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TODAY news for Thursday, December 15, 2005

Loma Linda University news

Mexico trip volunteers show commitment despite recent challenge

Every month, a team from Students for International Mission Service (SIMS) volunteers one weekend in Ensenada, Mexico, to provide health care for the region’s 60 percent of people who cannot afford it. A few weeks ago the team proved its compassionate care, but had a dilemma on the first day out—thieves broke into the vans.

While the team ate lunch, the thieves stole dental equipment, a computer, and luggage containing clothes and passports.

The four students whose passports got stolen headed back home to try to solve that problem, and the remaining volunteers stayed, providing health care with the equipment that wasn’t stolen and their positive attitudes.

“Above all, it was a good and amazing experience,” shares Jhesinet Santiago, first-year dental student. “I learned a lot and would like to do it again. It was satisfying to help no matter what happened.”

Martine Polycarpe, MPH, director of SIMS, wrote in an e-mail to the students on the trip, “It is very unfortunate that such a terrible thing happened when your plans were to serve. However God works in mysterious ways and with every misfortune is an opportunity for good.

I think to find that good is a personal decision for each one of us to make. Thanks for not allowing this experience to ruin your weekend. Now that we’ve all learned from this, hopefully we won’t be bitter but wiser.”

TODAY news for Thursday, December 15, 2005