Health Talents International Newsletter
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Life changing scholarship
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Issue: # 1February, 2015

The results of your work in Guatemala are often immediately evident - eyes that see or cleft lips repaired.  But in this issue we see results of long term help through the ABC program and scholarships to deserving young people.  Good news indeed!
ABC Receiver Becomes ABC Giver
Manuela with 2 of her ABC patients
This year our ABC program will grow to include as many as 860 children and our scholarship programs are helping provide 22 Christian hearts with higher education.  Below is a message from one such student, Manuela Ixquiactap Tambriz, Bates scholar and dental school graduate.  We will let Manuela's sweet heart speak to you about the difference ABC and Bates have made in her life...

"I am so happy to have the opportunity to tell you about the privilege I had this past year to care for Samuel and Emanuel, two ABC children.  It was a special honor to me since I was an ABC child myself. It means so much to give back in this way, knowing that the treatments I provide to these children are gifts from God, as is being a part of ABC.

As a little girl I had dreams, one of those was to become a dentist. My mother is a dental technician and she, along with others, have inspired me to fight for my dreams.  To the glory of my God, what was once a dream is now, becoming a beautiful reality. My heart is filled with such happiness knowing that I can be useful to these children. I love God, I love the ABC program, and I love the ministry of HTI because since I was little I have been a part of this wonderful ministry and have been blessed physically, financially, and above all spiritually.  I give thanks to everyone for the unconditional support you have shown me, for this great opportunity to be a Bates Scholar and now a graduate from dental school beginning my year of government service.  So long as God allows me to do so, I will do everything I can to bless others as I have been blessed."

Manuela Ixquiactap Tambriz
translated by Julie Wheetley


First Jackson C. Coker Scholarship Presented
The first recipient of the Jackson C. Coker scholarship is Josue Alvarez of Pacaja Xesic, Guatemala.  Josue was presented a certificate and a panoramic otoscope for use in medical schooland eventually in his practice as a physician. Josue is pictured here with HTI Board Member, Dr. Scott Smith and Rick Harper.

On December 5, 2014, The Coker Group, Shumard Foundation and Health Talents International jointly announced a new scholarship honoring Jackson C. Coker, the recently deceased founder of Jackson C. Coker, and The Coker Group. Jack was a pioneer in the medical consulting industry, strong advocate for children's adopting services and supporter of Christian education. He served on the board of trustees for Harding University and Georgia Agape, and as an elder in three different congregations.

The scholarship has two components, one will award three students from Harding University's Health Sciences' programs with a scholarship to participate in a short-term mission trip to Guatemala with Health Talents each year. Upon graduation, these newly licensed healthcare providers are eligible for two additional scholarship on their second and third mission trips with Health Talents.  A second component is embedded within our Bates Scholarship Program that awards scholarships for students to study medicine in Guatemala and also carries with it a special gift over and above the scholarship funding support.


Dr. Kent Brantley Shares Spiritual Recovery Story
Dr. Kent Brantley

You've no doubt heard the astonishing story of Dr. Kent Brantley's recovery from the Ebola virus he contracted while serving as a full time missionary to Liberia. You may not realize that he interned for Health Talents in 2010.   Recently at the IHCF missions conference in Dallas, he answered questions from medical students who are considering spending their lives in
service to God in the mission field.

Student:  Talk about your spiritual recovery as it might be helpful to others

Dr. Brantley:  Dr. David Smith, President and CEO of Christian Medical and Dental Association has said to different groups "you don't have to worry about dying when you go over there if you've already died before you leave".  I really appreciated that perspective, to say, 'remember, you already died to Christ, you are a new creation in Christ'.  You don't have to worry about dying since you already died once.  I'm pretty sure I heard him say that before I went over there, but I've heard him say it multiple times since I got back.  That has been a helpful truth to return to.

Student:  What advice do you have for undergrads, those going to medical school?

Dr. Brantley: This may sound ridiculous to you, in the shoes you are in now, but I would say, take your spiritual preparation as seriously as you take your academic and medical preparation.  Go to church. I can't tell you how many residents I saw, or friends and co-workers when I was a resident, who at some point had said they would like to do medical mission work, then through 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school and 4,5 or 6 years of residency, they got busy and chose to do other things than go to church because it was not convenient, it was not in their schedule, they had a big test on Monday.  But my church family during residency and medical school played a critical role in helping me nurture that calling in my life to stay involved in a community of faith in the body of Christ so that people around you are helping you go the right direction because it is really easy to get distracted.  

Student:  What are your plans for the future?

Dr. Brantley: We do have several speaking engagements over the next few months.  We feel like this is a unique season of life.  We've been given a forum and opportunity to speak, not just to groups like this, but people that don't normally invite Christians to tell their story, so we want to be faithful stewards of that opportunity, but we recognize it will end someday (some days I pray it will end sooner than others).  Our hearts (my wife and I) our heart is to hear God's calling because He called us to be long term medical missionaries.  So, that is what we plan to be doing.  We don't know if that will be in Liberia, or somewhere else, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.