Mauro Esquivel shares video about the Rohi impact in the colonia.
As a former colonia resident, he has a unique insight as to the difference we are making for the Lord. Watch his video here.
Summer Mission Trip Update
Currently we have about 25 people signed up for the Summer Mission Trip (June 9-12). Our main focus is the medical and vision clinics. Partly this is due to the heat and the fact that we have only one air conditioned space available to us in the colonia. That limits our activities, but there are other activities planned. We are doing a well check of all the students at La Union School on Friday morning. We are distributing soccer uniforms that day provided by soon to be Eagle Scout, Diego Miro. This distribution is designed as an enticement to increase attendance so we can get a good survey of the overall health of the students. We plan to make these well checks a regular part of our medical prevention focus in the community. Diego and his friend Sam Hewitt will be there in person to distribute the jerseys. We could use additional help. Medical training is not necessary as we are just checking height, weight and basic vitals (temperature, pulse, etc.). Visit our website,www.therohifoundation.org, for more information and to sign up.
Colonia Profiles: Rohi's Medical Clinic Changes Lives
When Greg and Jennifer Gilbert approached Rohi about having a medical clinic on the Thanksgiving 2015 trip, we as a board were thrilled to add another dimension to our array of activities. We knew the community desperately needed medical care, but really we weren't aware of how desperate those needs were.
In truth, the medical clinic almost didn't happen. Greg Gilbert is a Interventional Cardiology Nurse. We really felt we needed a doctor to run a full clinic, so it was just going to be a "well check" clinic. The other nurse that was going to help him couldn't come on the trip after all. It was just Greg. We almost pulled the plug. But we walk in faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) We decided to proceed with the "well check" clinic. Board member Cory Vessa just prayed and fasted for God's provision. The day before the clinic was to begin, she told Mauro Esquivel of the need for a doctor. He immediately thought of his pastor's brother, Dr. Sergio. He called him and Dr. Sergio said he would come. Our first medical clinic was born. It was an amazing two days. Dr. Sergio saw over 70 patients. Greg and Jennifer were hooked. They wanted to do this regularly and set out to make that happen. At Gracia Abundante church that Sunday, Pastor Willy announced what they had done to the congregation. Four additional doctors expressed interest in serving.
Over the next couple months, the medical team sought to solve the problems they encountered at the first clinic. They needed access to medications. The nearest pharmacy is 30 minutes away by car. This is at least an hour bus ride. Add to that delays and walking to the bus stop and it could take 2 hours to just even get to a pharmacy for most colonia residents. That is at least a four hour trip just to get medications. Then, how would they even pay for the medications? The residents earn less than $2 an hour. Most make less than $10 a day. Even a reasonably priced medication is an insurmountable expense. Greg knew he needed to provide free medicine at the time of the consultation to really meet the residents' medical needs.
At first he wanted to purchase the medicine in the US and bring it to Mexico. However, after his meeting at the Mexican Consulate, they informed him that would be nearly impossible. Then he talked to Mauro Esquivel. Mauro said he would contact pharmaceutical distributor in Mexico. Mauro did. Greg asked for a quote on certain medicines, especially medicines to treat diabetes, which is extremely common in the colonia. Greg had a budget in mind. The distributor got back to him and the quote was a little above what Greg could afford given what his family could donate, what he raised from friends and family, and donations from the Rohi website. He carefully reduced his number of medications so that he could match his budget. Mauro's company (a factory in Reynosa) agreed to pay the tax on the medicine. Greg thought this order would be sufficient to supply one, maybe two, of the future medical clinics. Mauro placed the order and stored the medicines in his house. When Greg arrived he inventoried the medication. They had given him eight times more than what he thought he had ordered! Greg had enough medicine to last the clinic a year. God's amazing provision was evident.
In the weeks prior to the Spring Break trip, the Gilbert family faced several crises. Jennifer's brother died suddenly. The very next day another immediate family member faced a life threatening illness and was hospitalized. Greg did his best to support Jennifer in this difficult time. He took on additional responsibilties at home and maintained their business on his own. At the same time, he tirelessly assembled all that was needed for the medical clinic. They did not lose heart. They did not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). They committed to coming no matter how fatigued and emotionally spent they were.
The fruit was incredible. The second clinic saw close to 80 patients. Dr. Sergio was joined by pediatrician, Dr. Joe. Over 95% of patients were able to receive the medications they needed at the time of appointment. The distributor came and saw what they were doing in person. He was so moved, he committed to bringing higher level managers to the next clinic, in an effort to convince them to provide a mobile laboratory and x-ray station for future trips.
Now, Greg and his team are set for another medical clinic this June 9-12th. They are locating in the front part of the colonia, so we expect to see many new patients, as we normally have the clinic toward the back of the colonia. We are running a van back and forth so that no one has an impediment to seeing the doctor. Optometrist Brett Hamilton is also offering a vision clinic, to add to our array of medical services. We would like to add a dental component and our praying for God's provision. God is good. We have seen His provision time and time again. He will provide all we need according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Prayerfully consider where God is calling you to serve. If God is calling you to step out in faith, this is a great opportunity. It isn't too late. You can still sign up for the June 9-12th trip. And stay tuned for another trip in September and another at Thanksgiving. Visit www.therohifoundation.org for more information and contact trip coordinator, Cory Vessa, with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).