Faith In Practice Life-Changing Medical Mission
- Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 0:00
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Apolinario López is a small farmer from Petén, one of the poorest and most remote areas of Guatemala. In November 2006, his son Leopoldo was born with a cleft lip and palate. Because access to medical care is scarce in Guatemala, Apolinario decided to bring his baby to a Faith in Practice (FIP) medical clinic, where he was evaluated and referred to a FIP surgical team at Las Obras Sociales in La Antigua for a cleft-lip surgery. One year later, little Leo received a second surgery to complete the repair.
Apolinario decided to say “thank you” with his actions. He became a FIP volunteer. He now helps organize medical clinics and then travels with those who need surgery to one of FIP’s partner hospitals: Las Obras Sociales in La Antigua and Hilario Galindo in Retalhuleu.
The fact that Apolinario can neither read nor write has never stopped him from helping others. And it did not stop him from being a guest speaker at FIP’s Annual Gala in Houston, Texas, on October 25th, where he gave a powerful testimony to the 450 attendees of his reasons for helping his fellow Guatemalans.
Another highlight of this event, which carried the theme Choosing Life: A Journey of Hope, was the honoring of Guatemalan Doctor Fernando Stein, Medical Director of the Progressive Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital, for his lifelong commitment to children.
For nearly 20 years, FIP has served the poor through short-term medical, surgical and dental mission trips, and health-related educational programs. Each year, thanks to the support of committed donors and more than 1,800 US and Guatemalan volunteers, over 22,000 patients are served, and FIP has been able to continue to expand in size and scope to provide continuity of medical care to the poorest of Guatemala.