Going on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic with Buckner was not only refreshing psychologically and physically, but also spiritually. I found myself ready to return home to my life and work as a paramedic with a renewed sense of purpose and perspective with the patients I have the privilege of serving and caring for.
God moved magnificently through everyone each day of our trip. We don’t have an official count, but we think we treated about 1,667 patients during four days of the clinic. What an amazing testimony for the power of God and for Buckner Dominica.
It seemed like we saw more and more families with children under the age of 5. It was wonderful to be able to provide medical care for this community. With a background in EMS, it is a different experience to be stationary, and see the volume of patients we saw on a daily basis. I grew more and more proud of the triage team for being flexible and for enduring the heat. The team, along with the interpreters, was instrumental in keeping the flow of patients moving. Coming from their diverse backgrounds, they came together as a well-oiled machine and made what could have been a logjam of epic proportions into a pleasant, stress-free and rapid intake experience for everyone.
As I moved through rooms assisting in occasional random medical duties, I noticed almost all our patients were smiling and happy, even though they were ill. For this community, simply having another day of life and a chance to be healthy were not things to be taken for granted. I never cease to be amazed at the resilience and strength of the Dominican people when it comes to everyday life. They are truly examples of perseverance, and I continue to be humbled when I consider all they deal with on a daily basis with a smile on their face.
Our in-country Buckner liaison was a never ending source of energy and patience as we felt our way through clinic operations day to day. The staff at the Buckner Family Hope Center was always cheerful and never hesitanted to step in and keep the clinic running. From traffic control to keeping the work areas clean to the amazing coffee that I’m sure is a well-guarded secret (it’s straight out of heaven), they worked tirelessly to assist in the care of their community. I cannot imagine a more supportive, kind and welcoming group of people to have helped us throughout the week.
As a paramedic, I feel privileged to have been able to serve alongside such amazing physicians and nurses who sacrificed time from their lives and families to serve those who have little to no opportunity for care.
Steven Bishop traveled on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic with First Baptist Church in Amarillo.