Dr. Luz Elena Falla
Bethel Clinic and Medical Outreach
- Consultation in general medicine to all people at Clínica Comunitaria Frutos de Fe.
- Free consult for students attending Colegio Bethel.
- Home visits to elderly and disabled.
- Remote Villages visits providing consultation and medications.
- Coordination Medical Mission Team visit from Anchorage.
- Amigos por Jesus: food drive, auto sustainable programs for the poor.
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia on February 14th, 1963, in a Catholic family, being the youngest of six children. I went to a female catholic school until I graduated from high school. During these precious years, I had many deep spiritual moments at retreats and masses that kept me interested in a religious life. At age sixteen, I had a strong desire of becoming a nun. I had great admiration to mother Teresa and I wanted to be like her. When making the decision, my father wanted to give me other alternatives and I decided to participate in an exchange student program and went to California, graduating from Coachella Valley High School in 1981. Somehow, there was a new desire in my heart to become a physician before going to the convent. I loved to go to youth groups and belonged to the Charismatic Catholic Renovation living with great joy and power from the Holy Spirit.
With the guidance of our Lord, I started medical school in 1982, graduating in 1988. By the end of this year I had to choose where to go for the social service required before getting my license. I decided to go to the Amazon area, in the middle of the rain forest. What a marvelous year!!!!. Walking with the vaccines and equipment around the rapids of these dangerous rivers, being careful with the snakes and eating canned food for a week until the next plane came to bring us more supplies, God showed His mercy, provision and protection over the team in many different ways. Most of the mission churches were Catholic but I was not prepared to evangelize. Nevertheless, the Indians, the forest and the need of the people got deep into my heart. At this time, my desire of being a nun became dormant and my love life took over.
After that year, I got married and God blessed us with two beautiful girls, Maria Susana and Melissa who are my most precious gifts from God. I went back to school and got a degree in Quality Health Management in 1997. The political and criminal situation in Colombia led us to make the decision of going to the United States, looking for a better and more secure future for our daughters. We took our chances and went to the States with a tourist visa in 1999. My husband was able to work with a temporary business visa which cost us a fortune.
Unfortunately, the difficult times tore our marriage apart. I found myself with my 2 girls, without a job and in a foreign country. I moved to Miami, close to a cousin, went back to school and had the opportunity to receive my RN license in 2002 at Miami Dade Community College, the door that opened my way for work permit, green card, residency and after 11 years, citizenship! By that time, after a strong spiritual battle, I became Protestant. Knowing the Word of God was the experience that changed my relationship with God. We lived in Eustis, Florida, northwest of Orlando and as my daughters grew up happily enjoying the American life, I found myself with an empty nest in 2013. I knew it was my time to think about myself and what I wanted the most. In the US we found the real American dream, God blessed us every step of the way, and still my desire to work for the poor was alive and stronger in my solitude.
As I was looking for a missionary life, I found Proyecto Fe online. After Joe LoMonaco invited me to come with a mission team, three years passed before I made the decision to come on my first missionary trip to San Pedro in 2015, but from the minute I saw the dock and the beautiful people waving at us, I knew that this was what God was calling me to, and I was ready!!! Six months later, I was back with all my belongings, two boxes and 3 suitcases. Since November 2015, I started my new journey of becoming a missionary. God has graciously showed me the way and each day has been a blessing in itself.
The clinic and the medical visits to remote mountain and coastal villages keep me busy and I have received so much more than what I have been able to give. The good Lord is teaching me new experiences every day, with every patient and every activity that draws me closer to Him. Being a bridge between the giving hearts of the Alaskan people and the people of San Pedro and other areas, is the most rewarding feeling, one I have not experienced before. God has been careful in giving me the assurance of His call and I am learning how to walk with Him so his name can be exalted through the blessings He gives to all of us.