January 27, 2022 | Caracas, Venezuela | Steven’s Rosado/María A. Rodríguez and Inter-American Division News Staff

Nearly 400 people on Venezuela’s Margarita Island recently received comprehensive medical services thanks to dozens of Seventh-day Adventist medical and health professionals who donated their time and resources during a four-day intervention initiative.  The island, which lies 40 kilometers from the mainland, saw forty health professionals arrive to care for hundreds of people across the 15 Adventist congregations from Jan. 5-8, 2022.

The initiative drew dozens of church members and a few of their friends to much needed medical care in a country struggling with economic challenges.

A crowd sits under tents before Adventist health professionals provide free medical services on the Margarita Island off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Forty medical staff traveled to the island to benefit nearly 400 church members and friends in the community Jan. 5-8, 2022.[Photo: Northeast Venezuela Mission]

Free services offered included ophthalmology, gynecology, psychology, dental, pediatrics, general medicine, natural medicine, physiotherapy, blood and urine tests, blood pressure check-ups services, as well as talks on prevention and the eight natural remedies for a healthier lifestyle.

“This is the first time that we have been able to offer medical services to nearly all of the church membership in a single state, as well as several people in the community,” said Pastor Elder Rubio, president of the Northeast Venezuela Mission and main organizer of the event. It was important to get to the church members and let them know that the church not only cares for their spiritual needs but for their physical and emotional needs as well, said Rubio.

“We wanted them to know that they have a church that loves them and supports them,” he said. Many cannot afford medical services, he explained. A tooth extraction can cost $30.00 US dollars, and the monthly wage per month is below that amount, according to Rubio.  “Many of the health centers lack medical supplies and these missionary interventions all the supplies and medicines were donated to them, so this was so necessary for people there.”

Health professionals register a person during the health services intervention on Margarita Island. [Photo: Northeast Venezuela Mission]

It was the second such initiative led by the Northeast Venezuela Mission. The first one took place last year in Barcelo, where the church mission office is located.

The team of Adventist medical professionals joined a group of professionals on the island during the initiative.

Pastor Rubio thanked hotel owners who accommodated the medical team and the municipal authorities for assisting with the coordinated efforts during their visit.

“I have never seen this done in other congregations,” said Eva Gamboa Rosas, owner of the Colinas del Sol Hotel where the medical staff lodged. “I hope you come back because this is a very important work that you are doing to assist so many low-income individuals.”

Dozens listen in on one of many health seminars taught during the initiative earlier this month. [Photo: Northeast Venezuela Mission]

The initiative also saw the support of the “Sonrisas para Jesus”, or Smiles for Jesus, ministry led by lay person Luis Batancur, and the civil protection members who assisted in sanitizing the areas every day.

The medical intervention took over a month to coordinate, said Rubio, informing the small groups of the upcoming intervention through social media networks.

Plans are to offer medical services in Cumaná and Anaco, both cities in the northeastern part of Venezuela in the coming months, said Rubio.

A Group of health professionals. local church leaders and members on Margarita Island pose for a photo before they return home to the mainland. [Photo: Northeast Venezuela Mission]

To learn more about the church in the Northeast Venezuela Mission, click HERE

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