Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

We LOVE what we do and we LOVE sharing with medical minded, college-aged students and residents the way God has allowed us to incorporate medicine and evangelism in everything we do.  Really, as a Training in Medical Evangelism (T.I.M.E) intern, we just want to take you along with us in our daily activities and answer questions along the way.  If you want to catch a glimpse of our daily life before committing to the trip, check out our family blog, Immeasurably More.

We have been blessed to have an annual T.I.M.E group (6 students for 5 weeks in June) come (check out the blog here) and several individual interns (nurses, pre-med/pre-nursing students, medical residents and even one student of public health).

Please read the information below and if you have any questions or feel God leading you this way shoot us an e-mail (jeff.mckissick@sim.org)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WHO ARE WE?

          We are a family of 9 who moved from South Texas to Paraguay in 2005 (when we were a family of just 6).   After studying Spanish and then Guarani-Jopara for 18 months in the capital city of Asuncion, we moved out to a rural town called Colonia San Francisco in the Departamento de Caazapa (about 180 miles to the southeast of Asuncion).  After 4 years of living there and a one year furlough back in the U.S, we moved in September of 2012, 10 kilometers "down the dirt road" to a town called Jataity.  We are involved in church planting/ evangelism ministries with Serving in Mission.


Our background

Jeff McKissick, my husband, is a board certified Family Physician. He graduated from ACU (Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX) in 1997 and received his MD from Texas Tech Medical School in Lubbock, TX. After graduation he completed a three year residency in Family Practice at the Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program in Harlingen, TX (near Brownsville/ Mexico). This program is one of two Christian Family Practice training programs in the US. After working for nearly a year as an ER doc, we moved to Paraguay as full time missionaries with SIM (Serving in Mission, an international, interdenominational evangelical mission- see more at www.sim.org). I (Amy) also went to ACU and completed my R.N. training in Lubbock, Texas at Covenant Hospital.

Jeff and I met in 1995 on a one month, cross-cultural Medical Evangelism Training program in Guatemala. This trip changed our lives by showing us how we could mix our faith in the Lord Jesus and healthcare in practical and powerful ways. It is for this reason that we want to offer a similar cross-cultural experience for Christian pre-health professional students.

Monday, December 12, 2011

WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We are looking for college-aged, medically-minded students and medical residents (bring your wife and kids too) who are passionate about reaching the lost for Christ. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

LENGTH OF STAY

The length of stay depends on you and how much your school allows you to take off.  We encourage you to spend at least one month with us.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SCHOOL CREDIT

Several students in the past have received college credit hours or internship time for their experience in Paraguay. Please talk about this possibility NOW with your advisor and bring all necessary paperwork that I will need to fill out as your supervisor (or better yet- email it to me).

Friday, December 9, 2011

WHAT TO EXPECT


-Fly into Paraguay’s capital, Asuncion, where we will meet you at the airport. 

-Have an orientation to Paraguayan culture before stepping foot into our small community.

- Be an active language learning.  Where we live, we speak Guarani-Jopara (a mixture of Spanish and Guarani).  Chances are you may know some Spanish and zero Guarani and that is OK. 

-Shadow Jeff each morning in the clinic

-Participate in mobile medical evangelism clinics

-Learn basic laboratory work (phlebotomy, using microhematocrit machine, using glucometers, doing urine analysis)

-Learn to take blood pressure/ temperature and to do a basic physical exam and patient history (as language permits)

-Read daily from your TIME manual to prepare yourself for classes on topics such as language and culture, missions, medical missions, medical topics of interest including vaccine preventable illnesses

-Have (almost) daily debriefing and a chance to review medical cases and new Spanish/Guarani words.

-Attend Bible studies, prayer meetings and church gatherings with local believers

-Visit local believers and non-believers

-Have limited contact with the outside world

-To have fun and learn new things

-Be mentored by our family as well as by other missionaries and hear their stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives and ministries

-Trip to Iguazu Falls (Brazil and/or Argentina) at end of trip
 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TRAVEL DOCUMENT INFORMATION

Now, don't let all this detailed travel information bog you down and discourage you.  We just want you to know what to expect and when to get things done.  Remember, you can always e-mail us with questions!




