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Medical Missions: Guatemala with HTI

By on January 24, 2016 in ACU Missions, Series with 0 Comments
ACU students prepare to board a plane for a medical missions trip to Guatemala.

ACU students prepare to board a plane for a medical missions trip to Guatemala.

Many ACU students get their first taste of medical missions as undergraduates studying to become future doctors, dentists, nurses, occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals.

A feature from ACU Today magazine

A feature from ACU Today magazine

Two of those students – Jeremy Aymard, senior biology major from San Francisco, Calif., and Selvin Villeda, senior biology major from Rockwall, Texas – shared photos from their Spring Break trip last March to Guatemala, conducted by Health Talents International.

HTI is a non-profit Christian organization that works within the Churches of Christ to promote medical evangelism in developing countries. Its mission is “to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ through teaching and healing ministries.” Drs. Cynthia (Barton ’81) and Greg Powell (’80), both professors in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, accompanied the ACU group.

(From left) Laura Edwards, Elena Taylor, Colton McCoy, Michael McCoy and Jeremy Aymard work in HTI's on-site dental clinic.

(From left) Laura Edwards, Elena Taylor, Colton McCoy, Michael McCoy and Jeremy Aymard work in HTI’s dental clinic.

“What I love about HTI is that the organization has several full-time doctors and dentists who are of Guatemalan descent, so they are not completely dependent on American healthcare workers,” Aymard said. “However, they welcome American volunteer doctors and dentists, and generously allow us college students to shadow their healthcare workers and really see what medicine is like in a Third World country.”

Selvin said the trip “was a life-changing experience that assured me that medical missions is a path I want to take.

Student volunteers sort medication into packets to be distributed by physicians. Clockwise from left are Jill Baker, Evan Bridges, Laura Edwards, Houston Schoonmaker, Tanner Gregory and Taylor Fernandes.

(Clockwise from left) Jill Baker, Evan Bridges, Laura Edwards, Houston Schoonmaker, Tanner Gregory and Taylor Binkley sort medication.

“The people we served in Guatemala showed me a new way to look at life,” he said, “and that is to be thankful for every little commodity we have. I realized that if they were happy with their situation, then my situation is plenty fine as well.”

Aymard said the trip was life-changing for him, as well. “The short time we spent in Guatemala will impact how we practice medicine, or dentistry, for the rest of our lives – even here in the states,” he said.

Aymard and Selvin are just two of the many Wildcats each year who serve as the hands and feet of Jesus throughout the world. If you have #ACUmissions stories or photos to share, post them online with the hashtag, or email Robin Saylor, robin.saylor@acu.edu.

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About the Author

About the Author: Robin Saylor (M.S. ’03) is director of content strategy for University Marketing and editor of ACU Today online. In addition to writing and editing, she develops strategies to promote the university through web, social media, print publications, video, e-newsletters and other communication channels.
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