The thread of “pushing the envelope” was consistent throughout our week-long neurosurgery mission that consisted of mentored surgeries, patient consultations, meetings with hospital leaders and course instruction in both Bolivia and Paraguay.
As Christ’s passion unfolds we soon see that we are not being invited to live lives of pleasure or power but of suffering. We are invited to empty ourselves to make room for God in our lives. So what draws us to accept such an invitation? It is astounding that Christ should have so many followers in the wake of such an unattractive proposition!
On her first mission trip with Solidarity Bridge, office Intern, Megan Sheridan, is serving as the supply coordinator for our Oncological Surgery Mission Trip in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In this blog, she reflects on the experience, the reasons we are called to heal abroad, and the beauty of human relationships.
As three simultaneous trips take place in Bolivia this week, our neurosurgery and general surgery teams are working alongside each other in the city of Cochabamba, sharing in these experiences of training and equipping to build a healthier world.
In today’s Gospel, we hear the story of Martha and Mary, and their feelings of despair at the death of their brother, Lazarus. The human experience of struggling to maintain hope in the face of despair unites Martha’s story with our own, and teaches us to find God’s goodness and grace in our most fragile moments.
In the third Sunday of Lent, we hear about Jesus’ choice to visit Samaria, a place and a people looked down upon by the Jews. Once there, he engages in a theological discussion with a woman, and not just any woman, but a woman that the Evangelist’s audience would have frowned upon.
In the second Sunday of Lent, we reflect on this week’s Gospel, recounting Christ’s transfiguration, which has commonality with my experience as a missioner in Bolivia. Five words came to mind sequentially as I reflected on this passage and my work with Solidarity Bridge: privilege, remoteness, intensity, uncertainty, and humility.
“In the gospels, the particular word used for repentance is metanoia. Literally this means to do an about face, to turn around, to face in an entirely new direction.” And this is the invitation for this first Sunday of Lent - to turn our lives around - to face in an entirely new direction. Jesus is urging his listeners - and us - to change our lives, to see anew.
Many missioners find that their memories of Bolivia remain vivid after they return to work and life in the United States. Following her fourth Gynecologic Surgery Mission Trip, Dr. Janet Tomezsko offered these reflections.
There is more to healing than simply providing an operation. During their internships with our partner organization, Puente de Solidaridad, two Bolivian social work students learned to offer true solidarity to patients and families in the face of complex medical challenges.
Our Neurosurgery Mission Team has just landed in Santa Cruz where summertime temps are in the mid 90s. This week, veteran missioners and their Bolivian colleagues will offer training to a cohort of neurosurgeons and residents from across the South American continent. We are one in our mission to provide high quality neurosurgical care to those who greatly need it.
There are many challenges to offering advanced care to those living in poverty, but this case from our Gynecologic Surgery Mission Trip shows how hope springs from such challenges when we work together, accompanying each other through difficult circumstances.
Accompaniment, sharing in the joys and sorrows of someone's life and acting with love to help them live to their full potential, is the central work of mission. It is also the central work of many of the Bolivian women we are meeting this week on our Gynecologic Surgery Mission Trip.