Friday, February 7, 2014

Nicaragua Mission Trip Underway!

The Global Passion Ministries-Nebraska group arrived in Nicaragua yesterday and today begins their work in Puerto Cabezas. Please pray for them as they treat so many people who otherwise would not receive medical care. The following articles, about the team and their trips, appeared in the "Nebraska Family Times." If you would like to receive a FREE sample issue of the "Nebraska Family Times" please e-mail 

Mission Team to Return to Nicaragua for Fifth Trip
Part One

Global Passion Ministries-Nebraska is a group of medical and support team members from
Nebraska who have partnered with Valley Christian Fellowship of Shasta through Global Passion Ministries located in the Redding, California area. This group consists of surgeons, nurses and support staff and provides surgical and medical services to the people of Puerto Cabezas and the surrounding areas in Nicaragua who have little or no access to healthcare. Examples of the surgeries performed are cleft lips and palates, tonsillectomies, ear surgeries, thyroidectomies, cancerous tumor resections, etc.

The team was formerly known as Columbus Medical Mission Team-Nicaragua. The name was
changed because we have worked with Global Passion Ministries-California for several years
now. They started this mission work in Nicaragua many years ago doing medical, spiritual and
maintenance work. We all share the same commitment to this region and it was the natural thing to do to by becoming “one team”. It also reflects that some of our team members are from other cities in Nebraska in addition to Columbus.

This mission team will be returning on their 5th trip to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, from Feb. 6th through the 16th, 2014. Team members are: Sue and Karl Tillinghast, Tamra Boettcher and Dean and Carolyn Athey. Members returning to Nicaragua in February will be Sue and Karl, Tamra and Dean.

Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America. Puerto Cabezas is on the northeast coast of
Nicaragua and is the “forgotten” part of the country by the government. We have seen many birth defects, advanced cancers, and  numerous diseases and  illnesses because of the lack of healthcare, contaminated water supplies and  unsafe sanitation. Many of these people as well as people from the jungles in the surrounding areas have little or no access to healthcare. When our team is there, many of our patients have to travel for days by horseback, on foot and/or by boat from remote villages in hope of receiving medical treatment from our team.

To follow the team during their trip, go to:

Mission Team to Return to Nicaragua for Fifth Trip (Part Two)

Carolyn writes: I would like to share the story of “Dennis”. Dennis touched us in ways we never would have
thought possible during our trip in February 2013. He was a 16 year old boy who was brought to
us by a caretaker who had found him wandering in the jungle. This had been his life for years
after being beaten by his stepfather in their home. His mother and stepfather threw him out of their home when he was just a young boy. Dennis had a very disfiguring cleft lip and palate and  his family looked at him as a humiliation to their family.

This wonderful man who found Dennis somehow knew that our team was coming to Puerto Cabezas and  brought him out of the jungle to us for care. Mind you, Dennis had never know any other life other than beatings and surviving in the jungle. He had not seen normal civilization and did not know how to use eating utensils, how to open a car door, etc. He was seen by one of our surgeons and later that day had surgery to repair his lip. We can only imagine how frightened he must have been by being put amongst many strangers and then having them put lights in his face, get poked with needles and then be taken to surgery only to wake up with a swollen face and in a lot of pain. But Dennis was a trooper.

Since returning home, we have seen “after” pictures and Dennis looks amazing. We can only hope that he felt the love and concern of everyone who came into contact with him when he was in our care and now knows that all the pain and suffering he had to endure, was well worth it. It is the “Dennises” that keep us going back to Nicaragua.

Each year, we must take our own medications, supplies, and equipment. We also have to purchase gasoline to power the generators that are used when the electricity goes out--which is usually several times a day and often during a surgery.

We also purchase food for an orphanage which struggles to feed the 110+ children who live there. Some patients we see can only be treated in a larger hospital which is in Managua. They cannot afford to fly to Managua and have no means to get there by land (Managua is on the west coast of Nicaragua). In these cases, Global Passion Ministries has provided the air fare for them as well as money to house and feed a family member while they are in Managua. There are many patients who have no food when they go home after surgery so we buy a supply of beans, rice and powdered milk to send home with them. As you can see, the need there is great.

Monetary donations may be sent to Dean Athey at 3471 E. 14th Ave., Columbus, NE 68601. For

any information contact Dean at 276-0638.