Dr Pablo McKeown is the Medical & Dental Clinics Coordinator for Living Water Adopt-A-Child in Guatemala, but his journey began back in the very first days of what was then Living Water Ministries in the early 1980s.
Born in 1963, Pablo grew up in the town of Zacualpa in the Quiche Mountains of Guatemala. He and his sister were brought up by their grandmother who, despite very limited resources, gave them all that she could and taught them the importance of respecting and helping their fellow human beings. Pablo’s dream of becoming a doctor was born from seeing the needs of the people around him, including the suffering of his own grandmother. His dream became a daily prayer request as he wanted to contribute and help his family and his community.
That prayer was answered when Missionaries Mack & Peggy McKeown started the Adopt-A-Child programme in Guatemala in 1981 and took Pablo and his sister under their wing, not just sponsoring them, but legally adopting them as their own. They taught Pablo about the Christian faith and that God had a purpose for his life. He went on to study medicine at San Carlos University in the United States and graduated as a doctor in 1993.
Despite the many opportunities available to use his skills in the commercial world of medicine, Pablo returned to work among his own people in Quiche, Guatemala, fulfilling his promise to God to help his own community if God answered his prayer to become a doctor. He went to work for Living Water Adopt-A-Child, setting up the first medical clinic in the village of Chixocol. It was a challenge in the early days, persuading people to trust in this ‘new’ medicine instead of resorting to the local witch doctor for help, but through time that trust grew, helped by the fact that Dr Pablo was one of their own.
Dr Pablo now oversees two more clinics in Antigua and Guatemala City, with another doctor, a dentist and several medical technicians on his team, providing basic medical and dental care for all the children registered on our programmes, and their families. As well as seeing patients in the clinics, they also regularly hold consultations at the 10 programme centres in Guatemala.
The last 18 months of the pandemic have been extremely busy for Dr Pablo and our medical teams as they have sought to help as many people as possible. The country’s very limited healthcare system was rapidly overwhelmed with covid cases and most of the people could not afford the medical help even if they could get it. At considerable risk to themselves, our teams have continued to go out to deliver medicines and help wherever they can in the communities where we have programmes.
Dr Pablo is one of the first fruits of the Living Water Adopt-A-Child programme in Guatemala, making a real difference in his community and treasuring the help and support that he received through the programme to enable him to achieve his dream.
If you would like to help with our medical work in Guatemala, visit the projects page of our website and click on the ‘Medical/Dental Needs’ or ‘Starfish Fund’ tabs:
Or sponsor a child who could one day turn out to be another Dr Pablo: