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Medical mission will help people of Honduras

5K run Aug. 20 to raise money to buy medicine for needy

Think of missionaries and what comes to mind? People with Bibles? Tent meetings? Far away lands?

Later this month, a group of area residents will undertake a mission trip to Honduras that has both that traditional, spiritual focus and a physical one.

A Lawrence County organization, Jeremiah 38 Ministries, is taking 27 people on a medical mission trip to Honduras. Of those 27, 16 are nurses and two are doctors. Many of the medical professionals work at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va. They represent several area churches.

While there, the group plans to conduct free health clinics and possibly even some surgeries to help those Hondurans who need medical care but can’t afford it.

They also hope to leave medicines behind to continue the good work after they have gone home.

Scott Bowling made his first trip to Honduras five years ago and was struck by the dichotomy that is prevalent in Central America.

“There are medical facilities and treatment available but people can’t afford it,” he explained. “They have no Medicare, no Medicaid, no system in place to help.”

His wife, Donna, said the lack of medical care is often heartbreaking.

“We see people with parasites, skin infections, a lot of pregnant women with no prenatal care. I met one little boy with a club arm. It just broke my heart the first time I saw him,” Donna Bowling said.

While the doctors and nurses take care of the sick, the rest of the group will work with three pastors there, one of whom operates an orphanage.

All of the people making the trip pay their own way.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, Jeremiah 38 Ministries will have the third of three fundraisers to raise money for the medicines they want to take with them and leave in Honduras. All of the money raised will go to pay for medicine such as antibiotics, antiparasitics, vitamins and anti-inflammatory medicines.

The group had a pancake breakfast in June and a golf outing in May to raise funds for medicines.

Scott Bowling said he hoped area residents will pray for both the mission trip and those making it. The workdays will be long and exhausting; the economic situation and the environment pose problems as well. And travel abroad is not without its potential danger. But the group is determined to light a candle in a dark world.

“It’s amazing when people pool talents and resources what can be accomplished,” Scott Bowling said, “and how people are willing to sacrifice their time and energy for people they have never met.”

If you want to run or walk…..

The Medical Mission 5K Run/Walk will begin at 8 a.m. at The Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce office at The Point industrial park.

The registration fee is $25. Registration will be 7 a.m.-7:45 a.m. the day of the race. The age divisions are: Under 10, 11-15, 16-19, 20-26, 27-35, 36- 45, 46-54, 55-64 and 65 and over.

Participants may register by emailing

MaryEllen.Smith@st-marys.org or online at TriStateRacer.