Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Day.................for CHE..............

OK, it is the last day.................We all prepared lessons for the last day........and now we are ready for the presentations.

Silas and Grace's group volunteered to go first. In this skit, Grace was preparing breakfast while doing many things she should have washed her hands for.......I will spare you the details. She failed to wash the food as it was prepared and dropped food on the floor before serving it. Her husband, who came into the house from playing is wearing signs that say dirt. He ran in from playing outside, used the bathroom and also neglected to wash his hands.

Susan facilitates the group with flooring the questions and stimulating thoughts while keeping everyone involved.

When Cindy needed to divide the the class in 4 groups, she purposefully told everyone to count off 1-5........a small mathematical problem that continued through the week :)

Kristi is taking notes from the class discussion. She then draws a hand to explain how infection spreads.
Kathy's group discusses she is role-playing a lady who has lost interest in her children and family and is sleeping in the streets.

Angie's group discusses malaria, how it is spread and traditional thoughts on the illness. Angie is out working in a field and then she gets bit by a mosquito on the arm............. is Byron, the mosquito. He floated and buzzed around the room before attacking Angie.

Mike and Carol and demonstrating dehydration and how it can affect the body. As Carol pours liquid into the cup, it escapes through a hole in the bottom. This demonstrates how the body can receive adequate fluid through vomiting, diarrhea or fever the fluid is lost and a patient can easily become dehydrated.

It was a very educational day and it was obvious that everyone has learned a lot through the week. We are now able to put into place tools and methods that we have learned to promote adult learning.

We ended the session with prayer, remembering everyone that will be soon leaving for the mission fields.........these include China, Indonesia, Guyana, Guatemala, Nigeria, Somalia and Korea. We pray for God's safety and provision during this time, that we will teach the truth and the message will fall on tender hearts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CHE.............Day 5.............

OK, we began the morning discussing Jesus and his interaction with the woman at the Samarian well. We discussed how He interacted one-on one with her, how He was direct yet gentle, how He did not condemn her, He had knowledge about her and taught her at a level that she understood. We can apply lessons from this situation when we approach people about the gospel.

Here, Mike and Tim are discussing a project they want to undertake. Tim wants to plan many aspects of the project while Mike wants to "wing-it." I think that Silas, in the back ground, is thankful that he does not have to participate in the conversation.
Angie and Mary Meade are role-playing another situation. It is an activity that we particiapte in several times a day to help explain different techniques that can be used in education and problem-solving.

OK, one more day of class and then we will be finished. We will have completed the T-O-T level or Train the Trainer................and be ready to fly..............
Speaking of flying........Mom and dad will be headed to Florida for a vacation tomorrow. Mom has her beach bags packed and is ready for some sun!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CHE.........Day 4.............

OK.........Day 4 of CHE........Martins, from Nigeria, teaches us a song in his language. After each try, he would say, "ok, with more emphasis......stronger voices......move your feet like like I move mine......let the music flow." Needless to say, we just could not sing it as he did, matter how many times we tried.

The words were:
Satan has lied.
We shall not retreat.
Forward forever,
we shall take the gospel.

We looked at different ways to enter communities, methods to develop the CHE's how to complete reports on the activities done.

In one activity, each group took 19 steps and arranged them according to levels of priority. Kathy (Asia), Dee (USA), Susan (Kenya/Sudan) and Byron (Africa) organize their lists.

Three of the five lists after organization.
We finished the day learning how songs and stories can be used to teach. Later I will send some of the songs that were written and performed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CHE.............Day 3..............

Let day 3 begin...........we spent a part of the morning discussing the story in Luke 5 about the man that Jesus healed. We discussed the role that his friends had in carrying him and letting him down through the roof top. We then discussed principles of working within the community and character traits that are needed.

Later in the day each of us had to take something from outside the classroom that represents a problem in communities that we see. We also had to return to the class with three leaves.

Each person had to discuss what their problem was and how it was represented. We then placed everything on the floor in a line.

Sophie, who will be living in Ethiopia, uses a napkin to represent mosquito netting used to prevent malaria.

Here Joanne, who is living in Africa, uses a dead branch to represent soil depletion.

These flowers were placed by Kristi, who travels to India, to represent that 1 of every 4-5 children die under the age of 5 years.

