Author: Eric Flickinger

Caring in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico Mission Report

The Horn/Vargas family, from Michigan, donates books to the church school to replace the ones lost during Hurricane Maria.

The island of Vieques lies seven miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, the “Island of Enchantment.” It’s what you’d call a tropical island, with mango trees, coconut palms, beautiful beaches, and the brightest bioluminescent bay on the planet. Wild horses roam the streets, and green iguanas soak up the sun as they laze about on branches and low stone walls. It’s a place where people go on vacation, to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city.

It’s also an island with a great deal of need. While the party crowd comes and goes daily by ferry, the local populace of Vieques has a hard time taking care of their basic needs. Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. The only hospital on the island was destroyed, leaving the 8,500 people who reside there with just a poorly-equipped emergency medical clinic that is open a few hours each day. There are two small gas stations on the island and only one grocery store. The bars and nightclubs abound, but opportunities for people to find true health and peace are in short supply.

Because of this great need, It Is Written partnered with the East Puerto Rico Conference to bring a group of 22 missionaries to the island of Vieques. The team of doctors, nurses, preachers, and support staff arrived in the town of Isabel Segunda on July 25 and began making preparations to open a free medical clinic at the church the next day. Exam rooms were set up, a triage area was established, translators were prepped, a pharmacy was organized, and spiritual material was lined up to distribute to the children and adults who would soon be arriving at the clinic. 

The Vieques mission group

Over the following days, scores of people came through the doors of the church to get help for themselves, their children, and their parents. Patients came with musculoskeletal pain, rashes, diabetes, and a variety of other health challenges. One man shared that he had been trying to get an appointment to be seen by a local doctor for over six months without success. He was elated to find that he could see a doctor at the medical clinic—and receive his needed medications—for free! And each patient who came received spiritual material to connect them with Escrito Está, the Spanish-language arm of It Is Written.

It Is Written Partners Dr. Sotero Escarza and his wife, Patti, said, “It was our first mission trip and we were struck with the fact that so many people would pay good money, take time out from their lives, and give up some creature comforts to help out people they don’t know with some basic medical needs and to give them literature about the Good News. It gave us comfort that God is in control and He has His remnant that will reflect His character.”

Keiton Bahnmiller, another first-time missionary, put his experience with construction into practice by helping to find and repair leaks in the church school’s roof and windows. He also helped pressure-wash the exterior walls and prepared them for painting. The only private school on the island, the school is a great outreach opportunity for the church.

Dr. Raul Vila, an It Is Written Partner who has joined the ministry on six mission trips, said, We encountered multiple challenges during this trip, however, we all were blessed as we cared for some of the needs of the people we served. I remember one man in particular who came with a case of shingles on his trunk and how in between acyclovir and some natural remedies, he could find relief. I’m glad that we could be there for him. Each patient seen carried new hope and a prayer sent to heaven.”

Would you like to let God use you on a mission trip? Visit itiswritten.com/missiontrips to learn how you can partner with us on an upcoming trip.

 

Spanish Book Drive

We are collecting Spanish children’s books for our mission trip to Puerto Rico. The school library in Vieques was destroyed in 2017 by Hurricane Maria, and we would love to give them as many books as we can! 

Books must be:

📕 in Spanish
📘 spiritual or educational
📗 for children in grades K-6
📙 in good condition

Send your books by July 7 to:

It Is Written
Attention: Eric Flickinger
9340 Four Corners Place
Ooltewah, TN 37363

Thank you!

May Spotlight: Mental Health & Asian Pacific American Month Programs

The month of May marks two special occasions: Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In honor of these events, we have put together a list of our programs that pertain to these important topics.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health issues have significantly increased in the past several years, affecting millions of Americans, young and old. Find programs below on depression, anxiety, addiction, stress, and improving your overall mental and emotional well-being. Click the episode title or image to watch it.

Note: These programs are presented for the purpose of educating people about health issues only and should not be used in place of the advice of your qualified health care provider. Please call your physician for any health care-related questions.

“Depression and Its Causes”

Almost every American is affected by depression—whether a person suffers from depression or has a friend or family member who does. But what, exactly, causes depression? Join John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley to find out.

“Depression and Its Cure”

People of faith aren’t immune to depression. A committed Christian might battle depression as much as someone who doesn’t believe in God. So is there a way out? Join John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley for the conclusion.

“Boosting Your Brain”

It’s one of our most precious possessions, but likely isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Learn how to boost your brain function and open your mind to richer blessings from God.

“Pathway to Hope”

The saying goes, “Healthy body, healthy mind.” With God’s help, you can get much more out of life than you imagined. Get on the pathway to health with this presentation from John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley.

“Emotional Intelligence”

Instead of being controlled by our emotions, how can we benefit from them? Join John Bradshaw as he interviews Dr. Neil Nedley and discover how your emotions form a vital part of your relationship with God.

“Coping With Stress”

How did Jesus combat stress and are there healthy ways of coping with stress today? Discover the Great Physician’s divine prescription for stress that will help you successfully negotiate this stress-filled world in “Coping With Stress.”

“Stressed Out”

The Bible calls Jesus the “Prince of Peace,” and yet more people than ever are suffering from debilitating levels of stress. Join John Bradshaw and Dr. David DeRose and learn how to successfully negotiate this stress-filled world!

“The Physiology of Worship”

Research demonstrates that worship is good for you. How does worship benefit a person spiritually and emotionally? Join John Bradshaw and special guest Dr. James Marcum for “The Physiology of Worship.”

“Take Charge of Your Health: Depression and Mental Health”

Learn how you can improve your mental health and look forward to each new day with confidence.

“Take Charge of Your Health: Coping With Stress”

Stress can have serious consequences for physical and mental health. Find out what you can do to cope with stress and be free from its damaging effects.

“Take Charge of Your Health: Overcoming Addictions”

Addiction affects millions of people every day. Discover how you and those you love can find lasting recovery from addiction.


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The It Is Written episodes listed below provide an immersive experience into major historical events and their spiritual significance. Click the title or image to view each episode.

“Nunuku’s Law”

Years ago, a peaceful tribe on a remote island was invaded by warriors. Their actions in the face of death would not only be a bold stand for peace but would also speak of the sacrifice Jesus made to save a world lost in sin.

“I Shall Return”

Having left the Japanese-occupied Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur boldly declared, “I shall return.”  Two thousand years earlier, Jesus made the same promise to a world held captive in sin: “I will come again!” Join John Bradshaw on location on Corregidor Island in the Philippines.

“The March of Death”

Just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japan invaded the Philippines. In the midst of destruction, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were forced to march on what became known as the Bataan Death March.

“Blood Rock”

The Bible talks about God wiping out whole cities. In fact, only eight people on Planet Earth survived the Flood. How do we reconcile that God commanded the eradication of entire people groups? Join John Bradshaw at Blood Rock in Australia as the answers are revealed from the Bible.

“The Holy City”

Join John Bradshaw as he visits vibrant Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city, on the banks of the Ganges River in India. Don’t miss “The Holy City,” as one of life’s most important questions is asked and answered.