“Neuchatel’s Church’s annual picnic and open air service was distinguished in two ways this year” writes Dianne Cox from the English speaking church, near Berne. “The heat had us all melting. But more importantly we were delighted to have our CMS sponsored link missionary with us for the whole weekend. Neuchatel church has supported Beryl for many years so it was a great delight to meet her in person. For her part she was delighted to meet us also and to visit beautiful Switzerland, a very different place from Paraguay where she works as a nurse.
“Nurse Beryl Baker offers the only hope of medical treatment to around 18,000 indigenous people in the Paraguayan Chaco. She has dedicated 35 years of her life to this area and describes herself as ‘orderly, gynecologist, midwife and dentist’, treating anything from TB to gunshot wounds and snakebite. Government funding provides some medicines but offers little else in the way of support.
“The word chaco in Spanish comes from the Quechua word chaqu meaning “hunting land”. It refers to a sparsely-populated lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, and covers over half the total area of Paraguay. The Chaco lack all basic infrastructure and modern amenities. The vast majority of people are living at subsistence level based on cattle farming.
“The challenges associated with working in this area are immense. Getting medicines of any kind is difficult. Beryl supplies a chain of health workers, trained by her, who live in Indian communities so help can be immediate. As well as medicines the money goes on transport and sometimes funding operations and even supplying basic food to patients as government funds often arrive late.
“This was such an encouraging and humbling experience for us to meet Beryl and hear of her perseverance, dedication and care for the people with whom she works. But above all what inspired us was her love of Jesus which challenged us all.”
Thanks, Dianne, for sharing this inspiring faith story with us.