|Photo credit: Royden Lepp|
I have met and dealt with several curandeiros over the years (probably even more than I know). I have treated and prayed for them too, both of which they are very open to. Although their beliefs and rituals are of concern, ultimately they also want to see improvement in those they "treat". That's our aim too, and on this common ground we hope to establish a relationship and atmosphere where we can talk and teach about health issues they come across that are of concern to both them and us. There have been many cases where the person in their care was very ill, and getting worse, and we have been able to reach agreement to take the sick person to hospital. As a result, lives have been saved. So we do have credibility with them, and on that success, we are moving into a closer circle where we can impact them and their practices for a healthier community and even more lives saved.
I must just say that I have never attempted this before, but I (we) are compelled by the desperate health needs we see. We desire to reach out not only for the sake of the community at large, but to the curandeiros individually as well. We've thought about this opportunity and talked about it for quite awhile, and now the door is open and our next steps will be taken both carefully and prayerfully.