MAP INTERNATIONAL'S HEALTH & HOPE BLOG

Holding My Gaze on Haiti

It’s the first Tuesday of the month which means, where I live, that the emergency siren was tested at 10a.m. Poised to sound in the event of a tornado or other dangers, it’s a long, shrill sound, starting up like an air raid signal, swirling and filling the sky. I’ve lived here in the suburbs of Chicago for most of my life, so I barely notice the test. But this morning when it broke the morning’s silence, my thoughts—though not far from it at the time—were wrenched back to Haiti, where in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a real emergency continues.

Topics: Medical Mission Packs disaster relief medical relief Medicines Hurricane Matthew Haiti

MAP International Rushes Medicine & Disaster Relief Supplies to Haiti

Brunswick, Ga., Oct. 4, 2016—MAP International, a Christian health and relief organization, is responding to the devastation in Haiti. The organization is delivering urgently needed medicines and emergency supplies to those caught in the destruction of Hurricane Matthew.

Topics: Medical Mission Packs disaster relief press release Hurricane Matthew Haiti

A New Adventure

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Twenty years ago, I traveled to Mexico as a member of a humanitarian missions construction team. I don’t know what I was expecting but I found myself, homesick, damp, cold, and bewildered. The level of poverty in the community where we were serving was beyond anything I had ever seen or experienced. Somehow, by the time I returned home, I was ready to repack my bags and travel to another country. Since then, I have traveled to sixteen different countries on thirty-five mission trips.

Topics: Health Medical Mission Packs medical relief Medicines

The Modern Mission Trip

This summer, thousands of Americans will use their hard-earned vacation days to visit some of the neediest countries in the world. They will join volunteers from their church, school, hospital or community organization to venture out on a “mission trip.”

While the term may sound somewhat old-fashioned, today’s mission trips provide much needed volunteer help to some of the most resource-poor communities in the world.  Instead of Americans going to direct others how to live, most trips are directed by local leaders who tell the volunteers where they are needed and how they can best help based on the community’s needs.

Topics: Health Medical Mission Packs medical relief Medicines

Making the Path Straight to Global Health: Saving Lives Together

A few short weeks ago we were hand delivering very special cargo, as the plane turned at an extreme angle into Tequcigalpa, Honduras, one of the world’s most dangerous airstrips, I hoped that we would land safely for this momentous occasion.  When the plane safely met land, our group was thrilled, we would be able to deliver our medicines to a clinic in need and reach the $5 billion mark in medicines delivered by MAP International.  We have delivered medicines and medical supplies for 60 years, to over 100 countries, impacting millions of people, but for me, this will be the most memorable shipment.

 This team encompassed some of the best Georgia leaders to provide health, hope and a better way of life to people living in remote villages in Honduras.  It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to not only see the lives changed by what we do, but to interact with the missionaries carrying out our life’s work.  This was so much more than delivering our medicines to those in need, this was joining with the Atlanta community to change lives in Honduras through global health.

This week in Honduras was completely out of the norm for our typically journeys, and for that I am eternally grateful because it’s not every day that we get to see the full scope of how medicines change lives and how the leaders of Atlanta make a difference worldwide.

In Tequcigalpa we joined with Honduras Outreach Inc (HOI) based in Atlanta as well as The HAVE Foundation’s Wilderness Team, made up of mostly Atlanta Rotarians to make the 7 hour bus ride to the Agalta Valley.

The remote Agalta Valley has 50,000 inhabitants that HOI and HAVE partner with to improve their lives through education and health care.  At MAP, we see the HOI clinic as the heart of the Agalta Valley community.  We had the honor of bringing enough antibiotics from two Atlanta based pharmaceutical companies to last the clinic an entire year, as well as one of our Johnson & Johnson Medical Mission Packs that is packed with the best donated J&J products to treat a wide range of conditions.    We were also pleased to see medical equipment from MedShare, another Atlanta based NGO in the Agalta Valley clinic.

Each morning, members of the community come mostly by foot or horseback to be seen by the clinics impressive Dr. German Jimenez and his nurses. One mother walked over 30 minutes through a river with her sick infant son to receive medical care, the HOI clinic is the only clinic in the Agalta Valley and it has a vast impact. 

 

We were privileged to see hundreds of patients that week and each one left healthier than they arrived because of proper medical care.  On day 2, I was standing in front of the clinic staring down the long road that leads each patient there, watching a woman ride slowly towards me on a horse.  It was only after she dismounted that I saw the young child seated behind her. Mary was 7 and had a difficult time dismounting the horse, she never removed her hood from her head even though it was a very warm morning.  As she walked towards the clinic it was very apparent that she could barely stand, she was very sick.  This sweet little girl had been throwing up for days, more than likely from a parasite and was dehydrated.  The clinic treated her for the parasite and gave her Oral Rehydration Salts from MAP to rehydrate her.

The children at this clinic are much like our own, ear aches, coughs and simple infections that are easily treated with basic medicines.  The problem is that medicines are not readily available in the Agalta Valley, unless you come to the HOI clinic.  This clinic brightens the lives of the children in the community by providing them with medicines, medicines that can create a healthier happier life for a child with worms, a common cold or suffering from days of diarrhea.  These medicines are so important to the world and the people that we serve.

On our final day in Honduras we were honored to have the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez join MAP’s CEO, Steve Stirling in the Agalta Valley to receive MAP’s $5 billionth shipment of medicines and supplies delivered to over 100+ countries in 60 years.  “We’ve gone from $4 billion to $5 billion in just 3 short years, so why can’t we go from $5 billion to $10 billion in less time?” says MAP CEO Steve Stirling.  “Working through partners like HOI we can save even more lives.”

Topics: Medical Mission Packs medical relief Honduras Global Health

A Miracle Supply

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭19‬ NIV)

Topics: Medical Mission Packs

Mapping Out a Future

Recently, Christina Benedict and I had the opportunity to visit MAP International’s state-of-the-art pharmaceutical warehouse in Brunswick, Georgia. Christina is a member of my Cambodia Missions Team. Together, we toured MAP’s warehouse and talked with their Director of Operations, Timmy Boatwright, about special medical supply needs that we anticipate for this summer’s medical missions outreach in Cambodia. Our 2015 medical mission outreach in Cambodia would not have been possible without our partnership with MAP. As we toured the warehouse, we learned more about MAP’s incredible work around the world. In 2015, MAP was ranked #2 on CNBC’s Top Ten List of Charities Changing the World. Here’s a brief video about their work:

Topics: Medical Mission Packs

Partnerships of Health & Hope, Saving Lives One Box at a Time

For over 20 years, MAP International’s Medical Mission Packs Program has provided essential medicines and medical supplies to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families around the world. Since its inception, nearly 44,000 MMPs have been provided to US physicians and medical personnel, providing medical aid to children and families in over 120 countries.

Topics: Health Medical Mission Packs Medicines Relief Partners