December 5, 2014

Mobile Health Clinic: A Path to Dignity and Wholeness

I first met the people of the Diocese of El Salvador in 2001 when I visited there in response to a series of earthquakes that had flattened the country. I traveled with a dedicated slate of church leaders who carried water and food to isolated mountain villages, stood in the rain assessing the structural integrity of school and church buildings and reached out their hands to hold Eucharist in the midst of chaos and piles of rubble. 

They were leaders who had been called upon to respond through the years to poverty, gang violence, natural disasters and a significant period of civil war, and they taught me in a few short days about sacrifice, tenacity and hope. 

They knew, then and still, that communities ache for safe strong houses, nutritious food, health services and education – a path to dignity and wholeness. 

Together with those leaders, and with the support of thousands of Episcopalians across the United States, we spent several years building Anglican villages complete with water systems, houses, clinics and social programs. With these relief activities, we planted seeds that we prayed would grow into a solid foundation from which good things could spring, undergirding growing families and enabling them to flourish. 

Today, the Integrated Health and Agriculture Program of the Diocese of El Salvador continues to increase health knowledgepromote healthy behaviors, provide treatments, enhance nutrition and fill in the gaps of health and agricultural services that are absent in much of rural El Salvador. 

Dr. Daniella Flamenco, the director of the program, was a young woman in the church, eager to become a doctor, when I first met her in 2001. Now, buoyed by the prayers and support of many, and with her own boundless energy and countless years of hard work, Daniella’s discipleship has taken her and her team to the heart of her countrymen’s concerns – providing compassion, medical care, and the “Good News” of Christ Risen in over 60 communities where there was no doctor. 

Together, we go with her.

Link to video on Youtube:

This blog is reprinted with permission of Episcopal Relief & Development. As part ot their 75th anniversary Episcopal Relief & Development is sharing 75 stories illustrating the work being done to heal our hurting world. Learn about how to become involved here