Dr. Ruben Ibarra – a missionary doctor from Paraguay

Ruben Ibarra slider

His wife Marlene Rojas de Ibarra is a teacher at our school

Dr Ibara could spend a whole evening talking about his life and no one present would yawn or secretly look at his/her watch.  His father’s side of the family comes from Spain, his mother’s from Poland.  For six years he was only the doctor of a hospital in a Mennonite Colony in Eastern Paraguay.  Another nine years he helped a missionary hospital in its pioneer phase.  The GP also performed caesarians and removed several appendices.  Countless times in stressful nights the only thing he could rely on was himself; no not quite, Ruben trusted God.  He is a born-again Christian, who believes in a living God, whom he experiences in his life.

Then in 2009 a visitor from Peru comes to his church in Paraguay and mentions a missionary hospital in the South Peruvian hills, founded by a German Doctor couple, who had one thing as their starting capital: their faith in an Almighty God.  Ruben, who was sitting in the congregation, suddenly feels a tug at his heart-strings.

Familia Ibarra
The Ibarra family from Paraguay is now living in Curahuasi.

Family Ibarra from Paraguay, now they live in a small hillside village in Southern Peru.

Four years later, on the 26th September 2013, a friend invites him to a pastors’ conference in Asunción.  Ruben is not quite sure why he as a medic should attend.  The topic of one workshop is: “The hospital of Faith in Peru”.  While the speaker with a German accent was narrating Diospi Suyana’s wonderful story something clicked with Dr Ibarra.  Ruben said: “At that moment something happened to me that I have never forgotten since!”

A personal talk with the speaker followed the presentation.  “In Peru there are roughly 50,000 doctors, 10% of which would say they are born-again Christians,” a certain Dr John tells him, “but hardly any of them are prepared to worked miles away from Lima with the Quechua Indians.  Where is the commitment of the Latino-Christians?”  This final sentence knocked Ruben for six.  He is a Latino.  Might it be his calling to help at Diospi Suyana?

In February 2016 for labour-law reasons the administration of the Mennonite Colony advises Ruben to hand in his notice.  They offer him further training in Argentina after which he could return to their hospital.  At his house that night Ruben is wondering what he should do.  Suddenly it hits him like a flash: Diospi Suyana.

That was eleven months ago.  Ruben now lives with his wife and their children Roy (14) and Fiuralla (12) in Curahuasi.  They would like to spend the next two years working for Diospi Suyana.  They have no salary, but are supported by friends’ donations.

“I am so thankful to be here,” says Dr. Ibarra, “the patients are so thankful!”  We share this feeling of thankfulness, for we see Ruben and Marlene as a present from God for Diospi Suyana.

Patienten von Ruben Ibarra slider
All these patients are waiting to be seen by Dr. Ibarra.
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