During the months of June and July we had several different volunteers who organized a short-term summer outreach with a group of young girls in our neighborhood. They came to the mission for activities that taught them about God’s love for them through bible lessons, arts & crafts, music and choreography. At the end of the program they presented a dance they had learned at our Thursday night cell group meeting.
Today we are wishing a very Happy 20th Birthday to Lola who has been with us since February volunteering in our Hospitality department. Lola is from Germany and will be with us for only 3 more weeks. We sure will miss her when she’s gone!!
Today we held a community health and prevention class on the subject of contraceptive methods and sexually transmitted diseases.
The class was taught by Natalia Martinez, a YWAM volunteer who is completing her 8th semester of medical school.
Approximately 50 people between the ages of 12 and 35 attended the class.
The group divided into smaller groups to talk about what they were learning.
Twenty year old, Yerly, attended the class with her daughter, Yeirin. Yerly says that what surprised her the most was to learn about sexually transmitted diseases. She said that she had never heard of them before and she didn’t know how serious they could be.
Yerlis is 25 years old and has 3 children. Her first pregnancy was when she was 18 years old and she had twins. Yerlis says that she always thought the main reason for using protection was to avoid pregnancy but she never realized the importance of protecting herself against sexually transmitted diseases.
In partnership with the Ophtamology Clinic of Cartagnea and the Optometry & Ophthamology departments of the Sinu University, we were able to host our first Ophthalmology outreach in Bocachica this weekend!
We consider it an honor to serve the Lord by serving the community of Bocachica! What a privilege it is to be a part of realizing this dream of founding a medical clinic in Bocachica! Our desire is to continue to grow, improve and expand in the variety and quality of services we are able to offer the community and to treat our patients with love, understanding and dignity.
From the very beginning we also dreamed about the clinic being a source of employment for the community. So it is especially satisfying for us to see that half of our clinic personnel are Bocachica natives. They have served beside us sacrifically and joyfully and we are so thankful to have them on our team!
Three of our staff are YWAM missionaries: Esther and Elisabeth, our doctors, and Erika, our dentist. Like all YWAMers, they are volunteers and are responsible for raising-up their own missionary support team to cover their personal expenses. However, if the financial situation of the clinic were to allow for remuneration some day in the future, we would love to be able to bless them in this way.
Sharing the desire and vision to get the clinic up and running, the other clinic employees have all agreed to start working without recieving a full salary. Some of them recieve about half of the minimum wage (minimum wage in Colombia is about $11/day) and some of them recieve even less than that. Our hope and goal is to be able to pay each of our employees a fair and going wage for the position that they fill.
Now that the clinic is legally registered with the Colombian government, we are held accountable by several different government entities such as:
DIAN – This is comparable to the IRS and they are resposible for overseeing everything related to our accounting and taxes.
SUPERSALUD – This is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the management of the entities that finance the health system. Every 6 months we must file a report of the clinic’s activity and pay a fee.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH – They direct the Colombian health system and are responsible for the protection and promotion of public health, as well as providing welfare and other social services. We must file periodic reports with their office that relate to things such as quality assurance and billing.
DADIS – The entity responsible for overseeing licensing and accreditation based on standards regarding human resources, equipment & supplies, emergency procedures, medical records, drugs, infrastructure, and other services.
SISMED: With them we must file reports documenting the sale and purchase of medicines.
There are many things that we are required by law to pay for, such as medical coverage, workman’s compensation, and a pension plan for each of our employees. For clinic operations we are required by the health department to pay for an array of contracts to cover ongoing services such as: regular revision, calibration, and maintenance of biomedical equipment (approx. $75/month); collection and disposal of biohazardous materials and waste contaminated by human secretions (about $120/month); fumigation and pest control (approx. $40/month); supply of medical grade soaps and gels (approx. $40/month); fire extinguisher maintenance (approx. $50/month); and accounting & bookkeeping (approx. $180/month).
After our first two months in operation, we estimate that once we are able to pay our employees a full salary, our monthly operational expenses will be about $3000 usd. This covers such things as salaries, utilities, maintenance and contracts.
Our estimated monthly income, however, is only around $1400 usd. This income comes from our fees for medical and dental consultations and procedures, laboratory exams, and pharmacy sales. Currently we are charging very minimal prices for our services because we want them to be as accessible to our community as possible. For example the price range for dental procedures is between approximately $1.50 and $4.00; the price range for medical procedures is approximately .50 cents to $5.00; the price of a consultation with the doctor is about $3.50.
