Rio Bravo Ministries is a faith-based ministry located in Reynosa, Tamalupas Mexico, directly across the border from McAllen, Texas. Austin Ridge typically sends multiple trips a year to serve with Rio Bravo Ministries because of its close proximity and family-friendly serving opportunities. To learn more about upcoming trips, click here: https://www.austinridge.org/trips
You want me to go on a medical mission trip to serve with Rio Bravo Ministries in Mexico?
But I’m not a medical professional and I don’t speak Spanish. How can I be of any help, and who else is going? You say there’s going to be a dentist, his wife who has useful dentistry skills, a dental assistant, an optometrist and her husband who both speak Spanish, a woman on the Ridge Missions staff who is also an EMT, an experienced trip leader who has been to Reynosa, Mexico many times to help Rio Bravo Ministries (“RBM”), as well as my wife who also speaks Spanish. You also say that serving will be Ray Hansen who is the Founder and Director of RBM plus several of his employees.
OK, Lord, I must trust you and walk in faith to serve the poor as you have commanded us.
Although I don’t quite know what I’ll be doing, I’ll go.
I "stepped out of the boat" and it turned out to be a very blessed experience for all of the participants, including me. Although I wasn’t a core player extracting teeth, doing fillings, testing eye vision to come up with the correct eyeglass prescriptions, and testing for high blood pressure and diabetes, I nevertheless was helpful by searching through hundreds of eyeglasses donated by the Lions Club to find pairs that would match the needed prescriptions, handing out Bibles, trouble-shooting equipment issues, and helping to set up and take down medical equipment, tables, and chairs at three different sites -- at a new RBM Christian school, and at two different churches.
How many needy people did we help — fifty? Not even close. In 3 ½ work days we provided dental and/or eye care to more than two hundred people. Praise the Lord! What a joy to be able to help so many who so desperately needed it.
When I asked some of our participants, “What most impressed you about today’s experiences?”, I got the following answers:
“Patience of the people in trying to get care — many had to sit for hours in the sun and heat with children running around.”
“How well-behaved the kids are; they’re positive, friendly, courteous, and thankful.”
“Our friendly, warm reception.”
“How people could be so much in need for dental care and eyeglasses, and how happy and grateful they were to get free treatment and eyeglasses.”
Our efforts became a wonderful community outreach for the local churches and helped develop good neighborhood relationships for RBM’s new Christian school.
It was a memorable trip with deep spiritual impact to me. Thank you, Lord!
Here are some photos from the trip!