After all 21 objects were placed on the floor, each person had to take their three leaves and place them by the ones they thought were the most dangerous to the community.

When the leaves were counted, the top 4 problems were:
  • Water problems-----which included dirty water or not having any water

  • Malnutrition

  • Sanitation issues

  • Illness and disease

Here,Tim is trying to convince Carol of participating in a project in which she has no interest in.

Tomorrow will be more education, researching scriptures and learning how to educate a community on what they feel is important while also integrating spiritual concerns.

Monday, May 25, 2009

CHE...........Day 2.........

Today was day 2 of the CHE program. We started class promptly at 0830 in the classroom. This is Harold and Brenda who are our instructors.

We researched scriptures in the morning session concerning meeting the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs within the communities that we work. We took turns reading scriptures and sharing thoughts. Among those were;

Luke 4:16-21-------Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance, recover sight and set forth liberty.

Matthew 25:35-46------We are to meet the physical needs of people as hunger, thirst and nakedness while also meeting the emotional needs as loneliness.

We also took part in role playing. Here, Harold met two men who were trying to cross a river but did not know how to. He physically carried the first man half way across and then educated the other one so they would be able to continue to cross the river without needing another person to help. Proper education is important to prevent dependence.

The class can have some less than serious moments.

We also discussed community needs and education, when relief work should take place instead of developmental work and how curative care differs from preventative care.

It was a day full of many thoughts and ideas..................tomorrow will be another class day and and I will keep you posted.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back in The States.................

I arrived back in The States on Friday evening. My mom and and dad met me at the airport, with a Diet Dr. Pepper on ice! How well they know me!

This afternoon I started my Community Health Evangelism (CHE) classes. This is a well known program that assists in developing ministries and organizations through out the world. It just happens that there is one near my parents in Morganton. They have been providing training in this area for about 25 years.

There 21 students in the classes all with plans of going different places in the world. Several have plans of going to Africa with include Kenya, Guinea, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Other places included Pakistan, North Korea and China. A few even have plans of remaining here in The States. One gentleman and his wife want to work on The Mercy Ship near Africa. One lady even lives in Antigua, Guatemala........imagine that!

This is the entrance of the area called Providence Farm.
This is one of the class rooms on site.

I think the week with be full of helpful education and materials that will be applicable. I am looking forward to the week. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Clinic in Chuguexa

Gaspar, Juan and I had clinic in Chuguexa today. We had a total of 15 patients and that is good for this area. We had good luck with our travels today. We did not have to wait in any traffic lines for the road construction.

Of our 15 patients today, five were diabetics. One young man came to the clinic for the first time last month and his glucose was so high the meter could not read it. Today he was still "high" at 227 but he is on the right road and he said he is feeling better.

One other gentlemen for many months had a glucose in the 200-300 range This morning his glucose was 91. He was so thankful and kept saying how much better he felt. He no longer had all of the muscular aches and pains that he once had. I kept reminding him that we need to be thankful to God for the medicine and the blessings that we have.

Two patients needed medicine for worms. Juan giving this lady her medicine.......

....and this little girl also needed some.
As I mentioned, I kept redirecting the patient that was so excited because he is feeling better. It is very exciting to see patients improve but we can't lose sight from where our hope and our salvation comes.
Psalm 62:5-8
Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone;
and my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God,
he is my mighty rock and my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Circus in Chichi

As I was walking to town yesterday, I saw that a circus was coming to Chichi. It reminded me of last year when I was driving home from clinic and on the side of the road was an elephant......just standing there......I shook my head and thought I was hallucinating. It was not in a cage and only had a small rope around his leg.

This monkey was eating frozen juice on a stick. He seemed to enjoy his as much as I had enjoyed mine.
The llama did not get a frozen treat but seemed to be happy with whatever it was chewing on.

Now, I know why animals are in a protect them from the people. This man was brave with the lion. His son, however, was not convinced it was wise to be petting the lion with your hand inside the cage. The lion seemed to have a smile on his face and enjoyed it until......................

.......I wish my video had been on because when that lion opened his mouth for a large roar......that man and his hand jumped back!

This little monkey just wanted everyone to leave so he could have his afternoon nap.

