Thursday, November 20, 2014

Making A Difference This Holiday Season

As Advent approaches, the holy days and the U.S. civic holidays clash yet again!  How does the church learn to "watch and wait" for the Christ child when door buster deals are already being offered to the tune of 24/7 Christmas muzak that started just after Halloween candy went on discount clearance?

In recent years, creative initiatives have been offered to help Christians sort out the "holiday" from the "holy days" by suggesting a veritable conspiracy (Latin for "to breathe together) around Advent, emphasizing neighbor and community/global need above the impulse to buy, buy, buy! Social justice initiatives or sponsoring alternative fair trade gift bazaars are just a few of the ways churches help connect the faithful (and those seeking faith) to the gospel.

One of the ABC New York State congregations is hoping your donations (small or great) will help make a difference in the health needs of persons in Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Dr. Tony Malone, a pediatrician and long-time member of Emmanuel Baptist, Albany, NY, is leading a medical mission trip in February 2015, working alongside International Ministries missionaries Vital and Ketly Pierre.

Dr. Malone writes, "The mission group will be exploring ways of helping the community to improve overall health, provide education for chronic issues such as diabetes, and hypertension, and offer a medical clinic for individuals of all ages. We will be providing needed deworming medication, vitamins and at least 3 months worth of medications for chronic illness such as high blood pressure. We will be treating anemia and malnutrition in young children, helping women with family planning, and helping people with serious health issues find ways to care for themselves. 

Medication supply in Bluefields is a serious problem and often the local health facilities do not have any supply of critical medication. For this reason, supply of needed medications is a critical part of the mission. Fortunately, there is a non profit organization for Nicaragua that will provide us with the medications at very low cost. For example, we can get four time more amoxicillin and blood pressure medication, 10 times more Prilosec and 16 times more antibiotics than even the cheapest way of getting them here in the U.S. Each dollar spent on medications is multiplied then  4-16 times!

Please pray for the trip members and the people of the Bluefields region." 

TO DONATE:   Emmanuel is asking for monetary donations for the pharmacy to provide as much medication as possible. Donations can be sent to Emmanuel Baptist Church, 275 State Street, Albany NY 12210, with an indication on the check memo line it is for the Nicaragua mission.

In addition, we are still able to take volunteers who are nurses, dietitians, physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Anthony Malone at 518-785-0022.

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