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Clinica Cristiana, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
From http://web.ovu.edu/missions/medical/medbook3.htm MEDICAL MISSIONS AMONG THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST, Second Edition, PHILLIP EICHMAN, Copyright © 1999, 2001 by Phillip Eichman
The first missionaries in Guatemala from the Churches of Christ began their efforts in the early 1960s. Some of the early workers included Joe Lee, Robert Waldron, Roger McCown, Pat Hile, Jerry Hill, J. C. Reed, and their families.28
In 1977 Clinica Cristiana was established to minister to the Quiche Indians in western Guatemala. Dr. Richard Rheinbolt was the first director of the clinic. The main clinic was located in Tierra Colorada, a small town near Quetzaltenango. The clinic was established initially under the oversight of the Brentwood Church of Christ in Austin, Texas, but was later overseen by the Church of Christ in Falls Church, Virginia.29
The main clinic included a pharmacy, examination rooms, laboratory, and waiting area. There was also a nutrition center, tree nursery, and house for the Rheinbolt family at the same location. The main clinic was also used as a base for weekly mobile clinics to surrounding villages. Later, permanent clinics were also established in the villages of Santa Cruz del Quiche and Xejuyup.30
The staff included, besides Dr. Rheinbolt, his wife Karen (a nutritionist) and nurses, Tanya Howard and Billie McCown. They were assisted by other non-medical missionaries and a staff of Guatemalan Christians as well.31 In 1985 Dr. Mike Kelly became the director of Clinica Cristiana. He and his wife, Julie, remained in Guatemala until 1995. Dr. Jim Rackley and his wife, Mary, also worked at the main clinic at Quetzaltenango.32
On July 1, 1994, Health Talents International assumed the sponsorship of Clinica Cristiana.33 A clinic is currently maintained in the village of Xejuyup, and Dr. Segio Castillo, a Guatemala Christian, sees patients on a regular basis.
The goals of Clinica Cristiana, however, have gone beyond the treatment of physical illness to include the whole person. The work has been described as follows: “The focus of Clinica Cristiana has always been holistic. In addition to the spiritual aspect, the staff has provided medical care, trained Christian health promoters, and actively promoted disease prevention practices, such as the use of latrines.”34 Patients have been treated, children immunized, latrines and more efficient masonry stoves built, numerous people baptized, congregations established, and the local church strengthened through the efforts of those who have been a part of this ministry.