Somos Amigos Welcomes 2023 By Holding a Productive Clinic
Volunteers once again traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide medical and dental care during a mid-January clinic held by Somos Amigos Medical Missions. Unlike in October, when parishioners Dione and Jim Mahoney participated, no Christ Church members were able to take part this time. However, the Mahoneys got a first-hand report from a relative who went to the little town of Naranjito.
Dione’s brother-in-law, Jorge (below image), served as a Spanish translator for dental patients and providers. “All in all,” he told her, “it was a good trip” and he was happy to see so many Dominicans as providers.
Somos Amigos’ previous healthcare delivery model had relied primarily on volunteer clinicians and other helpers traveling four times a year, collaborating with residents of Naranjito. But the pandemic halted travel, so the nonprofit organization turned to local health providers to sustain a level of care. Residents continue to play key roles. The evolving hybrid model serves a rural, mountainous area that has little access to health care otherwise.
During four days in January, dental clinicians treated 149 patients, physicians treated 336, and overall the clinic welcomed 41 new patients. Many of the providers were Dominican.
Parishioners learned about the latest treatment model and Somos Amigos’ plans to care for a greater number of people when Executive Director and CEO Frank Brightwell visited Christ Church last fall. He delivered the sermon at the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services on Sunday, Oct. 30, and sat in on adult formation during Sunday Circle.
He also discussed Somos Amigos’ expanded insulin program, an innovative model that serves diabetes patients whose needs had been unmet. The program provides a schedule of yearly visits (or more frequently, if necessary) with an endocrinologist and with an ophthalmologist to address complications.
”It’s been an incredible opportunity,” said Brightwell, who described the insulin program during Sunday Circle. “We saw the opportunity and incredible minds got together, and you all are helping us to do that.”
He referred to the donations of Christ Church parishioners and the Outreach Commission, which supports Somos Amigos in keeping with a mission statement to help those in need through organizations that are local, national, and international. In 2022, we donated $1,000 in vestry-approved funds to Somos Amigos. Thanks to all for making that possible!
During his visit, Brightwell expressed his gratitude for both monetary and volunteer support. In addition to the Mahoneys, volunteers have included Shahra Toth, former parishioners Mary and Ed Keath, and physicians Preethi Jackson and Ellen Hoke.
African Team Ministries - Begins this Sunday
African Team Ministries is a Christian ministry working as an intermediary between African and American churches. With help from Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Anglican denominations, ATM provides funding for orphan and refugee relief missions and evangelism in East Africa. African Team Ministries provides East African, primarily Kenyan, artisans with a market for their beautiful creations. Please peruse the ATM jewelry table that will be set up each Sunday in February leading up to Lent to view their intricate wood carvings, eye-catching soapstone décor, natural elements’ nativity sets, stunning necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and much more! It will also be on display during the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. The support they receive is sent directly to their partnering bishops to provide school fees, tuition, books, and uniforms. This support ensures that the children receive an education and the measure of stability needed to rebuild their minds. You can make payments using our Online Giving Form; just choose "African Team Ministries" from the FUND dropdown menu. African Team Ministries currently have children registered for sponsorship in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. We could also use help with the table on these days, so if you would like to assist, please speak with Sara Kirkpatrick.
Exploring Prison Ministry on Zoom - Next Tuesday, February 7
“Lord...when did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (Matthew 25:37-39)
As our baptismal covenant calls us to serve those on the margins and seek justice for every beloved child of God, that includes those convicted of crimes and imprisoned—those we believe have harmed others in some way. Join us via Zoom on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. to meet Reverend Sue Beck, pastor of the Community of St. Dysmas (CSD). CSD is comprised of the Lutheran congregations within the Maryland State Correctional System. Their call is to “share the transforming power of Christ’s love with persons incarcerated...and to support them upon their release.” Pastor Sue will talk about CSD’s work within the walls of four Maryland prisons and answer questions you may have about how you could engage in this important ministry. Email us for the Zoom details - email@example.com
Save the Date: DreamBuilders Mandatory Meeting for Summer Mission Trip - March 4
If you are interested in joining DreamBuilders to repair homes in Kentucky in June, make sure you attend our mandatory meeting on Saturday, March 4th, at 2:00 p.m. The meeting will be at Temple Isaiah (12200 Scaggsville Rd., Fulton). We will have all the information you will need about the June trip, but if you have any questions before then, please see or email Cathy Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’ll be a life-changing event, for you and for the people we’re helping in Kentucky. Hope to see you there!
Also, please check out the great article about DreamBuilders below, which features homeowner, Orlando Lopez Pizarro. Orlando is one of the three we supported during our last trip! Click the image to see the entire article.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Project
This important project is an initiative that's being taken by one of our own parishioners, Gavin Couch. Gavin explains: "Hello, my name is Gavin Couch and I am currently a life scout in Troop 874. I am working on my eagle project with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. This is an organization that builds beds and provides bedding to children who were recently homeless, but now have a place to live and need beds and bedding. I am at the beginning of my project and am collecting monetary donations and twin-sized bed-in-a-bag sets. There is also a Venmo code for monetary donations and a link to an Amazon wishlist, should you like to purchase from there. If you would like these details or have any questions, you can see me at church or email me at email@example.com. Thank You."
Columbia Community Care Seeks Volunteers on Saturdays, Continues to Request Diapers, Personal Care Items
Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by giving essentials and with your time and talent. Please look for updates, such as requests for volunteers on Saturday mornings, posted in the CCC Facebook Group or on the “I Can Help” portion of its website. For example, you’ll find a need for volunteers to sort grocery items at the CCC pantry building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.
Please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put any of these in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents.
Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway
Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill their shopping lists. The yellow bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.
In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.