It all began back in 1987...prayers were said, land was purchased, more prayers were said, and construction began. "Construction" consisted of digging holes in the rough, coral-rock ground to make a home for the footings that would, a decade later, hold up a two-story hospital.
With total and complete support from churches in the United States, little by little, the hospital took shape. On November 9, 1997 the doors of the Good Samaritian General Hospital were opened. The following year, the "Good Sam" provided medical service to 10,000 people, despite their ability to pay. Today, this figure has quadrupled! In 2002, an estimated 48,000 people, including those living in the bateys, have received medical care, ranging from minor infections, to life-saving surgerys.
Over 40 American groups travel from all over the US and Canada to come and work. There are two focuses of these teams- medical and construction, and often times, both. Construction teams labor on various projects. The most obvious is the ongoing hospital project. Currently, as of May 2007, the second floor is about almost complete. Tile has been laid on the floor, walls have been painted and many of the offices are completed but several more patient rooms and offices need wood trim, wiring and plumbing to be complete. The second floor is home to the pediatric center, private patient rooms and consultation rooms. In the spring of 2004, the hospital completed it's new dialysis unit, providing care for up to 6 persons at a time, thanks to donated dialysis units from Texas and the hard work of construction teams to complete the dialysis room. We are now the only hospital east of Santo Domingo providing dialysis care. Another project is the renovation of the dormitory dining hall. A group from Lisbon, ND began the renovation in November of 2005 and many of the groups of 2007-8 will continue building a second story onto the current facility. It is hoped that this dining hall will be able to have more beds on the second floor so that more people can be housed at the dormitory.
Depending on the need in a particular location, some groups choose to work in a batey, either building or repairing a school/church. These things are vital to the growth and advacement of both the people living in the batey, and to the Kingdom of God.
You may be thinking-What can I do??? Good news!!! You don't need to be an expert at anything. You don't need a degree. All you need are kind hands and a willing heart- all the rest are just details. Work projects vary from painting, shoveling sand/gravel, mixing and pouring cement, laying tile, cleaning debris, and oh, so much more...There may also be trade work for those with special talents in a particular area, depending on what project is currently underway.
Being part of a construction team is fun, but it is also hard work. You may get fatigued, and a little hot now and then, and maybe even a little sore, but it is worth every second. The reward is far greater...
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Col 3:23,24