The Roca Blanca Missions Base was founded in 1990 by missionaries Duane and Sue Kershner. Duane and Sue had been involved for many years in developing relationships and ministering along the coast of Oaxaca. They founded and pastored three churches in Kansas before God called them to come full-time to live in Oaxaca, Mexico and to establish a missions base there in order to evangelize among the many ethnic groups and to disciple pastors and leaders for the churches in southern Oaxaca. (see rocablanca.org for more detail about the history of the mission base).
In 1991, Laura Pratt, a missionary nurse, joined Duane and Sue’s missions team for the purpose of offering preventive health care in some of the surrounding villages. Because the health needs were so great and access to health services very difficult in the area, it was necessary to begin offering consultations and medical care for the patients who were seeking help. This was possible through visits by physicians from Mexico and the U.S. periodically, and through nursing clinics to offer basic services when no physician was available.
The first “clinic” was set up in the eating area of the missions base by hanging sheets and using boxes of stored meds for the pharmacy. From the very beginning, believers accompanied in the nursing clinics to evangelize and pray for the sick along with the consultations being given. Many patients have come to a saving faith in Christ through the contacts made in the clinics. This is the real heart of the medical ministry – to reach the patients with the message of the Gospel and see them not only healed physically but also spiritually made whole.
After 3 years of working out of the boxes and hanging sheets, we decided that it was time to think of building a structure to at least house the medications. Once that decision was made, God began to provide to make the clinic building a reality.
We could not mention all of the many persons who contributed to make the clinic a reality, but would like to mention one family, Drs. Ted and Karolyn Cook. Our clinic is named the Corban Clinic in memory of their son, Corban Jonathan Cook. Corban died of sudden infant death syndrome at 4 months of age, and the Cook family donated all memorial gifts received at the time of his death to build the Corban Clinic. The clinic was inaugurated on the one year anniversary of Corban’s death, and his parents came and spoke to dedicate the new clinic. There is a plaque over the entrance to the clinic with John 12:24 engraved – “Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abides alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit.” Corban’s short life has born much fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Over 100,000 patients have been attended in the Corban Clinic, and many of those have come to faith in Christ and His power to save and to heal.