VISA REQUIREMENTS/DOCUMENTATION

The most current version of this information can be found at the following link: http://www.embaparusa.gov.py/v2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1290&Itemid=618

 

VISAS ON ARRIVAL: 

 

The NON-RESIDENT Visas on Arrival are provided at the "Silvio Pettirossi" International Airport in AsunciĆ³n, Paraguay. Those visas will only be valid for the maximum period of ninety (90) days.

 

The requirements to obtain the Visa on Arrival are:

1. Valid passport.

2. Payment IN CASH for the established amount.

 

Costs for the Visas on Arrival are as follows:

  • Citizens of AUSTRALIA U$S 135.00
  • Citizens of CANADA U$S 150.00
  • Citizens of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA U$S 160.00
  • Citizens of NEW ZELAND U$S 140.00
  • Citizens of REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN) U$S 100.00
  • Citizens of RUSSIA U$S 160.00

ONLY citizens of the countries listed above can obtained the Visa on Arrival. Citizens of other countries must apply in the following manner:

To obtain a non resident visa the applicant must

  1. Provide a current passport with an expiration date at least six months away.
  2. Have completed and signed the application.
  3. Provide a passport size photo.
  4. Flight itinerary.
  5. Provide official or company letter stating purpose of the trip, in case of an official or business trip.
  6. In the case of minors, the application has to be signed by both parents and presented along with the birth certificate of the minor. If the minor is traveling alone, with just one parent or a third party, an authorization signed before a notary public is requested, along with a copy of the ID cards of both parents.
  7. Pay the multiple entry visa fee of US$ 160.00, in cash or money order payable to the Embassy of Paraguay. No personal checks.
  8. It is mandatory that the applicant MUST appear in person when applying for VISAS to enter the Republic of Paraguay. For those applicants whom cannot appear in person, they might apply for VISAS ON ARRIVAL when they arrive at the “Silvio Pettirossi” International Airport in Asuncion-Paraguay, by paying the appropriate fee (160.00 US$). Visas requested by mail will NOT be granted.

 

Citizens of Great Britain and some Latin American countries do not need tourist visas.  CHECK WITH THE NEAREST CONSULATE AND WITH SIM PARAGUAY IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED.


 Depending on what state you live in, here is the contact information for the nearest Paraguayan consulate:

Citizen Information

Embassy and Consulates of Paraguay

Embassy of Paraguay - Washington, DC

2400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone : (202)Fax : (310) 417 9520
Email : consulpar@sbcglobal.net
Website: http://www.paraguayconsulatela.com/
Jurisdiction: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Alaska and Hawaii.

Consulate General of Paraguay - Miami

25 SE 2nd Avenue
Suite 705
Miami, FL 33131
Phone : (305) 374 9090
Fax : (305) 374 5522
Email : paraguay@bellsouth.net
Jurisdiction: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Puerto Rico, Bahamas and Caiman Islands.

Consulate General of Paraguay - New York

211 East 43rd Street
Suite 201
New York, NY 10017
Phone : (212) 682 9441
Fax : (212) 682 9443
Email : consulparny@aol.com
Jurisdiction: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Follow the link here for all information related to acquiring a multi-entry tourist visa: http://www.embaparusa.gov.py/visas_english.html
To obtain a non resident visa the applicant must 483 6960
Fax : (202) 234 4508
Email : secretaria@embaparusa.gov.py
Website: http://www.embaparusa.gov.py/
Jurisdiction: District of Columbia (DC), Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

Consulate General of Paraguay - Los Angeles

6033 Century Boulevard West
Suite 985
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone : (310) 417 9500






Your local address for your visa application/ contact information while here in Paraguay will be:
Sociedad Internacional Misionera
Cervantes 1001 esq./ Victor Hugo
Asuncion, Paraguay
Telefax: 595-21-292-240

Emergency Contact Numbers:
SIM office, Tom Stout-Director of SIM Paraguay – 595-21-292-240
Dr. Jeff McKissick- 595-984-700-542
Email: jeff.mckissick@sim.org

You will also need to sign a release of liability form from our mission, SIM, which we will email to you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

VACCINES

See the latest CDC recommendations  . We are NOT in a malaria endemic zone, except for the 2 days we travel to Brazil/ Argentina. Just use OFF and protective clothing. We do not recommend malaria prophylaxis for short or long term missionaries. We are in a Yellow Fever endemic area, so please do get this (at a travel medicine clinic or Dept of Public Health/ County hospital setting). Typhoid vaccine is also recommended in addition to the routine immunizations. Start these ASAP as some take months to complete the series! Do not worry about the rabies vaccine either.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

FINANCES

The finances you will have to raise to come here will vary a bit depending on your length of stay.  For a rough idea, we asked a recent intern who came for a month to bring $500.  That covers all your expenses while in Pargauay (minus a trip to Iguazu Falls).

