Health Talents e-Newsletter/August 2012 
In This Issue
El Salvador on the Horizon
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 HTI's Mission Statement


The mission of Health Talents International is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through teaching and healing ministries.


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HTI cross  






Contact us:


 Rick Harper

HTI Executive Director




Julie Wheetley

Director, Recruiting




HTI website:





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Missionary Blogs



Dr. Lisa & Kemmel



Sheri Kretzschmar, RN





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2012 Trip Schedule 


Aug 4-11 -

Gen/ENT/Plastics Surgery


Sept 1-8 - Gen/Gyn Surgery


Sept 29-Oct 6 - Gen/Gyn Surgery


Nov 7-12 - Guate Mobile Medical Clinic


Nov 11-18 - Eye Surgery




2013 Trip Schedule 


Jan 12-19 - Gen/Gyn Surgery


Jan 24-29 Nicaragua

Mobile Medical/Dental


Feb 9-16 - Gyn/Plastic Surgery


March  16-23 - Eye/Ortho



April 13-20 - Gen/Gyn Surgery


June 1-8 - Gen/Gyn Surgery


July 3-8 - Guate Mobile Medical/Dental


July 13-20 - Eye Surgery


Aug 3-10 - Gen/ENT/

Plastic Surgery 


Aug 31-Sept 7 -

Gen/Gyn Surgery


Oct 5-12 - Gen/Gyn



Nov 6-11 - Guate

Mobile Medical/Dental


Nov 16-23 - Eye Surgery













It has been very hot and dry this summer in many places in our country. Just knowing that the thermometer reads 100 degrees is enough to make anyone sweat! The heat makes me homesick for the cool mountain air of the highlands in Guatemala.  If you have ever been there, you know what I mean. 

While we have been up here working to stay cool, our team down south    in Guatemala has been working hard to spread the Word through their compassionate work.  You will learn more about their current activities as you read on.

The biggest story this month is that HTI is branching out...into El Salvador! On July 25th Rick and Julie took a team to La Palma, El Salvador. This is a site being seriously considered for the placing of another mission team. We are excited at the opportunities this presents, and we hope you will be, too.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of this ministry. Without you, we could do nothing.  May God's "shower of blessings" continue to fall on you!

El Salvador on the Horizon


El Salvador clinic July 2012
 Salvadoran preachers share a devo with waiting patients.

HTI's involvement in El Salvador began because a man loved a woman. Deborah and Mario Rivas of Austin, Texas, met many years ago when they both worked for the same company. They fell in love, married, and in time had two children. Sadly, after only 28 years of marriage, Deborah passed away. But Mario's love for  her did not.  He gave much thought to how he could memorialize her life. He knew just how passionate Deborah had been about missions. And being from El Salvador, he knew firsthand the struggles of getting an education.  So...he decided to honor his beloved by combining the two.  Three years ago he offered to fund scholarships in El Salvador through Health Talents that would provide deserving Christian students a chance to become medical professionals. HTI accepted his generous offer, and the Deborah G. Rivas Medical Scholarship Program was born.  Currently, we have three Rivas scholars: two in medical school and one in nursing school. 


Because the scholarship applications come through local churches, HTI personnel had the opportunity to work with and get to know them. The solid, stable churches coupled with a clear medical need in the area gave reason for the board to consider taking medical teams to them.  Thus, in May, 2011, Rick Harper took the first team to El Salvador.  It went well, so he and Julie Wheetley took another one this July...this time working with churches in La Palma and San Ignacio.  Everyone on the trip was pleased with the reception, both with the patient load and the excitement and involvement of local church members.  They returned home greatly encouraged, so Rick proposed that the board send another team in early December.  That was approved.

