Dr. Forbes visited us April 24, 2013
We began our program with a meal at 6:30 PM followed by a presentation at 7:00 PM. Belinda told us stories about her ministry in Nicaragua. The following article is from the GBGM website which gives a glimpse of the scope of her work. Please call Fay Flanary, our Missions Committee chair for reservations for dinner, 413-323-8669.
“Belinda is assigned to work with Acción Medica Cristiana (AMC or Christian Medical Action), a Nicaraguan Christian ecumenical organization specializing in community health and development in impoverished, rural communities, many of which are indigenous. As AMC’s International Liaison for Community Health, Belinda serves God by coordinating a community-based, primary dental health program as well as interfacing with AMC’s international partner organizations. Of her assignment, Belinda shares, “AMC’s model for local empowerment allows my contribution to be long-lasting and sustainable. The organization has evolved from a small clinically-based health organization into a development agent for change, committed to building local capacity in the areas of food security and nutrition; HIV/AIDS prevention; pastoral care; disaster prevention; clean water and sanitation; and health education and promotion. the Christian principles that undergird AMC’s work are reflected as a living example of the Gospel teachings.”
Dr. Forbes describes the impact of the rural dental program, “Several years ago we asked children why people in their communities lose teeth on a regular basis. One child responded, ‘Teeth grow old and have to die’. Through school oral hygiene programs, basic dental care and dental health education provided by AMC-trained health promoters, a new perspective is evident. Children and their parents understand plaque, decay and most important, practice ways to prevent oral disease.”
Belinda has served in various capacities since her 1991 arrival in Nicaragua as a lay missionary from the New England Conference. After working with the covenant relationship between the New England Conference and the Association of Iglesias de Cristo de Nicaragua, she was assigned by the BGM as a Short-Term Innovative Missionary and was then commissioned in 1997 to serve with the Nicaraguan Council of Protestant Churches, CEPAD. During that time Belinda grew to know and respect AMC’s professional staff and strong faith community. Her BGM vocation assignment to AMC in 2000 was a natural transition after many years of collaboration in AMC’s strategies for health and education.”(from www.umcmission.org and www.belindagbgm.blogspot.com)