Ten students from the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing journeyed to Mexico with the idea of serving people by providing health services. What they experienced was a time of joy and spiritual rejuvenation.
The nursing students, along with three faculty members, spent seven days in Mexico City’s Atizapan de Zaragoza district. They provided free health services and treated patients with severe medical conditions such as gout, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension.
In a week, the Baylor nursing team treated nearly 1,000 patients in the general and women’s clinic. The team also set up a pharmacy where they provided medications free of charge to the patients, along with services from a dentist and ophthalmologist.
“Every year, the project has grown to include more services,” said Marie Daly, a lecturer in the Baylor nursing school who helped organize the trip.
“We were all brought together under one roof with the common purpose of giving of our talents and time to the Mexican people. In every way, our students benefited from going on this trip, from gaining experience in their clinical skills to learning about serving God by serving others with one’s talents.”
While the Baylor students gained valuable experience using their clinical skills in a cross-cultural environment, it was learning about serving God that resonated most with the group, participants noted.
Each afternoon, the group’s missionary representative led the team in prayerwalks through the neighborhoods around the clinic site—a time to reflect on the day and pray for the people in the community, Daly explained.
Students were encouraged to address spiritual and emotional issues as appropriate, and many of the people who came for health care were given Bibles provided by a Southern Baptist missionary and the Christian school.
The nursing students had numerous opportunities to share about the freedom believers have in Christ, and on many occasions students prayed with their patients, Daly noted.
“What would not have happened so spontaneously at home occurred freely in this experience,” Daly said.
“At the end of the day, we shared a time of debriefing in the mission living room. It was during this time that we experienced laughter and crying as we opened our hearts to each other.”