Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Week in Three Minutes or Less

It is hard to believe that the week FLEW by!  Clinics were busy but the biggest challenge was to stay warm.

Monday, we had clinic in Lemoa and had a good group of patients.  Ana showed us the last photo of her baby.  Please pray for Ana as her nephew, 7 years old is dying of a brain tumor.  Such a very sad situation but she told me that it was ok if I asked for your prayers. I know that she and her family would appreciate it very much.

This patient, I followed through her pregnancy. She brought her daughter, Heidy in for me to meet today.  She is now two months old and is doing well.

On Tuesday, we competed with a local celebration and I think the celebration won.  We did have a few medical patients but Andrea saw two or three times the number that she usually sees in Chutzurob.  Way to go Andrea!

Wednesday, we had clinic in cold, cold Chueguexa.  We all had the shakes that day.  I gave Teresa my coat to put around her and Manuel gave her his hat.  When we saw all of the patients, we made some coffee to stay warm and waited to see if more patients would arrive.

I found this character on the ceiling of the area that we do clinic.  He was frozen stiff.

On Thursday, there was a little sun outside the clinic. When we went out to pray, as you can tell, our group found the sun.............then it was back into the cave! Really, it is not a cave but it is much cooler than being in the sun :)

A mother came to clinic on Thursday and she was concerned about her son.  Her son is a heavy drinker and she wants him to change.  Such a sad situation to be in when you know that some one needs to change but that person does not see it or is in denial.  This lady does not have a relationship with God so we talked about that too.  When we finished, I introduced her to Gaspar.  He was able to share more with her and at this time, is waiting to see if there is an invitation to visit the patient in her home.  We shall see..............................

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Church in Ephesus

This morning I worshiped  with the congregation in Quiche.  The sermon was about the Ephesus Church and taken from Revelation, chapter two.  This is the section that John praises, warns and admonishes seven congregations of the Lord's Body.

When we study these congregations or bodies of believers, we need to also examine our life.  Romans 15:4 explains that the scriptures about the past were written for our understanding.   Therefore, we still need to apply the scriptures today.  If we do not, then there is not a clear road map for our salvation.  II Timothy 3:16, 17 are well known verses and they state, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good action.

Ephesus was a congregation that had some positive attributes, at one point.  They had worked hard and endured challenges.  They knew true teaching and also that which was false.  Their down-fall was they did not love in the present as they had loved in the past.

This decline in love must have changed their actions, attitudes and behaviors.  It was severe enough that they were warned about the punishment they would receive if they did not repent. 

At the point that this was written, there was still hope.  This was a warning, something that they needed to act upon.  Due to the current state of this area, which is now Turkey, it is felt that the church did not repent.  Currently, it is 99% Muslim and void of Christianity.

The warning for zealous in your love for God, the truth and for each other.  Place others before you, making their needs a priority.  Do not point fingers and place blame on your brothers and sisters.  Question yourself, "What can I do to grow the body?  What can I do to serve those who have needs? Do others see me as kind with patience or always thinking of self?"

Just some thoughts from today.  Now we have another week ahead of us, unless Christ returns tomorrow, to take this challenge..........we still have hope.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"We Know Where We Are"

This morning we had clinic in Lemoa and it was a busy day.  I think we finished seeing 46 medical patients.

We started this morning with our devotional and it was led by Manuel.  He talked about us being the body of Christ and our relationship with each other.  There were fourteen of us together and I was thinking of a quote that I read on Erik Tryggested's Facebook the other day.

Whether we're gathered under a mango tree in the daylight, in a basement room in secret or in a massive, air-conditioned auditorium, when we're with the church, "We know where we are!"

It is so true.  When we are with people of like mind and faith, living with the same purpose and goals, life is much better.  Life is NOT perfect but it is better.

We had some challenging situations today and we always pray that we deliver care in the best manner that we can, while showing the love of Christ.

One situation I had was a husband had been unfaithful to his wife of twenty years.  She came to clinic with him and they sat together as he told me the problems that he is having.  You could tell that she was struggling but they want to continue in their marriage.  They do not attend church nor have a relationship with God. When we finished, I introduced them to Gaspar and he spent a long time talking and praying with them.  Hopefully, some seeds were planted today and we will see something good and healthy come from this situation.

So we ended the day with a little diversion.  As we started locking up, we realized the keys of the clinic had been accidentally locked in the filing cabinet. We spent a good hour breaking into the filing cabinet..........and it was pretty interesting!

So no matter where we are........under a mango tree, in a corn field, baptizing in the river or breaking into our own file cabinet, "We know where we are!"   We are very thankful for this!

Tomorrow is another day and another adventure!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Enjoying Our Lunch Together

Between consults yesterday, we had time to cook and play a little.  Well, I played as the others cooked  :)  We have a great group of people to work with.  We keep a very busy schedule but people usually find time to enjoy each other's company.

Mauri and Martina creating part of the lunch.  There has been a lot of cooking going on and it has become a restaurant at lunch time.  Mauri is our office manager and Martina is a dental assistant.

These poor shrimp did not have a chance. I was not at the shrimp table, I was at the chicken, rice and bean table.

