Hey! My name is Callie Huseman and this is my third year on staff with DR Missions. I am just about done with my current trip, but I was privileged to spend three months serving here alongside my fiancé, Tyler Franca. As a recent graduate with a bachelors of science in nursing, I am very passionate about all things medical. I have chosen to share about our medical ministries today.
Our first medical outreach is in the form of wellness clinics.. We typically have one wellness clinic a week. They are held in a variety of neighborhoods, including the refugee area, La Jeringa, the projects, and Barrio Nuevo (where the feeding program is located.) We provide vitamins, over the counter medicine for colds, stomach, pain, and more, fungal medicine, scabies treatments, and wound care. I personally began serving by triaging the patients and directing them to the table that could best meet their needs. While giving out a vitamin and a little bit of fungal cream doesn’t seem like it can make a huge impact, the prayers and attention that the people receive is life changing. We start out every wellness clinic with the prayer “Lord, let this clinic be a platform to bring you glory. Let this medicine lead them to the True Healer.”
Our second medical outreach is in the hospital. Every week, we visit the public hospital and visit with patients. The men visit an area called “Motorcycle alley” where all the trauma patients are housed. The women visit the maternity floor. I love the opportunity to meet new moms and pray over newborn babies. I have had so many sweet moments there this summer:
First, I spend a lot of time in the NICU there. I did my preceptorship in a NICU in the states, and I have a heart for premature babies. The nurses and I connected over this and they allowed me to spend time with them and even cuddle with one of the babies. I like to joke that cuddling with premie babies is a hobby no matter what country I am in.
Second, I met this one mother who had just delivered her first daughter via C-Section. She was still too weak and too numb to talk or interact, but she waved me over and asked if I would dress her baby in the new outfit we had gifted her. I took this precious, 20 minute old baby girl and cleaned her up and dressed her. As I handed her back to her mother, she stopped me and asked “Now will you pray for her?” The mom had watched us hold and pray for the other babies in the room and knew she wanted the same blessing for her daughter. It was a powerful moment for me as I held this new little life and I was reminded of how important this blessing can be.
Third, I visited with one mother who had just delivered twins. She had her daughter with her, but her son was in the NICU. She had not been able to get out of bed to go visit him yet, and she quietly told me “He’s not doing well.” I asked what bed number he was in, and I was able to go visit him, pray over him, and return to his mama to let her know how strong and feisty he was. She was so relieved with the update and I could see a new calmness cover her. This moment reminded me of how our fellowship with these moms is so much greater than the gifts we give out.
To change focus, we have a third medical ministry that is very close to my heart. Every weekday that I am at Bread of Life, I open up our medical clinic onsite and treat our children. We tell sponsors that our children receive basic medical care, and this summer, I was a part of that. It didn’t take the children long to realize that I was the one with the bandaids. I cleaned and bandaged knees when they fell out of swings. I bonded with the little girls as I washed their hair and painstakingly combed lice nits out. I comforted many a child as I popped painful abscesses and cleaned them out. When someone would fall and get hurt, the other kids would yell “Someone get Callie!” I absolutely loved getting to form this trusting relationship with the Bread of Life children.
To conclude, our medical ministries are all varied in focus but all centered around the same idea: meeting physical needs as a means of pointing people to the Great Physician. It has been such an honor to serve alongside DR Missions and love the people of the Dominican Republic.