Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International (BMDMI) is a faith-based international mission organization with its office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. BMDMI’s mission is to evangelize the lost, disciple the saved, and minister to the needs of the poor. BMDMI accomplishes this mission through its 41 full-time missionaries in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Nepal, short-term volunteer teams performing medical, surgical, construction, veterinary and evangelistic missions, and more than 130 indigenous churches it has planted in Honduras and Nicaragua. Although the original founders were Baptists and BMDMI operates on traditional Baptist beliefs, believers from other Christian denominations play vital roles in BMDMI’s ministry.
Since BMDMI’s beginnings in 1974, more than 120,000 people have accepted Christ as their Savior through its ministries and more than two million needy patients have been treated. Last year (2013), BMDMI missionaries and volunteers working together with Honduran doctors treated 140,000 people in BMDMI’s hospital, clinics and medical brigades, including over 12,000 dental patients; performed 665 surgeries; dispensed almost 500,000 prescriptions; gave away over 20,600 eyeglasses; treated over 10,700 animals; completed 22 construction projects; distributed 30,000 bibles; and witnessed almost 10,000 people deciding to follow Christ.
Among the ongoing ministries managed by full-time missionaries are: two children’s homes provide a loving home to abused, handicapped, abandoned and orphaned children, the Good Shepherd Children’s Home (GSCH) in Honduras (about 100 children), and the Emmanuel Children’s Home in Nicaragua (55 girls); two Christian schools provide a quality education in a positive, caring environment, the Mount of Olives Christian Academy in Nicaragua (330 students) and the Good Shepherd Christian Academy in Honduras (120 students); two transition homes for young persons transitioning from the GSCH to independent living; a hospital in Honduras offering year-round twenty-four hour emergency services, labor and delivery services, and primary clinic care and surgical procedures from gallbladder removal to hysterectomies; several full-time clinics, one of which specializes in the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes; eyeglass ministries; two Bible Institutes to equip pastors and lay church leaders to better minister in their local churches; numerous adult educational and vocational training opportunities in an effort to break the cycle of poverty; providing clean safe water to schools and communities; feeding programs for pastors’ families and single mothers; a women’s prison ministry; women’s ministries; children’s ministries; counseling services to children at GSCH; and numerous discipleship and pastoral training opportunities.
BMDMI’s flagship ministry is short-term volunteer missi ons, many which take place in remote villages. Over 3200 team members are expected to volunteer on nearly 100 teams in 2014 meeting many physical and spiritual needs of the poor. The services these teams provide are often the only medical and dental attention some people receive. These short-term teams also provide the financial support for Project Life, a ministry that provides specialized medical care for patients in their home country or the U.S. (i.e. open-heart surgery, orthopedic surgery, cleft palate surgery, burn treatment, and eye surgery). This ministry brings hope to those who had little hope of living a productive, full life.
The needs in these developing countries are so great. Many In Central America lack the basics of food, shelter, medical/dental care, and education. Corrupt government officials, poor infrastructure and public services (health care and education especially) and extreme underemployment and poverty rob the hope from most, leading to innumerable men trapped in addiction, women and children subjected to terrible abuse, countless kids begging and peddling goods in the streets (or even worse, abandoned), widespread crime, and extensive gang activity. There is little or no access to health care. Many must walk hours over rough, mountain terrain to see a doctor or dentist. Public education is substandard and fewer than 40% of children complete primary school, primarily because the family can’t afford the required uniforms and school supplies or because they are needed to provide financially for the family. Honduras has (by far) the highest per capita murder rate in the world. Drug trafficking and drug cartels, with their associated gang activities, have fueled this violence. School children are recruited to work as their foot soldiers and many businesses are forced to close because of the danger and increased cost of doing business. And there’s almost no point in getting educated because there are too few jobs. Many live in terrible conditions, powerless to change their situation.
With each ministry opportunity, BMDMI shares the message of love and hope in Jesus Christ. In the face of overwhelming daily struggles, a relationship with Christ is the hope that will never forsake. BMDMI is making a world of difference in the lives of many. BMDMI is truly More than Medicine. – Eric Duplantis