2019 Mission trip to our Sister Church: San Jose Obrero in Manta, Ecuador
By: Jim Weatherly Greetings from the San Jose Obrero Mission team. We have returned from another highly successful mission to Ecuador where we endeavor to further the mission of Church of the Good Shepherd by making Christ known to others through this important ministry. Our mission trip team consisted of twelve from Church of the Good Shepherd: me, Chris Olson, Paul Wholley, Anne Ridens, George Fossey, Terry Hinson, Lori Gilreath, Bailey Gilreath, Stephanie Bond, Evan Bond, Marcy Mickiewicz and Maddie Mickiewicz.
We were joined by several other missioners from St. Phillips, St. Mark’s and St. Joseph of Arimathea as we provided medical clinics in both Guayaquil at the Diocese Center and in Manta at SJO.
As many of you know, our companion relationship with San Jose Obrero began with the establishment and support of a preschool program by financing the construction of classrooms at SJO, the employment of the preschool teacher and furnishing the various supplies needed for the school.
It was with great pride that in year two we saw the opening of “Buen Pastor” as the school was named by SJO. The school serves to provide a preschool program for the development of the children served by the school and also provides early childcare enabling the parents to better support themselves through employment. Our school breakfast program also provides nutritious breakfasts for the children. Part of our mission trip every year is to visit with the preschool children and provide supplies for the program.
In addition to our continuing support of “Buen Pastor” we have expanded our ministry to include medical clinics that have served three different Parishes in Manta, and most recently one in Guayaquil, all under the supervision of the Diocese of Littoral. The medical clinics provide physician care and access primarily for women and children, eye exams with non-prescription glasses provided, dental exams with donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss, treatment by local university dental students and their professors, and medications to address a variety of medical conditions diagnosed by the physicians along with vitamins for adults, children and pregnant women. This year we had about 350 people receive medical and dental care through our clinics and dispensed an average of three to four separately prescribed medications for each patient. Without these clinics most would not have the opportunity to receive such care and needed medications.
We continue to be impressed with the improvements to the parish facility made by the congregants at SJO. In the thirteen years that Good Shepherd has enjoyed its companion relationship with SJO we have seen an investment by the members and leadership of SJO in the facility making it a more comfortable and attractive place to worship. Their investment of time and money in their facility represents the partnering we seek to promote with them. Check out the Good Shepherd Facebook site for pictures and video of the parish facility and the services attended by our mission team.
There were several “first timers” on the trip this year. They loved the very meaningful experience of bringing the love and mission of our church to our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope you will consider joining our mission team next year for an experience that will enrich your life and the lives of those we serve through the mission.
Dates for the trip are set for June 6-15, 2020. We have several openings for those who want to join us on the mission trip
For more information contact Paul Wholley firstname.lastname@example.org
Church of the Good Shepherd - 1420 Wilson Pike. Brentwood, TN 37027 - (615) 661-0890