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Before we leave for another extended outreach… THANK YOU.

Dear friends,

Before we leave for another extended outreach to the Brazilian-Bolivian border, I want to quickly thank you for all the support you have given till now!

These donations enabled us to continue with our outreaching to the Bolivian Amazon and Andes with our local MD’s, dentists and nurses.

Our Team is one big family!

We are very glad to tell you that I am doing well again after having suffered a serious illness that brought me to Belgium where I – in the meantime – also took the time to witness about the work of Doctors On Mission among my fellow Belgian MD’s of my graduation year (1988). Once healed and having witnessed about it in Belgium, I returned to the medical mission field in Bolivia.

I think it doesn’t need to be said anymore – after 34 years of ministry – that it is our mission to reach out to these people who don’t have a voice in this world, don’t receive a message filled with hope and don’t receive any medical care. This way many people are saved by healing through treating preventable diseases that otherwise could lead to death, due to malnutrition and a poor immune system.

Often, these people remain their whole life in the same community without having electricity, internet, a medical center, a nurse, doctor or a dentist. And yes, if they are healthy, have enough to eat and are receiving words of hope, these poor people (but rich in spirit) become filled with love and happiness!

We can see it even in the eyes of a child! A twinkle in their eyes returns, once they are healthy again.

Our goal is always to stay as close to the people as we can together with our local team, to heal their body and bring them a message of hope and life! Often, we return to the same place to bring more structure to our work.

I experienced isolation and many different circumstances, such as drought (Andes, Amazon), wildfires (Amazon), hurricanes (Haïti), earthquakes (Bolivia, Haïti), super-typhoons (Philippines), hostage environment (N. Pakistan with Taliban & Al Qaeda around the minorities). Each circumstance changes everything and gives a great opportunity to witness in Word and Deed!

Witnessing in Word and Deed is THE reason why we still go to these regions where we don’t meet any other medical health care.

We as doctors know that a low immunity system is often the cause of an early death that can be easily provoked by a primary preventable disease. Thse are diseases that a doctor could easily heal with cheap medication. You might think that this is easily funded but the truth is that we face thousands of such patients every year.

That’s what we do! Healing the people and bringing a true transformation!

This way, we follow our calling, setting an example and living together with the locals as close as possible, becoming one of them.

During the last months, there was a lot of political unrest in Bolivia with regular protest demonstrations. The many roadblocks hindered our work. Fortunately, the situation has now stabilized and we can now continue with our outreaching.

We are so thankful for all of you and ask you to please consider our ministry as we – as a medical ministry – need so much some more donations. We especially need urgently a 4×4 Jeep (as the last one is from 2006) to bring our local team to these isolated regions and bring at the same time the very ill children and people to the nearest hospital.

We also need more funds for the 10-thousands of medicines we use every year. We also want to ask you to please consider enabling us to give a minimum salary to our local team members as these young professional people are mostly already married and have children. This is NOT about Dr. Rik but about a whole medical mission that needs to go on.

This way, we continue village by village, hoping to become a river of hope, health and joy!

Still, it remains an enormous challenge reaching out to them!

This marathon road hasn’t been easy during the dozens of years I have been doing this but when we see the fruits in these people, our hearts become filled with joy!

Diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Chagas disease, Parasites, Pneumonia (wildfires in Amazon), Tuberculosis (Andes), etc.. strike too often and people are desperate to receive health, compassion and love.

Our biggest loss of our team has been our dear local Dr. Inocencio Ortega who lost his life at 50 years of age because of the Chagas disease (Trypanosoma Cruzi). He was my “right hand man” for more than 25 years… We also lost several doctors when the pandemic of Covid came as vaccinations never found their way to the places where we are working and low immunity didn’t give the needed “body power” to heal… So many families were affected by this cruel pandemic.

It remains a very sad sight to see the many “Covid cemeteries” along the road..

Please look at a short video about our recent work on Youtube or you can also type Rik & Carolien Celie on Youtube. This way you can see the work first hand.

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