This provides an opportunity for you to participate.  If you are an interested doctor, dentist, nurse or Spanish speaker, you may call Julie Wheetley for more information at 615-397-5447. You may also write her at this address:


Sowing the Seed...kingdom work
HTI's evangelism coordinator, Baldemar Ruiz, has reported a brand new opportunity for spreading God's word.  During one of the regularly scheduled medical clinics in Rio Bravo, which is down the road a piece from Clinica Ezell, a doctor appeared.  Turns out he was also the director of a nursing school in Tiquisate, Escuintla.  He and Baldemar began talking, and the director invited Baldemar to come to the nursing school each week and present Bible lessons to students.  Furthermore, the doctor invited Baldemar and his evangelistic team to accompany him and his nursing students on some medical clinics that they conduct.
Wow!!  Can you imagine any school in the U.S. doing this? Baldemar reports that these efforts have been well received.  They have been able to present the Gospel to many interested people and have given Bibles to anyone who wanted one. 

Please join us in thanking God for this opportunity and pray that much good will spring from it.

"Oh, by the way..."  a Day in the Life of Nurse Sheri 


Sheri Kretzschmar and her health promoter, Josue, made their way to Chicua one morning. No one was waiting, so they proceeded to set up the clinic. Soon a lady on crutches arrived.  Sheri could tell she was having a difficult time walking.

The woman came to clinic because of her high blood pressure and gastritis. She said that two years ago she had gone to the hospital in Solola because of nose bleeds. They told her that she had high blood pressure, so from time to time she buys a pill and takes it. The lady was not able to tell Sheri what the medicine was...nor was she sure when she last took a pill. They chatted for a while about how she needed to take better care of her blood pressure. Then they talked a bit about her stomach problems.

Sheri always ends a consult by asking if there is anything else the patient would like to talk about. She did so this time. The patient responded by saying, "Oh, by the way...about a year ago I fell in the highway and hurt my leg." Sheri asked if she could look at it. The patient lifted her skirt to reveal this knee.....


Sheri took a long, deep breath then continued asking questions. She learned that the patient had gone to a hospital after it happened, but had been told that they would not do surgery because of her high blood pressure. The doctor told her that they would not let her die in their hospital. At the end of the consult, the woman hobbled away. Sheri sat alone, with a heavy heart, trying to figure out how to begin getting help for her. 

Family News Nehemias Lopez and his wife, Marissa, on the recent birth of their twin baby girls in Guatemala City.  They named them Fatima and Sofia, and they are just beautiful!  Nehemias is a Bates Scholar and will finish his medical training very soon.  We expect him to be on staff at Clinica Ezell full time by January 2013.


Nehemias & His Babies  

Local Churches Celebrate Clinica Ezell


Clinica Ezell  

Here in the States we often take little notice of the depth of the impact  that our mission efforts have in the communities where we work.  You may remember from a previous newsletter that in February of this year Clinica Ezell celebrated its 10th anniversary of service to the Guatemalan people. 

On their own initiative, HTI's Guatemalan board (Talentos de Salud Junto de Directiva) is planning a celebration. The board is made up of several Church of Christ leaders in Guatemala, many of whom are leaders of churches that partner with HTI. They are calling it a "Thanksgiving Service" and will invite churches and members of the community to gather together at the end of August to give thanks for Clinica Ezell and what it has meant to so many.  They recognize that it was God who brought Clinica Ezell to them. Because He did so, thousands of people have received treatment for physical maladies, many have found the Lord, and the hosting of HTI medical clinics in church buildings has given churches the gift of higher visibility in their villages. This makes their Christian lights shine even brighter. HTI is blessed to work with people of such faith. The depth of their gratitude for God's blessings is humbling indeed.


Activities of Note

- August 4-11 - Gen/Plastic/Ent Surgery Clinic

- September 1-8 - Gen/Gyn Surgery

- September 29-October 6 - Gen/Gyn Surgery

- November 7-12 - Mobile Medical/Dental Clinic

- November 11-18 - Eye Surgery

- December TBA - El Salvador Mobile Medical Clinic


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