Eighteen students spent their spring break on a medical missions trip to Guatemala. The trip was organized by the Body and Soul Program and the Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service.
This group partnered with doctors from the area to assist in medical treatments of local residents. Their work included wound treatment and cleaning, dental extractions and teaching hygiene to kids.
Suzie Alexander, senior kinesiology major from Boerne, said that the attitudes of the Guatemalans toward their doctors was noticeably positive, more so than patients from the United States.
“Patients there were grateful for the most simple of treatments,” she said, “while some of us complain if we have to wait more than ten minutes.”
Bao Catteau, sophomore biochemistry major from Denison, shadowed a local medical practitioner who was working with patients and saw she did more than just treat their wounds.
“I noticed she was seeking a relational aspect from her treatments – that she wanted to relate with her patients,” Catteau said.
The departments in charge partnered the students with practitioners from Health Talents International, a nonprofit founded in 1973 in Birmingham, Alabama, according to its website, to “promote medical evangelism in developing countries.”
Guatemala was chosen for the trip because ACU has been partnered for HTI for over 20 years and has sent a team on an annual basis.
“This is always a great opportunity for HTI to seek interns as well as students to seek internships,” Alexander said.
While many people on the trip were barely familiar with each other, serving alongside one another helped build relationship and open their eyes to the community they served, Catteau said.
“We could all see and feel a raw passion fro Christ among the residents,” he said. “This was something we could all relate to. They were even singing the same songs we sing – just in Spanish.”
Those on the trip noticed a positive change in the community throughout the trip, impacting each person and allowing them to feel they had accomplished what they sought after: showing the love of Christ through their medical work.