Martina cooked some green beans and tied them together.  She then dipped them in an egg mixture and cooked them. Excellent!

Brenda is our new nurse.  She recently graduated from nursing school in Xela.  Tomas in a health care promoter and he is the guy that recently bought the new dental instrument that chased our patients away.  Just kiddin'!

Mauri with Aura.  Aura is one of our dentists.................she is learning to drive and we plan on practicing on Friday!  yahoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrea is our other dentist.  She has an adventurous spirit and we are always trying to plan a kayak trip to the lake.  Maria, assists Andrea in the clinic and is a big help! 

Enrique and Ana were not eating lunch so I failed to get a photo of them........they would have smiled real big.  Enrigue had several dental cleanings so he ate a little later.  Ana was finishing with her patient.

I am very thankful to work with these Christian people every day.  They do a great job caring for our patients and have serving hearts.

The Babies Are Ready!!

The babies are ready for surgery in February!  Everyone looked great yesterday and it was a fun day.  For three of the four, it will be their first time in Montellano.  I warned the families how hot, yes hot, it is no one can say that I did not warn them :)

First, we have Nelson.  He is eleven months old and is looking good!  He will have his lip repaired this clinic and go next year for his palate surgery.

Look at those eyes! His surgery is being sponsored by Beverly and Doris from NC.  I saw Beverly in Winston Salem during Christmas and it is always good to see them from the Lenoir congregation.

This is Brayan and he is one year and six months.  We have been following him for awhile but he needed to gain a little weight before he could go with us.

This is Brayan with his mom and his sister.  Angie from NC, my sister-in-law is sponsoring his surgery.

Santiago is the only child that is on his return visit.  He had his lip surgery done in August of 2016 and will be sponsored again by Frank and Evelyn from NC.  I was also able to see Frank and Evelyn in December........Evelyn is working on getting me some snow next year!

I really like Santiago's spiked hair.  The surgery from his lip has healed so well.

Last but not least is Dillon.......he will win the hearts of the nurses!  Dillon is six months old and will have his lip repaired this clinic.  He is being sponsored by Ava who is making bracelets to sell to pay for the surgery. 

Ava is only seven years old and when the parents heard about Ava, they said, "Thank you!"

We completed all of the paper work today and the parents signed the papers.  Not much longer before we hit the road.

After each consult, we prayed for each baby and family.  We also prayed for the arriving team that they have safe travels. We will leave on Febuary 10th and meet the medical group that evening in Montellano.  It will be a fairly large group, with many people who have been returning for years.  It will be good to work with them and to spend the week together.  Please continue your prayers for all of us!

To God be all the glory!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Back in the Groove

I have been back in Guatemala for almost a week.  It was great to visit my parents, family, friends, South Fork and the Morganton congregations and yet it is always good to get back.  It is hard to describe, but living in two cultures can be a challenge.......and yet I enjoy it very much.  In either place, you miss and think about the other.  There are friends that I see just a few times a year but when I do, it is as we were together just yesterday. There are people who visit Guatemala just once a year and I look forward, very much to their next visit. Lisa and Kemmel are awesome to work with and are very supportive. I am very content in both worlds.

This photo was taken before I left my parents and I like it.  I will see them in February and we will go together to pick up my RV.  Yes, I made a purchase and I am excited to learn all about it.  I think that my parents are as excited as I am!

This morning, I worshiped with the Quiche congregation.  It was a wonderful time together.  There were many people and it was so good to hear enthusiastic hymns in Spanish. 

The message was about how God wants The Church to prosper and the importance of love and unity.  I have said many times that I do not think that there is any greater pain to God, as when there are problems in The Church. Well, retracting that statement, I think the worse pain was knowing he had to turn his back as Christ suffered and died for us.  So, division and problems may rank as second. 

Due later this month is my writing for Daybreak.  It is the daily Christian devotional that can be found on Facebook.  This month, I was assigned, "Church Crisis."  The thoughts will be taken from   I Corinthians, chapter 11. That will be published toward the end of February.

Speaking of February, I will be back in NC for a short time.  This year, as many know, I will be in The States a little more and looking for areas that are interested in hearing about Health Talents International.  We will be looking for medical people and others who would like to visit and participate in surgical and medical mobile clinics.  If you know of anyone who is interested, please let me know.

This year, may we love and serve others, in ways we never have before..............................

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Let 2018 Roll!!

Having been back in Guatemala for almost week, I can predict that it is going to be a great year!

Our first clinic was on January 4th and we had a good number of patients. There were 22 medical patients and 9 dental patients.  We are always joking with Tomas about his purchases after lunch.  It seems that after we eat, Tomas hits the market it search for something to entertain us with.  This purchase was a large pair of clippers and he was willing to share with Andrea, to use on her dental patients.

On Friday, we all met at Clinica Caris to clean and prepare for the year.  A few people had a meeting with some of the communities and we heard that all went well.  In the afternoon, we met with Kemmel about the calendar and different events.

Driving back to Chichi, it felt as if I was back at "home."  Gaspar and Cesar kept us all laughing and  others chatted about what they had done over the holiday.

I work with a great group of people and I am very thankful for the opportunity!