DO NOT bring traveler’s cheques or personal checks. You must bring cash in US dollars. We will change them to Guaranies/ Reals/ Pesos as needed at local change houses.

We will take this money off your hands on the first day of the trip so that you will only be left carrying your spending money.

We will keep your travel documents and personal money in a safe place if you so choose.

Don;t forget to bring your own personal spending money for any souvenirs or extra food/ drinks outside of meal times together.

And remember, to include in your fundraising the cost of the airline ticket, vaccines expenses, passport and visa and priority mailing expenses, medical evacuation insurance coverage.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE PACKING:

- Limit what you bring to one bag and leave space to bring souvenirs back home

- Dending on what month you come, the weather will be very different (and remember, we are opposite seasons as those in the Northern hemisphere).  E-mail us and we can give you some specific temps.
 - You will be able to wear shorts of decent length on free time

- Dressy clothes aren’t needed. During times of ministry or church girls can wear pants, capris, or skirts.

- Clothes tend to get very dirty and red-stained so you may want to bring inexpensive clothing items. Your host family will be handwashing your laundry daily (provided there’s no rain).

- Shoes that you can get muddy and are good for walking in the mud
- Pocket Spanish/English dictionary

-Bring Spanish notes from past classes (brush up on Spanish ahead of time?)
- Bathing suit

- Mosquito repellant (no aerosol can)

- Sunscreen
-Alarm clock (so you can be on time for clinic!)

- If you are a light sleeper, you may need to bring ear plugs (for the all-night roaster crowing) and face mask (your family may sleep with the lights on)
- Rain coat/poncho

- Travel umbrella

- Your medicines (anti-diarrheal and antibiotics can be found easily and cheaply here)

- Small notebook for language learning

- Bible, maybe even a Spanish/English Bible
- Towel and wash cloth

- International calling card if you want to make phone calls (FYI past students have had little success with this)
- Water bottle/canteen
- Flashlight
- Our electricity runs on 220. People here are very conscious of their electrical bills. Anything that you bring that will plug in may be spending money that they don’t have especially if it is a heating (hair dryer) device.

- You will be around small kids in clinic, your families, neighborhood and church - you may want to bring colors and coloring books, stickers, bubbles, balloons, a craft, etc

- Youth in our church and community will be drawn to you so you may consider bringing games or ice breakers to do for youth group
- Our water comes from a deep community well. We drink it and offer it to our American visitors. However, you are welcome to bring a water filter or iodine tablets if you so desire.

- Stethoscope and blood pressure cuff if you have one already

- A watch with a second hand will be handy when doing vital signs

- Do not bring a computer or other expensive electronics

- You will not need malaria prophylaxis medicine in this region of Paraguay (www.cdc.gov)

- Make and bring a copy of your passport tucked in your suitcase. That way, if your passport gets misplaced you will have an easier time replacing it.

- Past interns have spent an average of $200 on souvenirs and gifts for supporters

- Enough memory/storage device for all your picture taking

- Games are a fun way to interact with Paraguayans and your host families
-Bring a positive attitude, go with the flow, don’t grumble or complain, be humble, be willing to learn, be prepared to not be able to communicate as well as you would like, get ready for some real fun and be praying for God to open your eyes to some new perspectives.

- Bring a small gift for your host family like dish towels, pot holders, pictures frames, table cloths, something special from your home state, etc. You may also enjoy bringing special foods to share with your family like fixin's for s'mores, Mac and Cheese, pancake mix, trail mix, candies, gum, etc

-Past students have enjoyed cooking an American meal for their host families.Consider bringing spices or other ingredients that you may not be able to find here.
- Your host family will love to see pictures of your family and of your home state. It will be a great way to practice language