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Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 02:49 PM UTC

Medical missions team in search of volunteers

Groups & Organizations By Kelly Griffith - Medical missions give doctors, dentists, opticians and nurses the chance to see the world and help those in need. For one Garner resident, medical missions mean the opportunity to spread the gospel while serving others. Doug Hinton, a retired Raleigh police officer is planning a trip to San Blas Islands in Panama May 2-9 with the Christian Emergency Relief Team. The team leader for the upcoming trip has worked with CERT International for more than 20 years since he retired, traveling to 18 different countries and offering aid by means of free medical care, food, clothing, building churches and drilling wells. The May trip will take health professionals and missionaries to Mulatupu Island and the jungle villages of Mansucum and Navadandi. Members of the Kuna tribe live in these remote places and Hinton said he expects to see between 700 and 1,100 for assistance during the week-long mission. “When they know you’re there, they come out of the woodwork,” he said. (more)

Some of the Kuna people will walk as much as two to three days to get to a medical station or one of the visited jungle villages.

Hinton has about 10 people scheduled for the trip currently, which is sponsored by CERT International, Mid-Way Baptist Church and VIDA Ministries. Still, Hinton’s team needs to find more help before the end of February. In order to get approval of medical staff and supplies, Hinton must submit paperwork to Panama 45 days in advance.

He hopes to find one to two more doctors and at least one optometrist. However, Hinton would be happy to have anyone from a medical field attend the trip.

“Anybody that wants to go can go,” he said. “It’s an amazing trip just to go.”

Even those without a medical background can be of use on the 30-person team. Each doctor will need an assistant to run to and from the pharmacy with medicines and supplies.

Hinton started with CERT International because he felt that he didn’t have the patience it would take to become a minister. Still, he wanted to do mission work in places where no one else would go. He started taking trips to Honduras with the organization and now takes two to three trips each year.

Anyone interested in going on the trip can contact Doug at 919-538-6372 or by email at

Can’t go on the trip, but still want to help? All of the monetary donations for the trip go to the program. The trip costs $1,500 per person and any money extra goes to local missionaries in Panama.

Anyone wanting to give to the mission trip can make checks out to Mid-Way Baptist Church, specifying that it is for the May 2-9 mission trip to Panama. Checks should be sent to the church, located at 6910 Fayetteville Road Raleigh, NC 27603.

“It’s a worthy cause,” Hinton said.

On the trips he has taken, Hinton has seen between 300 and 400 accept Christ as their savior. He believes he was meant for this kind of work.

“I can do that better than I can be a pastor in a church,” he said.

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