CERI volunteers meet medical, dental needs in rural Nigeria - Word&Way

CERI volunteers meet medical, dental needs in rural Nigeria

OTUTULU, Nigeria — A volunteer team of Houston, San Antonio and Brownville-area health care professionals treated about 1,200 orphaned children and needy families in Nigeria during a one-week trip sponsored by Children’s Emergency Relief International.


Family Physician Saul Camacho, a member of First Baptist Church in Brownsville, provided medical care to residents of Ministry of Mercy orphanage in Nigeria. (PHOTOS/CERI)

The doctors, nurses, dentist and other health care providers treated resident of the Ministry of Mercy orphanage and villagers in Otutulu, Nigeria.

“The need for medical care in rural villages throughout Nigeria is tremendous. Each time CERI leads a mission trip to Africa or other impoverished countries, we are reminded how important it is that volunteers, like the team members on this trip, share their healing gifts with struggling children and families throughout the world,” said Dearing Garner, executive director of CERI, the overseas arm of Baptist Child & Family Services.

“We can’t heal the whole world on a single trip, but our organization and our devoted supporters will continue to reach as far as we can to touch the lives of those who are hurting.”


Chris Perkins, a dentist from First Baptist Church in Kingwood, performed extractions and a few oral surgeries for patients in Nigeria. The modest facility where he worked had simply a straight-backed wooded chair and no electricity. (PHOTOS/CERI)

The Texas team — joined by volunteers from Georgia and Colorado — distributed more than 500 pounds of medication and provided treatment ranging from neonatal care to geriatrics, dealing with issues such as typhoid, malaria, abscesses, chronic pain and wound care.

“It was a life changing experience to see the satisfaction and smile on each person’s face after receiving the care they needed,” said David Marks, a physician from San Antonio. “It was all worth it for them to know that someone cared about them. It really is a testament that people can make a difference in this world.”

The Ministry of Mercy orphanage provides care for more than 230 children and teenagers, including many with special medical needs.

Haley Smith writes for Baptist Child & Family Services.