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Christ Church Outreach News: February 22, 2024

Learn What’s New at Somos Amigos: Founder & CEO Frank Brightwell Will Deliver the Sermon and Lead Sunday Circle this Sunday, Feb. 25

After Christ Church parishioners generously helped a hearing-impaired patient of Somos Amigos Medical Missions last fall, its founder made an observation in his thank-you note:


“We have always faced one significant challenge: how do we persuade people that they should be concerned about the healthcare of an isolated population on the side of a mountain in the Dominican Republic? But you do, all of you at Christ Church, and your support propels us to continue to strive for more. We are grateful for the trust you have placed in us.”


If you’re curious about our connection to a clinic that operates four times a year in the small village of Naranjito, please plan to learn more about Somos Amigos on Sunday, Feb. 25. Founder and Executive Director Frank Brightwell will deliver the sermon at the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship services and take part in a Q&A during Sunday Circle at 9:30 a.m. in Old Brick and on Zoom.


Get ready with some questions, such as: What became of Franci, who is now a teenager, after we helped fund surgery to fix a heart defect diagnosed by clinic doctors in boyhood? Who has been spared dire consequences from diabetes as a result of an innovative insulin program that we also support? And finally, how is 23-year-old Emilio progressing in a long journey toward hearing, now that audiologists are involved in his somewhat complex case to restore congenital hearing loss?


Volunteers are one secret to the ties between Christ Church and Somos Amigos. Repeat travelers include Dione and Jim Mahoney, Shahra Toth and former parishioners Mary and Ed Keath. In the past, physicians Preethi Jackson and Ellen Boudreau Hoke also have volunteered.


The Mahoneys most recently served last October and Dione’s brother-in-law, Jorge, volunteered in January as a Spanish translator for dental patients and providers. The January clinic was “a great success.” says Brightwell, pointing out that Somos Amigos continues to incorporate local healthcare providers into its teams (see photos).


“Our physicians saw 377 patients, and our dentists 245. Most importantly, we were able to accommodate everyone who wanted an appointment. We introduced several new (first-time) dental patients this trip, and in April we will welcome new medical patients again,” he says. For diabetes screening, the clinic now employs a laboratory device intended for clinical settings. This analyzer checks blood for A1c levels and flags urine samples that contain diabetic indicators.


You’ll get a chance to find out more on Sunday. Or, if you can’t make it virtually or in person, you’ll find descriptions of clinic accomplishments, accompanied by photos, in the Christ Church Outreach Blog of Feb. 2, 2023 and the Outreach Blog of May 18, 2023. Or go to the organization’s website, where you’ll learn that nearly half of rural Dominicans live in poverty with little or no access to health care. You can see how to volunteer for Somos Amigos and read about its impact. Or, simply email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org to request information.





DreamBuilders Registration for the Triple Blitz Build

Registration is now open for Triple Blitz Build in Hazard, Kentucky, taking place from June 16-22. After a successful trip last summer building two houses for those in need, we are headed back to Hazard, Kentucky this June to make an even bigger impact! If you would like to make a life-long impact on three flood-impacted families, come join us for this week-long trip.  No experience necessary - we’ll teach you everything you need to know, and you’ll have a fun and rewarding experience.  The total cost is $700. and you must have completed 9th grade to join us. Registration is open until March 4th, and we can only take 36 people, so act now! You can register at dreambuildersmd.org. Questions? Speak with Cathy Gold or Stacey Frith, or email info@christchurchcolumbia.org.





Columbia Community Care Seeks Baby Care Items, More Volunteers

Remember to pick up some paper towels and toilet paper for Columbia Community Care (CCC) now that it has added them to its list of needed essentials. Also 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.

Another option is to give of your time and talent. One task is sorting at the pantry building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Go to the “I Can Help” portion of its website or check the CCC Facebook Group for updates.





Please Donate All Kinds of Grocery Non-Perishables and Toiletries to FISH

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. Please put donations in the basket at the altar or in the marked yellow bin that, during cold weather, can be found inside the Parish Hall entrance. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their support.




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 outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.




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