Elaine's 2015 Mission Trip to Brazil

(photo from the Central Brazil Mission website -- read more here under "Project Amazonas")

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Note from Elaine

In less than a month, I will be leaving on what I believe will be a trip of a lifetime. Imagine yourself on a boat on the Amazon River in Brazil providing medical care to children in villages along the river. That’s what I will be doing. The boat looks similar to a riverboat that cruises on the Ohio River – a lower deck, a deck in the middle where all of the medical care is provided, and a deck on top if you want to sleep up there in the evening – not me! The rooms are actually air-conditioned and there is a galley and a cook who will prepare our meals.

I have never felt that God has actually “spoken” to me. At least I can’t remember a time when we had a conversation, but I always believe that He is there, helping me along and guiding me in a particular direction. However, last fall I received a call from a member of the First Church of Christ here in Xenia telling me about a mission trip scheduled to leave the day after Easter on a trip to Brazil. They needed a nurse with pediatric experience and thought I might be interested. Usually, I think about something before jumping into it headlong, but this time there was no thought. I just said, “Yes!” And I might add that I did so with a lot of enthusiasm! Was God “speaking” to me or was He just standing behind me shoving me? Maybe He was.

I know now that the temperatures are around 100 degrees and the humidity is at 100%! And I was cautioned to take a rain poncho! Other items I will be taking are loose fitting clothing (I will be wearing cotton scrubs most of the time), several bottles of Pepto-Bismol, my camera and a journal to keep track of all of the events so I can share when I return.  Hopefully, there will be no up close and personal encounters with any anacondas or piranhas! I have also been told not to eat anything that is green , to drink only bottled water, and only eat fruit that is peeled before eating!  

I have been told that since I also have dental assisting experience, I can plan to work with the dentist and have been warned I will see dental conditions unlike any I have seen at the Health District’s Dental Clinic! I will also be working in the pharmacy dispensing medications with an assistant who speaks lots of Portuguese but little English, but I guess we will manage to communicate somehow. The remainder of the time I will be seeing the children from the villages.

Those of us, and there are about 10 making the trip, are responsible for our airplane fare ($1000), our immunizations  including typhoid, yellow fever, malaria and hepatitis A (approximately $350), the Visa application ($289) and any other incidentals, whatever those may be. The remainder of the cost of the trip is being paid for through fundraising efforts. Generally, the cost for each person to make the trip is $2000 plus or minus.

We will take our allotted luggage and fill it with things that we can leave with the patients – medication, medical supplies and personal care items, such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, brushes and skin care items. The children love to receive any kind of small toys especially Beanie Babies! So I have been trying to collect some of these. The women also love to receive costume jewelry, so It is time to clean out the jewelry box!!

But the most important thing I will be taking is the love of my church family at Westminster and being able to share that love with the people I meet, both on the boat, in the villages, and on the riverbank. Sharing God’s message with these people will be something I am looking forward to and for those two weeks, you and my other friends and family will be with me and beside me every single day.

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Announcment from the Mission Committee about the March 15 Coffee Hour

The Mission Committee will be hosting coffee hour on Sunday, March 15  to support Elaine H. on her mission trip.    If you would like to donate any of the items that Elaine has mentioned in her article, please bring them to church on the 15th.   If you are moved to support her monetarily, there will be an opportunity for you to make your donation at coffee hour.  Please make your check payable to Westminster and notate that it is for the Brazil Mission.    Elaine has dedicated much of her time and talents to serving God through Westminster Church, so we would like to show her support with our love and prayers and gifts. 

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Suggestions for Donations

(some of these are mentioned in Elaine's note; other people have added some suggestions as well)

shampoo, soap, and washcloths

toothpaste and toothbrushes

hair brushes & combs

skin care items

nail clippers

deodorant

Pepto Bismol

men's sunglasses (fishing on the river in bright sunlight is hard on the men's eyes)

reading glasses (inexpensive glasses in various strengths -- try Goodwill or Dollar Tree)

any kind of small toys for the children especially Beanie Babies

costume jewelry as gifts for the women

or, checks payable to Westminster with notation that it is for the Brazil Mission