Nursing Students On Mission In Guatemala
A group of MidAmerica Nazarene University nursing students recently traveled over semester break to Guatemala for a mission trip to provide health assessments for children in need. These children are sponsored through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and are aided in various Child Development centers in different villages of Guatemala. Each day, the MNU group traveled to a new village to set up a clinic. Over 200 children benefitted from the most recent mission trip to Guatemala from their efforts.
There is a real need for pediatric health care in Guatemala since the children only get their health assessments through MNU’s mission trips.
A typical day included traveling to a village, setting up clinic, doing health assessments, traveling back, and doing it all over again the next day. For the clinic, the students do a full head-to-toe assessment of the children and give them a pack of hygiene products, socks, vitamins, medication, and a stuffed animal.
Of course, the trip also provided a hands-on learning experience for MNU nursing students which sometimes helps them determine what specific area of nursing they want to focus on. For example, the trip helped Berea Maas discover that she wants to go into pediatric care instead of adult care.
Although MNU students make an impact in these Guatemalan villages, the overall consensus is that through these experiences, the students end up being the ones changed for the better.
“It’s hard to put into words, but I think it was life changing for each one of us that went on the trip,” said nursing student Mikayla Loane. “I think it definitely changed each one of our views on how we see kids and how we see people in general and even ourselves.”
Nursing student Addesyn Waite also recognizes the affect that Guatemala has had on her and her group.
“We all thought we were going to go there and change Guatemala, but Guatemala changed us as a team and as an individual,” Waite said.
Past Mission Trips
Since 1994, MNU has sent nursing students to Guatemala annually. Professor Amanda Addis is thankful that she has been able to go with students every year since 2016.
“My favorite part is seeing the same children each year and how they grow and change,” she said.” Over the last seven years, I’ve seen them really grow up. I have two kids at home, but I feel like I have 200 kids in Guatemala,” Addis said.
Waite and Maas have also both been on mission trips in the past. Waite has come to realize that the trips reveal what matters most.
“I absolutely love going on mission trips,” she said. “I would describe it as adventures that God calls me on. The thing that matters is the relationships that we have with the people around us.”
With a history of many mission trips with her family, Maas was eager to take this opportunity as it is specific to her major.
“It was cool to be able to mix missionary work with health care, which I love. That was kind of a dream come true honestly,” Maas explained.
For nursing students interested in going on a mission trip to Guatemala, the next opportunity is May 12-20, 2023.
Although traveling out of the country may be daunting to some, many of the students believe that this was a great opportunity and experience for them.
In fact, Waite’s advice is to “just do it, just go. Don’t worry about the money or how you’re going to feel when you get there. I was just praying that I would find family in Guatemala and God did show up, and I get to have that whole family here with me at MNU.”
For more information about upcoming opportunities or to donate so others can have this experience, visit www.mnu.edu/pioneer-trek.
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