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Nebaj’s Medical Mission: Bringing Healing to the Heart of Guatemala


Compassionate Care in Nebaj, Guatemala

We are excited to share some heartfelt updates from Dr. Juan Pablo and Carolina Noriega, the visionary leaders behind our hospital and educational initiatives in Nebaj. Their commitment to providing holistic care—both medical and spiritual—continues to transform the community. Recently, we were fortunate to gain some insights and experiences directly from Carolina’s perspective.

Hospital Servicios Medicos Vida y Esperanza provides healthcare and dental care. Healthcare initiatives include medical consultation, clinical laboratory, care for the bedridden, ultrasound and X-ray services, food assistance for low-income families, education for workers’ children, and community outreach activities in the Cristo Salva church.

Dr. JP and Carolina lead the hospital with a profound vision: integrating high-quality medical care with compassionate ministry. They aim to create an environment where every staff member views their work as not just a job, but a divine calling to show the love of Jesus to every patient they encounter.

Integrating Ministry and Medical Care

Carolina emphasizes that the work at the hospital is not just a job but a ministry. Every worker is encouraged to see their role as an opportunity to show the love of Jesus. Over the past 17 years, weekly Bible studies and devotional times have been integral in teaching staff about the Bible. Despite the challenges of their demanding schedules, Carolina and her team remain committed to this mission.

Dr. Juan Pablo tries to capture moments of impact amid patient care but often faces obstacles such as patient privacy concerns and time constraints.

The Big’ M’ and Small’ m’ of Medical Missions

A core philosophy shared by their mentor Larry Capps is that medical missions have a “Big M” for missions and a “small m” for medical. While providing medical care is crucial for physical health, sharing the love for fellow human beings and the community remains paramount. Carolina and her team strive to ensure their workers understand this distinction, helping them see their work as a divine calling.

Biblical Education and Understanding

One significant realization was that many staff members lacked a fundamental understanding of the Bible. Given that Spanish is a second language for many, reading and comprehending the Bible posed additional challenges. To address this, the team and Pastor Noe introduced a Bible panorama with artwork depicting the timeline of the Old and New Testaments. This visual approach has greatly enhanced their understanding and engagement with the Bible.

The improved understanding of biblical history has sparked a newfound enthusiasm among the staff. They now actively participate, ask questions, and show a genuine interest in learning. This method has also been extended to ‘The Mavericks,’ a men’s group from their church, ensuring a broader impact within the community.

Medical Missions in Action

Dr. JP and Carolina lead the hospital initiatives in Nebaj, embodying a vision that combines exceptional medical care with a deep commitment to spiritual well-being. This unique approach ensures that every patient receives the best possible medical treatment and experiences the compassionate love of Jesus through the hospital staff.

One touching story that illustrates the impact of their vision is that of a young woman in her early 30s who came to the hospital with severe anemia. Thanks to the hospital’s new blood bank, the woman received a crucial blood transfusion, and further diagnostics by Carolina revealed an autoimmune disease. Carolina’s expertise guided the attending doctor to start the woman on appropriate treatment. The hospital’s dedication to holistic care ensured the woman received comprehensive support, reflecting the hospital’s mission of healing both body and soul. This story truly encapsulates the spirit of their mission in Nebaj.

Exciting developments are on the horizon, including the arrival of an X-ray machine and new uniforms for the staff. These advancements will further enhance the hospital’s capabilities and the team’s morale.

Support the Mission

We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from our donors and partners. Your contributions enable us to provide essential medical care and spiritual guidance to the community of Nebaj. As we move forward, we invite you to join us in this mission, ensuring that both the “Big M” and “small m” of medical missions continue to flourish.

Donate to the hospital: The first floor of the hospital is now nearing completion. Essential equipment such as an x-ray machine has been acquired. Additionally, the budget for equipping the new operating room has been updated to $125,000, ensuring that the hospital can provide critical surgical care to the community.

We hope these updates from Carolina inspire you as much as they inspire us. Thank you for being a part of our journey and your unwavering support.

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