feature story 2011 nursing and engineering mission trip By Laura Wasson Warfel
hearing the roar
of the mighty igauzu falls. gazing at constellations in the southern hemisphere
Issue 3 | 2011
The Olivetian 9
sky from laguna blanca.
Swatting giant mosquitoes. Eating pizza with no red sauce — just cheese, ham, egg, olives and peppers. But for the Olivet students and professors who spent two weeks [May 20 through June 4] on a mission trip in Argentina, their entire trip was memorable.
Professor Tiffany Greer, Professor Mike Morgan, Ashley Morgan, and Freddy Shoffstall share some of the highlights from their work in Argentina. They will always remember …
“The easiest way we found was solar disinfectant. Putting unclean water in a bottle in the sun for six hours kills most of the bacteria that could make the people sick. I gave training, then left materials on laminated sheets for Persida to use in explaining this to the families.”
… How God made it possible for them to go
A s h l e y: “I work at Pizza Hut. One weekend, I told God that I would put all the money I earned toward my trip. I made the most I’ve ever made.”
… What they learned
T i f fa n y: “I joined the group a little late as a substitute for another professor. The details came together so quickly and easily. I knew that this was what the Lord wanted me to do. This was the longest time I’d ever been away from my 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.” … People they met
Trip at a glance • 27,000 miles — 24,000 miles by air and 3,000 miles by land • 25 bags in all — one bag filled with toothpaste and toothbrushes only; other bags packed with blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, thermometers, a baby scale, a standing scale, blood sugar testing machines and test strips, wound care supplies • 22-hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Laguna Blanca • Mission: Assist the Argentine Church by conducting medical clinics; providing dental hygiene training; distributing clothing; evangelizing to children; and helping the Toba people have clean drinking water
F r e d d y : “Persida, the Toba nurse who worked with us, works harder than I will probably ever work in my life. She’s the most giving person I’ve ever met. Every day, she works with people who are sick and have complaints. She has to be so strong in her Christian faith to continue to do that.”
A s h l e y : “Carlos [a global Nazarene missionary] showed us the character of Christ. He drove the bus 20 hours by himself, and never complained or got angry. A very patient man and really funny, too!” T i f fa n y: “Carlos found us the best food. He made sure we had mosquito repellant, sunscreen
and water. His stories about Argentina and the people helped us connect. The time he spent with us was his vacation time.”
… Cultural differences they noticed
M i k e : “Ita, a hairdresser, came with us from Buenos Aires. Every day, she washed and cut the Toba people’s hair. She also did lice treatments when needed.”
we were there [in Buenos Aires], we had dinner with the youth pastor [of Moreno Church of the Nazarene]. We spent two hours eating, and then two hours drinking maté [tea] and talking. I realized this wasn’t just for us. That is what they do all the time.”
… Care they provided
F r e d d y: “The clinics were like a doctor’s office on caffeine. Everyone worked very quickly, but took breaks when they could. I translated conversations between Mike, Rosalie [Tuttle], Tiffany and Persida, the nurse. I also translated for the nurses a few times to help them communicate instructions to patients.” As h ley: “When we took out the toothbrushes and toothpaste to give to the kids, they began grabbing because they wanted the stuff so badly. We learned that for something free in a poverty situation, we had to give out things one at a time.”
• 900-plus patients served during five days of six-hour clinics
T i f fa n y: “On the first Sunday
A s h l e y : “I wore the same clothes over and over during the five days we were traveling from village to village. I realized that I don’t need to spend all my money on clothes. We couldn’t use our cellphones. I had more free time to read my Bible and talk with God. My fire for the Lord was reignited. I feel God calling me to missions. I want to do more medical mission trips for longer periods of time.” F r e d d y: “It’s not about what we did while we were there. It’s about the relationships we made. Even though Spanish and communication were the reasons I was there, I built relationships with the Toba kids. God used us as a blessing to them. Please pray for the Toba people.
A s h l e y : “The Argentine people are very friendly and
welcoming. Sharing is part
of their community. Soccer is a huge part of their life. We saw people playing soccer everywhere. … Outreach they did
M i k e : “This was my ninth mission trip to work with the Toba people. I wanted to find some way to help each household purify their own water. We researched this in the engineering department before the trip.
“Toward the end of our trip, Carlos took us to Iguazu Falls. As we looked at the Falls, he said to me: ‘When God made these, he knew you would see them one day.’ That brought everything into focus. God’s love is so big. He has everyone’s heart in mind.” SUBMITTED PHOTOS
OLIVET TEAM MEMBERS
Ashley Borggren ’13 (nursing), Kankakee, Ill.
Treavor Dodsworth ’14 (biology, religious studies), Vernon, Colo.
Clarissa Cox ’13 (nursing), Beardstown, Ill.
Brianna Lomas ’13 (Spanish, accounting), Loves Park, Ill.
Ashley Morgan ’11 (nursing), Coldwater, Mich.
Melissa Tanner ’12 (nursing), Kankakee, Ill.
Holly Pflederer ’12 (nursing), Morton, Ill.
Kori Yergler ’12 (nursing), Gibson City, Ill.
Freddy Shoffstall ’12 (Spanish education), Holt, Mich.
Prof. Mike Morgan (engineering) Dr. Rosalie Tuttle (nursing) Prof. Tiffany (Hardy) Greer ’97 (nursing)