Health Talents e-Newsletter/October 2012 
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Practicing Medicine...with a heart for God
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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 Dunham



Sheri Kretzschmar, RN




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2012 Trip Schedule

Nov 7-12 - Guatemala  Mobile Medical/Dental


Nov 11-18 - Eye Surgery


Nov 25 - Dec 1 -

El Salvador Mobile Medical



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








We have just concluded yet another successful surgical clinic in Guatemala. The October surgical team performed surgery on 58 patients.  So much good has been done in the ten years since Clinica Ezell opened in 2002.  It is both exciting and humbling to see how much God has allowed Health Talents to accomplish in such a short period of time. 

One area that has seen great progress is that of a greater understanding of the philosophy behind HTI's ministry among both our employees and in the churches that partner with us.  Dr. David Lux is one of the Guatemalan physicians who works with us.  I had an opportunity to sit down with him during the clinic and talk with him about his feelings and perceptions about his role.  I hope you will take a minute to read the article.  I feel sure you will be as encouraged as I was by his comments.

Again, we at Health Talents daily give thanks to God for you, our partners in this ministry.  God bless you all.

David Lux, MD...practicing medicine with a heart for God 

David Lux family 2012
Dr. David & Sonia Lux with Sophie

Dr. David Lux took an unlikely route to prepare himself to be a doctor.  At  age 18 he and his sister, Josefina, each received a medical school scholarship from Fidel Castro's government in Havanna, Cuba.  He was there for six years. In addition to a free medical school education, they received a whopping $5/month spending money!


He graduated in 2005 and returned home to do his required year

of government service in Guatemala. As he learned more about the HTI ministry, he was drawn to it immediately because of its focus on the "whole" person. He had been raised in a strong Christian home in Santa Cruz del Quiche, so the idea of ministering to the whole body was exciting to him.  Ultimately, he and his sister, Josefina, both went to work with HTI; Josefina in the Highlands, and David in the coastal area around Clinica Ezell. 


At first he found the new way of ministering to people difficult. In Cuba he had not been trained to pray with patients.  He had not been expected to probe for a relationship between the physical and spiritual. When his patients first came to him, they thought he was a regular doctor. They would later seem confused when he shared the Lord with them.  But as they looked around the clinic that was held in a church, they saw both clinic and church workers present and began to feel the unity of the mission. He, too, began to relax as he realized that it wasn't necessary to preach to them. He understood that it was his attitude and how he approached them that mattered more.  It was how he touched them...and how he prayed for them that made them respond to spiritual guidance. He said his patients have more confidence in him now and are much more willing to open up to him.


One older woman came complaining of severe headaches. During his examination when he could find no visible cause for her pain, she mentioned that her daughter had recently left home. Dr. David was able to help her understand that her headache was likely caused by her heartache for her daughter. Similarly, another patient came in because she was having trouble breathing. He could find no obvious cause. She confided that her trouble had begun when her husband passed away recently. David help her understand that her despair and distress about losing her husband had caused her problem.  He talked with her about the comfort the Lord provides...then held her as she cried.


His most gripping patient, however, was a young girl of 16 or 17 who came in with chronic belly pain.  He sent her to the capital where she learned that her kidneys were not functioning, and she needed dialysis.  Every two weeks he would give her the medicines she needed without charge as well as bus money to get to the hospital for dialysis.  Despite all of this, she became worse.  The last time she came to see him, he was shocked to see how debilitated she had become. He insisted that her mother take her back to the hospital.  The mother protested that she had no money.  David, once again, gave her bus fare.  Two weeks went by, then the mother came to see him alone.  Her daughter had passed away in the hospital.  The mother was filled with such deep gratitude for the kindness and compassion that David had shown them that she had come to thank him personally.


It is people like that, Dr. David says, that keep him going. He knows he could make more money if he practiced in the "outside" world.  He used to think about doing that. "But, I know I won't ever do that now.  In the past few years, I have come to know in my heart that God has called me to this," Dr. David says tenderly.


Dr. David went on to say, "I thank God for bringing me here to this life of medicine.  I never thought about being a wasn't my dream. My father wanted me to be one...and God made it possible. Because of this job, it's opened my heart, opened my mind, and made it possible for my beautiful wife to come to the Lord."


From a ministry perspective, Dr. David Lux is a treasure. He really "gets" medical evangelism. He understands that the best results arise when his personal ministry reflects the ministry of Jesus. His impact on the community has increased as his patients have come to believe that he is a "man of God" who cares deeply for them. He takes turns with Carlos Baltodano and others in preaching at the Montellano Iglesia de Cristo across from Clinica Ezell. His kind and loving heart shines through in his sermons, too. 


It's been the dream of the HTI board that all of the ministry team and churches we work with in Guatemala and elsewhere understand medical evangelism at its best.  We know with Dr. David Lux, we hit the mark!


 Brewer Road 2012

The Brewer Road C/C Spanish congregation...uses its talents for the Lord

During the first week of August, Goyo and Sarah Nieto, Gigi, Valfre and Isabel Vasquez from the Brewer Road Spanish congregation took part in a very exciting and uplifting mission trip to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah Nieto and Isabel Vasquez presented a Sunday School workshop for the benefit of ten different Church of Christ congregations. (The photo above shows just a few of them.) The Brewer Road team presented materials made by women at the Northwest Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. They brought with them different types of free material that can be downloaded from the internet. They demonstrated for the local church members different techniques that can be used during children's Bible classes to make the lessons more engaging, appealing and exciting.   


Sarah's husband, Goyo, is the minister for the Spanish church at Brewer Road.  He had come to present a Leadership Training Seminar on II Timothy to about 60 men, a continuation of his teaching last year on I Timothy.


They were all excited to see nurse Sheri Kretzschmar again. Sheri is a former Brewer Road member who is sponsored by South Fork Church of Christ.  Both are located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.   


Young Girl receives marvelous gift...

Carmen 2012 pre surgCarmen 2012 post surg   

Carmen...before and after surgery


Ten-year-old Carmen was one of the patients in the September surgery clinic.  It is clear from just glancing at the first photo what her problem was.  Strabismus...or in every day language, she was cross-eyed.  Badly.  The teasing and taunting she received from the children at school were unbearable to her.  So she just didn't go.


Ophthalmologist Dr. Jerry Swale hails from Bourbannias, Illinois, and has been a regular in our eye surgery clinics for some time.  He occasionally  saw patients whose condition he could only help through surgical procedures.  So, three years ago he began coming on a general surgery trip when an anesthesia team would be present. The first year he operated on two patients, last year it was three, and this year he provided surgical care for seven people. 


The thing that is so amazing about eye surgery is that the results are so immediate.  I am sure that the first time young Carmen looked in the mirror after her surgery, she was ecstatic! Yes, the simple procedure that Dr. Swale performed on her will change her life. Our prayer for her is that she will live her life in gratitude to God for giving her this gift. Thank you, Dr. Swale, for caring about the Carmens of the world. 


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Check out the new "Thanksgiving" video on the HTI website that shows members of a Guatemalan church singing praises to God for the care they are receiving through HTI's ministry:


Activities of Note

- HTI Board of Directors Meeting, October 26-27 

- November 7-12 - Guatemala Mobile Medical/Dental Clinic 

- November 11-18 - Guatemala Eye Surgery 

- Nov 25 - Dec 1 - El Salvador Mobile Medical Team - Spots still available for two practitioners and a nurse (Contact Julie Wheetley for more info)



HTI 40th Anniversary Celebration

October 26, 2013 



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