Mauricio Urena, the physician in charge of medical care for Talamanca, believes in and works for better medical care with the message of salvation through both government clinics and missions.
Their names are Jones, Whited, Kennedy, Orozco, Urena
, and they stand with people they have brought to the battlefield.
Left to right: John Whited, Mauricio Urena
,MD, David Jones with his sons, Levi and Andrew, and Ken Orozco.
, known as Mauricia or "Mau" to his
many friends, received a vision from God to serve the indigenous peoples of Talamanca
six years ago.Despite many opportunities to go elsewhere to work less hours for better pay, he
has stayed true to his
is employed by the government and has several responsibilities, including the indigenous tribes.He
plans on continuing service to the same area, possibly coordinating medical mission teams into Talamanca
was the moving force behind joining the forces of the Joneses, the Orozcos, AguaViva Ministries
(John Whited and myself), and the government medical supplies for the first time.
Bad signs were that the buildings were poorly constructed, the children never smiled, and the first question directed to Dr. Urena
was the start of a litany of complaints about why more hadn't been done for them in the past.
gave me a short course in Costa Rican medications and served as a terrific resource in diagnosis and treatment of common local skin conditions.He
pointed out observations regarding public health matters, like the birth weight of the children, and the timeliness of their vaccinations.He
also had some practical recommendations: everybody had lice, and everybody had parasites.After they had treatment for those ailments we could ask what was wrong with them.By the end of the day we had seen about a hundred people.
The most serious problem was a middle aged man who kept falling down.I examined him and felt he
had cervical spondylitic myelopathy---spinal cord compression from disks and bone spurs in his
was called over for consultation.Although he
agreed my diagnosis was the most likely if I were examining a patient in Florida, he
suggested I remember where I was.Wasn't it more likely that he
had cystercercosis (cyst in the brain that come from the pork tapeworm)?We both agreed that MRI scans would be advisable.All we had to do to get that to happen was to have this poor soul limp the two day hike to the nearest road, take the bus to Bribri where Mauricio
would see him, and then arrange for an MRI in San Jose (a five hour bus trip), and then if we were correct, arrange for a Neurosurgery appointment in San Jose, and a place for him to stay before, during and after treatment.
But David was reminding me, in the same way that Mauricio
had reminded me in the morning, that we were not in Florida.
...Mauricio laid out a vision of improved communication and medical care, and ease in registering their children as citizens in the far off town of Bribri.
presentation by telling everyone that they would be treated to the best of our medical abilities and resources, but also that prayer was available to all, and they were also welcome to join us for prayers and praise in the evening.
I was medically subservient to the skills, knowledge and vision of Dr. Urena
One evening in Bajo Bley, I told Mauricio
how much I appreciated his
knowledge and skill, his
great heart and his
great vision for health care of poor people of the Talamanca
calling to me, and then he
said, "But I would not have come here if you had not come.It is hard enough to practice medicine where you know the language and the common illnesses, but you have made a great effort to come and do a difficult thing.I don't think I would have come if you had not come this time and your other trips."
So there it is: We are all God's workmanship.I started in missions as an evangelist, I continued as a physician, but my value was as an encourager.Anna is uniquely made for the Serapiqui mission, John carries skills in construction, outdoors, and Spanish, Mauricio
carries a vision and skill for better health of God's lost peoples in Talamanca
, and David is uniquely made for witnessing to the Cabecar tribe.