One Step at a Time
The sun’s bright rays tickled Joel’s eyelids as he stepped out of his adobe house onto the dirt porch. A large grin spread across his face. He had been looking forward to the volunteers’ weekly visit.
“Where is your white shirt, Joel?” Jenny asked. She and her outreach partner, Alessandra, were appropriately dressed in white and blue, an imitation of the Honduran public school uniform.
Every Thursday Joel meets with Jenny and Alessandra, two medical missionary students from Vida Internacional. Joel suffers from congenital hypothyroidism, a condition he was born with that sometimes slows mental and developmental growth. Unable to attend regular classes, Joel’s lessons with Jenny and Alessandra are a rare learning opportunity. When the young ladies first met Joel he could recite the alphabet, but was unable to make the associated sounds. After just a few sessions, he was able to pronounce some consonant-vowel combinations.
As Alessandra prepared Joel’s walking exercise, Jenny worked with him on writing simple words. “Joel, I want you to write the word ‘mama,’” she said. He laboriously yet successfully completed the word, reaching to receive Jenny’s high-five.
The more difficult task of walking came next. Alessandra guided him around a shape she had created on the ground with white lines, and although his body was not keen on cooperating, Joel forced himself through the activity several times. When he finished, his satisfaction outshone the exhaustion.
Vida Internacional’s students find unique ways to serve the community; Jenny and Alessandra felt God calling them to work with local children like Joel, helping them to cope with their disabilities, as well as sharing His love. The ministry is grateful for your support as it enables its medical missionary students to be Jesus’ hands and feet wherever they go.
A Healthy Interest
Last fall Mariana underwent a gallbladder operation. Wanting to regain her strength, as well as to learn more about healthy living, she searched for a place to heal and regroup.
Mariana found Springs of Health, an OCI ministry in Czech Republic. She attended a lifestyle session with her husband and 3-year-old son. During the week she was impressed by the spiritual portions of the NEWSTART® program. When the session ended, Mariana asked if there was a Seventh-day Adventist church in Prague that she could attend.
A few months later, Mariana and her family returned for RESTART, a program designed specifically for NEWSTART® graduates. About 20 people attended, and most were nonAdventists. On Sabbath the ministry put on a special program, and then invited everyone to visit an Adventist church nearby. Mariana was touched by the sermon, and it increased her desire to learn more.
Since January, Mariana has been studying the Bible with the ministry director, Robert Zizka, and his family. On Sabbaths they have a special class, and it is their prayer that Mariana’s husband and mother will join them, too.
Every year about 300 people attend the NEWSTART® lifestyle weeks, making them one of the most fruitful activities at Springs of Health. The ministry’s lifestyle magazine and website are also widely popular, and many people attend its lectures and health expos. A few, like Mariana, also take a spiritual interest. The team is grateful for your prayers and support as they continue ministering to Prague and the surrounding communities.
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