full-time living here. In conjunction with our move was the rescheduled Medical/Dental/Construction trip. March 4th - 12th the Medical and Dental team consulted and treated patients in five different areas around Zacatecas. Each place was a gathering spot for the local church people to come for care and treatment. The Medical team was able to see 79 patients and the Dental team was able to attend to 65 patients. While we were traveling to these areas, Gary and Chris worked with their construction team building all kinds of furniture along with other items during their time here. As usual, I am not sure how they were able to complete so many things in their short amount of time. Additionally, Jay, Chad, and Paul G. were kept remarkably busy re-working the upstairs plumbing to change the water line to above the ceiling instead of in the floors. The clinic has been plagued with numerous leaks due to the copper pipes that were placed in the concrete floors. Jay, Chad, and Paul G’s work has fixed that problem. They did a phenomenal job with the plumbing, as usual.
After the team left, Abdiel and I have started the process of the paperwork to get the clinic open. Our first stop was to the “Health Department” in Ojocaliente. We were shown where to access the paperwork online to begin filling out for permission to open. Unfortunately, we were told that even with my being a permanent Mexican resident, I still had to go through the long almost impossible process of getting licensed in Mexico if I was going to see patients here. However, I can be the Medical Director of the Clinic without this license. Our second stop was to go to Zacatecas to the office that is over licensing to investigate the process of licensing as a permanent Mexico resident. When we arrived, we were told that the office was closed due to the pandemic. The security officers did not know when the office would reopen at this point. So, we are at a roadblock for now.
We do have some good news regarding the team’s trip. Mark and I were able to meet with a young Dentist that Mark had been helping with some instruments and supplies over the past few years. He recently finished his training and is working part-time. During our conversation with Junior, we found that he was extremely interested in working in the clinic, starting out with two half days per week. We were able to mutually agree upon a salary for him. At this point the mission needs to raise money to support the clinic salaries and supplies for the first year. Praise God, the salary for a doctor has already been donated. The projected amount that we need to raise for the clinic per month is $5000.00 which God is more than capable of providing through His people.
At the end of January Mark joined me in Mexico, and we were able to explore options of purchasing dental equipment in Aguascalientes. He found that the cost of dental chairs and units was not as expensive as he had thought in Mexico. As a result, the funds previously donated for dental equipment are sufficient to purchase the equipment. This is another Praise God! Showing that He continues to be faithful and provide for our needs.
Yesterday, Abdiel and I were able to meet with a young Physician who recently finished his training and is working part-time currently. His name is Carlos. Ironically, his situation is like Junior in that I had been able to provide him with some of his instruments, i.e., stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, and otoscope/ophthalmoscope, a few years prior. As part of the Association Civil that the mission is working towards, the mission needs a Physician at the Nursing Home two half days a week as part of that requirement. I will be able to supervise Carlos and see if we might transition him to working at the clinic, as well.
Over the past couple of years, we have been praying for a Physician and a Dentist to work in the clinic. And in March, God has brought both to us. This is definitely another Praise God! God never ceases to amaze me in how He works. His timing is always perfect. Our goal with the clinic is to use it as an evangelistic tool while caring for people’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Using the clinic to teach and train young Physicians, Dentists, and staff while providing Christ-centered care for the patients that they will be seeing.
In closing, I want to leave you with some prayer request for the mission and clinic.
1. Be praying for the opportunity to mentor, teach, and love the clinic physician, dentist, and staff.
2. We need to raise $5000 additional support per month for the operations and salaries for the first year of the clinic.
3. Be praying for the clinic paperwork approval as we begin the process of getting permission to open the clinic.
4. Pray for Carol and me as we are getting the clinic facilities set up with equipment, supplies, signage, etc.
5. Pray also for Carol and me adjust to our new lives in Mexico full-time.
6. Pray that the hearts of the people of this area of Mexico would be softened and open to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
7. Pray for the ministers of the mission churches as they work to spread the good news.
8. Pray for Paul Hamrick who recently had an injury from a power saw. Pray for his recovery and healing.
In His Service,
Freddy and Carol
We were saddened after the sudden passing of Alicia Camacho, who worked for the Mission as an accountant. Her daughter, Paola, is now working with Bethshean and is helping us with the actualización documentation and accounting aspects to register as a Civil Association. Because of COVID 19, all processes and documentation have been put on hold until the authorities give us the green light and they reopen. Prayer requests:
1. The government offices would reopen soon in order to continue the paperwork and the process of the Civil Association.
2. Ask the Lord to open doors for Dr. Freddy to become licensed to see patients in Mexico.
Blessings to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ!!!
LORETO CHRISTIAN CHURCH...PROPERTY…
As I announced in last month’s newsletter, the property is paid off completely thanks to the Lord and different folks who sent financial help. We are very grateful. Now we will soon start digging the foundation for the walls around the property. The property measures 1,095 square meters. A young man from Mexico donated 2,304 blocks which will cover almost half of the blocks needed, and rumors have it that he may donate another 2,304. The church ladies continue to raise funds through different projects. It may take several years to complete this construction, but we will continue doing what we can as funds are available.
MANY, MANY THANKS…
We are excited and thankful to have funds to begin working on the walls of the Church property in Loreto. We appreciate so much those who are praying and helping. Thank you for your support all these years. We will continue to serve faithfully. God bless each one.
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