A year ago, Valishia Savage and Dr. Christine Brody met at an orphanage in Nicaragua. While there, the pair was introduced to the El Samaritano Clinic, a non-profit medical clinic providing ambulatory medical care.
They were told that the state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center was built for medical mission teams, and were asked if they could return to provide care and training to the community.
Valishia and Dr. Brody act as the team leaders for the Med4Nicaragua group, and the April trip will be their second medical mission in Nicaragua.
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Valishia, a vivacious team leader, said her enthusiasm for the team stems from her passion to make a difference in peoples' lives.
"I need this in my life," she said. "It puts everything into perspective. It gives my life purpose and meaning."
Valishia, who has a degree in Biblical studies, is the mother of two children and is an account executive at Sweis, Inc.
(Valishia with her two sons)
She has also done missionary work in Hungary, Slavania, Serbia and Mexico, and has supported missionaries in South Africa, India and Uganda.
For Valishia, the trips are a way to become a better person.
“When you go away on missions and come home to America, you realize just how much you have and how ‘easy’ life is compared to the rest of the world,” she said. “I get humbled because I realize I have no reason to complain and I find contentment because I feel like I am making my life count.”
(Valishia with one of the girls from the orphanage in Nicaragua)
She said she encourages anyone that has a dream or desire to help others.
“This was a desire 15 months ago, and because we took a step of faith, it’s happening now,” she said. “Sometimes the desire that is deep in your heart is the purpose of your life. Don't pass it up. Take a step of faith and see what happens!”
In her own words, why she wants to go to Nicaragua:
"Seriously, the people of Nicaragua bless my life and give me so much joy. It’s important because these people live everyday with no one caring...I want to show them someone cares.
I look forward to meeting each individual person and getting to know them. I look forward to being there and knowing that our time is being used to better the lives of these people. I look forward to the hugs and smiles. It’s the best feeling in the world."