Medical Mission: SMA Senior Travels to Paraguay

Last month, I had the opportunity to go with my grandfather [A.D. “Al” Hethcock, 1950 SMA graduate and current Trustee] to Paraguay for a medical mission trip. We went as representatives of the Paraguay Baptist Medical Center Foundation. My family has been a part of this organization for many years. I was excited to finally have a chance to serve and witness God’s work in South America.

Medical Mission Team Takes Supplies, Operates Clinics

The team goes every other year, because it takes about a year to plan. Hundreds of pounds of medicines, medical supplies, and eyeglasses must be donated, then arranged by the medical staff that will be running the clinics.

The team conducts 5 clinics during the week, ranging from inside the capital city of Asuncion to a 3 hour drive to rural communities. All the clinics are hosted by a local church. Each clinic received approximately 300 individuals looking for care. Over the week, there were 200 individuals that prayed to receive Christ.

My role was to take photos, film, work in the eye clinic, and play with the kids. It was an amazing experience. As you have heard before, people who serve usually receive the bigger blessing. We all received way more than we gave, and we were exhausted every night.

Medical Mission: Spreading Joy

The people that we shared with and worked for had such an appreciation for what they received. There was a sense of joy in the lives of the kids that have little in comparison to their spoiled American neighbors to the north . . . us. I have to admit that I was a bit embarrassed when thinking about the issues that we get so bent out of shape over. We take a lot for granted.

I’m glad that I had this amazing experience. Everyone needs to take an opportunity to serve in foreign missions, especially young people in my opinion. It completely takes the focus off of you and puts it on what God is doing.

If you are interested in being a part of the next Paraguay mission trip, please visit or email a letter of interest to

–By Devon Hethcock, SMA Class of 2017