In early March of 2020, I was able to visit El Salvador for one week with my wife Krystal and a small but amazing team of pastoral and medical personnel committed to sharing the love of Christ through medicine on what would be my first mission trip.

The first day of the trip consisted of community outreach where we brought food to families in remote areas that were of significant need so we can better understand the community we would be serving medically.

The following two days we held a medical clinic that included medical, dental, physical therapy, vision as well as pharmacological needs partnering with Salvadorean providers to serve about 300 individuals in the community.

On the last day, we held educational talks about topics such as oral health, hydration, and clean water. We gave away 50 water purification systems to families who otherwise would have had to go to great measures to get clean drinking water. One system, if used correctly, can last up to 10 years which is quite impressive!

Throughout our trip, we spent time with orphaned children affiliated with the amazing ministry of La Casa De Mi Padre (My Father’s House International). The Ministry takes care of many children who were separated from their families oftentimes due to tragic reasons.

Although I was nervous leaving the country and not knowing what to expect having never been on a mission trip before, as well as being the only person with a physical therapy background, it was my wife Krystal who has been on several that really piqued my interest in going on a medical missions trip myself to see what they were like. Reflecting upon the trip on my way home, I can say that there is nothing quite like serving individuals that are in need and it was an amazing chance to be the hands and feet of Christ in a very tangible way. Seeing their joy and appreciation as well as being able to let them know that there is a God in heaven that cares greatly about them was reward enough. I returned home very motivated to finish school which can seem like a chore at times so that I can more properly use my skills to continue to help people improve their musculoskeletal health. This trip is one that I will remember for quite some time.

Matthew Mattox
2nd-year Physical Therapy Student