Veterinarians have a unique skill set that is valued by people everywhere. Everyone wants their animals to be healthy but not every community has access to the professional skills of Veterinarian professionals. Christians Veterinary Mission provides the opportunity for these angels in disguise to help people in faraway places care for their animals, building relationships, bringing economic stability and strengthening communities.
CVM sends veterinarian students and professionals to remote areas in the U.S. and to over 30 countries around the world. They do much more than doctor animals. They provide sustainable training and equitable participation as well as spiritual encouragement in places where there are no local Vets. Whether a veterinarian professional travels for a short period of time or makes a long term commitment, they invest in the survival of the people and communities they serve.
Veterinarian Dr. Page Wages has led multiple short term teams to the remote areas of Alaska. It often takes four separate plane trips just to arrive at some of the communities she has served. Dr. Wages, along with a small team of veterinarian professionals and student set up small clinics to meet the needs of the village animals and of the people who care for them. The people are grateful for the veterinary services provided but also for the friendship and spiritual encouragement that the team brings with them.
“One of the older adults told us that the elders would tell the community to treat any visitors as they would an ‘Angel from Heaven’” says Dr. Wages, “because they could be ‘Angels in disguise checking up on the village’. That is how they viewed us! Once, when we were stranded in that village for an extra day due to a blizzard, the whole village took care of us!”
Each trip has its unique challenges such as uncooperative weather and flight delays. Setting up temporary clinics requires a daily flexibility and openness to meet the needs they are surprised with each morning. They begin the day by delivering face to face invitations door to door to the people in the community. They are often invited into the homes and by meeting the needs of their animals, it opens up the opportunity to build trust and friendships. The clinics can last several days.
Working with partners such as Nutramax, Christian Veterinary Mission is able to bring Veterinary services to the tiniest villages and remotest places. By providing Rabies prevention, surgeries, vaccinations and other medical support they serve the community and close relationships are built with each member of the village. These angels in disguise are bringing even more as they share hope, encouragement and faith with villages in rural Alaska.