CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Medical professionals from Chambersburg Hospital and community members from the Franklin County area returned July 14 from a 12-day medical mission trip to Brazil.
They provided medical care to the people of three tribes living on the shores of the Amazon River including treating a variety of illnesses, performing minor surgeries, and offering dental care. The group also taught health classes for patients and their families.
“This mission proved to be one of the best medical missions we’ve ever been a part of. We were able to provide extensive care to the people, and even responded to several emergency situations and made a few house calls to elderly people,” said Chaplain Paul Yeun, director of Pastoral Care at Chambersburg Hospital, trip organizer and one of the co-leaders of the team.
“This was our first boat mission, where we traveled and had the ability of working with many different people along the Amazon River.”
The team of 18 was made up of four medical doctors, a physician assistant, three registered nurses, a pharmacist, a dentist, a chaplain, a retired school counselor, a lab technician, a retired emergency medical assistant, and four general helpers. Once in Brazil, the group was joined by two cooks, a program coordinator, a pharmacy assistant, four translators, and four additional crew members.
In addition to providing prescription medications to the patients, the group also gave them vitamins, gifts, and health kits. These were purchased through donations from churches and individuals. All of these items were placed in hand-made pouches donated by the Cumberland Valley Relief Center. The center has provided these pouches for the past seven annual missions.
The mission was coordinated by the Brazilian Methodist Church under the direction of Pastor Augusto Cardia. The group concluded their trip with a worship service at the local Methodist Church in the city of Manaus. Chaplain Yeun was invited to preach at that service.