6,431 // HUGS

…the last full day of CURA 2017. Tomorrow we will work until 2:00 PM and then start the packing for another year.  As of closing today, 639 individual folks had come through our gates, equaling nearly 1000 specialty visits. Due to the hearts of each and every volunteer, each person leaves with a huge smile and their spirit uplifted.

Today the Secretary of Health (Secretario de Saude) arrived for her first visit with CURA. She is bilingual, so I did not have to struggle with my miserable Portuguese to converse with her. Again, like her predecessors, she was impressed with what we are accomplishing and genuinely pleased with the fact that she, in some small way, was a part of it.

From left to right: Walkiria, Phyllis, Janaina (Secretary of Health), and Roberto de Santi

It was a little warmer today – nearly 70 degrees – so all were in great spirits. Today, I was reminded why we are here. I had a patient who came in for bleeding problems she has experienced since the first of the year. We discovered she had a small, benign, tumor pushing through her cervix. It was difficult to realize that, for her, there would be a tremendous wait until she could see a gynecologist that could handle her condition. After months of being told there was nothing wrong (and to just accept the bleeding), she shed tears of gratitude as we prayed together and reassured her that all would be ok. To finally know what was is going on and to have it explained in a way she could understand was all she needed. Care, respect, and love go a long way.

I haven’t mentioned much about some of the other team members, yet. Richard, as always, is amazing with the EKG. He is such an outgoing individual. Even without any proficiency in Portuguese, he has a knack for making everyone feel comfortable. He never met a stranger, and if he did, it would only take a few seconds for them to be fast friends. Tanya and Jared joined us for the first time this year and are already making plans to return. Tanya is a massage therapist, and she must be doing great things because her patients are always smiling, and she is worn out at the end of the day. Stacy’s ultrasound work has allowed us to definitively diagnose numerous pelvic issues, been able to comfort a mom who has suffered seizures due to a motorcycle accident one month ago and has reassured several patients that the lumps in their breasts are simply cysts and will go away.

Finally, there is the special duo of Stephanie and Gabby. Chiropractor and student, having a ball together, one teaching technique and instilling confidence, the other teaching Portuguese. They have been a great team for years, and it is exciting to watch them grow together. CURA is about caring for one another – patients, friends, and colleagues alike.

As we prepare to close out CURA #9 and prepare for our big celebration tomorrow, we are humbled by how much more there is to do. This week we were able to significantly change two families lives through CURA Comunidade and are excited about the expansion of these efforts.  As we dig deeper into the needs of the community, we learn more about their health issues and where the issues stem from. We also know, after 4 years here in Vila Progresso, that dentistry and eye care are a crucial offering. As we prepare for our 10th anniversary next year, we ask you to be in prayer as we look for the best way to expand our services and abilities.

Please consider joining us in some way. Whether in service, monetarily or through prayer. We are eternally grateful for your support.

Please consider joining us in some way.
Whether in service, through donations, or through prayer.
We are eternally grateful for your support.

God bless,




A few of our incredible staff members – from left: Richard, Tanya, Stacy, Stephanie, and Jared (front)