Join us in TEMPE every Sunday morning at 8:50 for Sacred Space or 10:00 for our traditional service.

The 2024 Medical Mission to Tochimizolco represented the 36th year since the first trip was held in 1989, returning annually except for 2020-2022 during which Tochimizolco was quarantined due to COVID-19 concerns. Dayspring sent 18 volunteers and Grace Church in Olathe, KS, sent 12.  Between the two groups, we had a total of eight primary care providers (PCPs) and one pharmacist – not counting our new resident physician, Dr. Oscar Zecua – which allowed us to staff six clinics and allow providers to take breaks or do some house calls.  Our two Nurse Practitioners, Michelle and Teresa, provided concierge-level care to our kitchen ladies and their husbands, who worked tirelessly to feed and care for us.  An additional five nurses staffed patient intake and triaging. 

In addition, the staff of Give Ye Them To Eat (GYTTE), an initiative of the United Methodist Church in Mexico and which Dayspring has faithfully supported for over two decades, provided health education, child care, and nutritious snacks for the staff and patients waiting to be seen.  Eleven dental students under the tutelage of oral surgeon, Dr. Aldrin, at the local university assisted Dr. Veronica Rosas in caring for the dental patients. Over 100 individuals collaborated as volunteers to provide care to the people of Tochimizolco and the surrounding villages. 

Here is a summary of our impact during this week:

  • Medical Clinic Visits – 450
  • Prescriptions Filled – 643
  • Dental Clinic Visits – 484 For the first time ever in our clinic, 13 major dental surgeries were performed, thanks to the new procedural suite (chair and instruments) donated by a generous Dayspringer.
  • Eye Exams and Eyeglasses dispensed – 265
  • Al Fresco Barbershop and Beauty Salon – 52 heads groomed

All in all, we placed a compassionate physical touch on more than 1,600 individuals. 

The team wants to thank everyone who gave generously to support our mission, as well as those who kept the home fires burning to enable the travelers who went, and especially those who prayed faithfully for all of us on this mission, which after 36 years is going strong.

~John VanVleet


Since 1989, Dayspring has sent medical and dental caravans to Tochimizolco, Mexico every year after Easter. Tochimizolco, also called Tochi, is located in central Mexico at the end of the road and at the base of the active volcano named Popocatepetl.

Each year, Dayspring joins with Grace UMC from Olathe, Kansas to provide medical and dental services to this community of less than 1,000 people. The team was originally called to serve after learning of the vision of an individual from Mexico who had a goal of providing sustainable healthcare in this remote village where the closest medical care was hours away by bus.

The first year, the team worked out of the homes of the local church members and in abandoned homes with dirt floors, providing basic medical and dental care. The villagers had never seen a dentist and did not know what to do with a toothbrush so the primary work of the dentists was to pull teeth.

Over the next few years, the team financed and assisted in the completion of the Methodist Church Sanctuary and a medical clinic with the majority of the construction being performed by the members of the local church.

Eventually, with the financial support of Dayspring and Grace UMC, a doctor was employed to provide services in the village 3 days per week all year long.

Today, the team continues to return each year to provide medical services as well as provide medications from a well-stocked pharmacy. In the dental clinic, the dentists still pull some teeth, but also fill cavities and dental hygienists clean teeth. Today, many people come in and only need their teeth cleaned.

Inside and outside the clinic you will find physicians, nurses, translators, dentists, dental hygienists, pharmacists and Mil Usos (one with many talents). If you look closely you will find people from Arizona, from Kansas, from Tochimizolco and from many parts of Mexico, working seamlessly together with a common Mission.

You will encounter trained health care workers from GYTTE or “Give Ye Them to Eat” program (also supported by Dayspring) providing education to the people waiting in line for the doctors and dentists, on topics such as nutrition, dental hygiene, safe food preparation and sanitation, first aid and ways to prevent lead poisoning.

You can find people testing vision and providing reading glasses, cleaning earwax and testing blood sugar; GYTTE youth running vacation bible school for dozens of children, a basketball game with team members and locals, people cooking, cleaning and all working together as the body of Christ.

The team typically treats 600 medical patients, 250 dental patients, dispenses reading glasses, and provides over 500 toothbrushes.

During the rest of the year the clinic is staffed by a doctor 3 days a week, and a dentist visits the village on Saturdays to provide continuity of care to the community.

Since the first caravan in 1989 we have served up to six generations of patients. Each year we return to be greeted by our old friends. We grieve over the ones that have passed over the year and we celebrate the birth of new community members. We see the children we saw in the early years grown up, some off to college and many having children of their own.

This mission would not be possible without the help of everyone from Dayspring. Although the team members pay their own expenses, Dayspring provides funding for medicines, vitamins and other medical supplies, individuals provide scholarships for team members, Dayspring Sunday School classes collect toothbrushes, prayer shawls are knitted, fly paper is donated and many prayers are provided.

Thank you, Dayspring, for making a difference!