Nursing Students Meet Spiritual, Physical Needs in Mexico

For several Oklahoma Baptist University nursing majors, the chance to serve on a mission trip in Oaxaca, Mexico, during January Term provided the students the opportunity to not only meet spiritual needs by sharing God's Word, but also to meet physical needs by practicing their medical skills.

For Taylor Dickinson, a senior nursing major from Enid, Okla., going on a medical mission trip was an opportunity to live out his faith.

"I wanted to go on a medical mission trip and be able to share not only God's Word, but actually live it and show it to others," he said. "I felt that here in the United States nursing is something I get paid to do, but when I go out of the country, the willingness to serve God and his people is very exciting."

Ryan Cox, a junior nursing major from Sand Springs, Okla., said he wanted to participate in a mission trip not only to serve God's people, but also as a platform to expand his education. The Mexico trip offered opportunities for both.

OBU student Ryan Cox checks the vitals of a young boy during a recent medical missions trip to Mexico. Cox is a junior nursing major from Sand Springs, Okla. The trip was facilitated by OBU's Center for Global Outreach.

The team traveled to Mexico as part of a group sponsored by OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach. Each team member said they felt God calling them to serve on a mission trip during J-term. Cox and Dickinson said that OBU's GO Center, along with the OBU School of Nursing, helped prepare them for the experience.

"OBU prepares its nurses well to go out into the world, even in the infancy of our experience in the program, to provide care and compassion to the patients entrusted to us," Dickinson said.

The group conducted free medical work for three local villages. They served hundreds of people. The team was able to assess and diagnosis patients and get useful experience in the world of medicine.

Along with helping meet the medical needs of those they encountered, the team also connected to the people through worship. Many members of the team said that one of the highlights of the trip was to hear people worship God in various languages.

"It was so cool to see the same God listening to his children in so many different languages," Cox said.

OBU student Amy Tupper (right), a senior from Winlock, Wash., joins a medical missions team as they treat people in Mexico. Tupper, a nursing student at OBU, traveled to Mexico during January Term for the opportunity to meet people's physical and spiritual needs.

For Dickinson, a highlight of the trip was the opportunity to work alongside with someone who spoke a different language while providing medical care.

"I really learned how to work with others who you cannot communicate with in words," he said. "Being able to work side by side to someone who speaks a different language and being able to provide adequate nursing and medical skills was something that will translate into my practice as a nurse when I get into the professional field and when I deal with clients whose English is not their primary language."

For more information about the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, go online to