Earlier this year we were blessed with a large and generous donation designated towards helping to get the clinic up and running. With these funds we were able to get all of the remaining construction details taken care of, as well as budget for our start-up costs and cover the first six months of our operations. Starting in 2017, we will need to procure additional financial support to keep the clinic running. Our goal is to be able to make contracts with the government and/or private health providers who are subsidized by the Colombian government to provide healthcare to the poor. There are local companies who offer health coverage to a portion of the population of Bocachica however their patients must travel to Cartagena to recieve medical attention. If we are successful in getting these contracts, the health providers would give us partial remuneration for attending to the needs of those Bocachica residents who are enrolled in their companies. The income from these contracts would cover our expenses plus give us some extra income to be able to invest in further equipping the clinic, enabling us to improve the quality and variety of the services we are able to offer to the community.
Until we are able to acquire some of these contracts, we will need to find a way to cover our expenses privately. For this reason, we would like to present you with the opportunity to become a clinic sponsor. You can help us by becoming a one-time donor or a monthly supporter of our clinic. Your donations are tax deductible and they will go directly towards keeping the clinic in operation and blessing the community of Bocachica!
It’s easy! All you have to do is:
- Make a check payable to: YWAM
- Attach a separate note that says: “For Proyecto Libertad’s Clinic Ministry in Colombia”
- Mail to: YWAM Donor Services; P.O. Box 3000; Garden Valley, TX 75771-3000
- If you would like to set up an automatic withdrawal and receive a tax deductible receipt, click HERE and scroll down to read the instructions.
- Email us initially to let us know that you want to sponsor the clinic so we can be sure your donations get allocated properly.
For more details regarding sending support, please click HERE. If you are not from the USA and would like to sponsor the clinic, please click HERE for more information or email us and we can let you know the best way to send funds.
This whole process of getting the clinic in operation has been a team effort and we know it will continue to be a team effort to keep it in operation. Please consider partnering with us in this endeavor.
To experience more of this 15 year journey, click HERE!
We are a little behind on reporting but this past summer in the midst of getting the clinic up and running, we were also blessed by three teams that came to work with Proyecto Libertad and the community of Bocachica. We love having the opportunity to bless the community by facilitating and funneling this outside help to the community programs that are operated by the Bocachica natives.
A group from New Vision Church in California came for the second year and ministered so sweetly to the families, elderly, youth and children of Bocachica. They participated in evangelistic outreach, home visits and prayer ministry as well as children’s ministry and participating in our weekly cell group at the mission.
For the third year we welcomed a team of international students from the World Vision chapter at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. This year they helped 10 families to improve their systems for collecting rain water by installing PVC water canals in their homes. They also organized a Soccer Camp for kids and did some basic Health Education teachings.
We hosted a team of 3 students from the Rio de Plata Bible Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These students form a part of the Institute’s Missions Formation School. During their time with us the students worked at the clinic teaching community members about strategies to address the problem of child abuse. They also ministered at Bocachica’s elderly community center which is run by the local Catholic church and taught a group of children and teens from the local FourSquare Church’s Compassion program about sexuality.
We are so happy to welcome our newest volunteer to Proyecto Libertad. Olivia is from Sweden and will be working with us for the next three months helping in a variety of areas including hospitality and children’s ministries.
Over the last few months we have been anticipating the departure of Samy, Marley and Moises (and baby Sean) and today the day finally came. We have shed our share of tears and will miss them so much. They have been a part of our family for the last 15 years so it’s hard to imagine what it will be like without them!
Both Samy and Marley came to the mission as kids and we have had the privilege of watching them both grow-up, continue their educations, and create a family together, all while serving the Lord full-time in missions. It has truly been a joy and a gift!
Even though we are sad to see them go, we are also happy for them to start this new chapter of their lives, as they move to the city of Monteria (about 180 miles south of Cartagena), start new endeavors, and have their second son who is scheduled to arrive next month. We will always hold them in our prayers and thoughts and they will always be family to us, no matter the distance. We are already looking forward to future road trips to Monteria!!
After 15 years of dreaming, planning, working, and persevering, we were finally able to see the dream become reality and enjoy the fruit of years of labor.
Therefore… stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
… You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful…you will be!
Psalm 128:2 (NLT)