Tomorrow is clinic in Chuguexa...................

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Who needs an alarm clock here in Guatemala? The roosters will continue through the day, not only in the morning, to let you know they are alive and well. Well, this rooster might not be alive much longer since he is now in the habit of saying, "Buenos dias" under my window at 4 am!

Today I hung around Chichi and started packing for the trip home later in the week. Lisa and Kemmel went to Xela to meet the MET students who will be studying Spanish for a week and then joining us for our clinics. It is a great opportunity for students as they think about future possibilities in the mission fields. They will live with families in different communities, participate in clinics with us and experience daily Guatemalan life.

This afternoon I worshiped with The Church in Chichi. It is much different than the congregation in Santa Cruz. It is smaller and more of the service is in K'iche'.

The gentleman spoke on the unity of The Church and how is it described as The Body of Christ. He used I Corinthians 12:12 for most of his sermon but he also used references in Romans, Ephesians and Colossians. He talked about the importance of each member and yet each member has a different function..........but all must unite to function at their optimal level and be well. None of us would want to severe any part of our physical body..........the same should hold for the The Body of Christ. Division destroys.......we see it all the time in businesses, political groups and groups that come together for a common goal....... and it can also happen in The Church.

I am always reminded of John, chapter 17, when Christ prayed for unity. Here He is, knowing that He will soon be betrayed by Judas and He takes time to pray for us! As he faced His death, He was also aware of the struggles that we would face. Of the many, many things that are displeasing to God, I think that division could possibly be near the top of the list.

We will begin a new week and some new adventures..............I will keep you posted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just thoughts from today

Today I visited a home to do a physical on a young man. Before I met the gentleman that was going to take me to the house, I drove by a dump area. Now, I drive by dumps all of the time and I see a lot of garbage on a daily basis but today a different nerve was struck.

There were four children playing at the dump area. There were no adults with them. I know they were there to find things that could be useful to them but for a few minutes they were just sitting. They were not crying, they were not upset...............this is just their daily routine.

There are many good humanitarian works done here in Guatemala and yet the country continues to face poverty, violence and despair. If you spend time at the airport you will see group after group arrive with crates, suitcases and boxes full of supplies. Many medical teams come to serve and then return home hoping that they have made some change for the better.

When we have clinics it give us an opportunity to talk to people about their needs. Most everyone will admit the world is in trouble. It is filled with sorrow, illness and devastating in the world is difficult. This is where the hope comes for those that are Christians.

When the guys and I talk to patients about their physical needs, sometimes we are very limited in what we can do. We can help control diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic pain but we can not totally cure it. We can though, offer eternal hope because this world will end........with all of it's sorrows, illness and devastating circumstances. In Matthew 24:35, Jesus said: Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away." This is where our comfort and hope lie........only in Him. We need to share the message every day.................

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Clinic in Mactzul VI

While Kemmel and Lisa headed to the coast to meet a group there, some of us headed to Mactzul VI. We had a full group with Marcos, Martina, Maury, Gaspar, Juan and myself. They are still in the process of completing their building so we set clinic up in two different areas.

Even though it was a busy day, we still found a little time to have some fun. Martina saw me stick my camera through a window. It looks as if she and Marcos are doing a little jig but really he is trying to coax her toward the camera. When Martina started working with us she was very, very quiet. She is now beginning to talk more and participate in conversations........this is good :)

One mother wanted a photo of her baby and this is how she wanted the photo taken.
This mother brought her children to clinic today. I think that she had her teeth cleaned by Gaspar. He had 4 patients for dental cleaning.
Maury is waving hello as Juan is calculating the money for the day.

We had a total of 18 medical consults, 4 dental cleanings and 16 dental patients. We had lunch with the brothers there and it was very good.
Tomorrow, this same group will be in Clinica Caris for clinic.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clinic in Chucam

Josefina and her group had clinic today in Chucam. It was their second clinic there so they were expecting many patients..........but today the children were celebrating Mother's Day in the school. They had a special program planned with a talent show for the mothers. There were over 300 people packed into a room that had pine needles tossed all over the floor.

The answer to yesterdays trivia question about Guatemalan Fruit Loops with marshmellows: there are six flavors and they are produced as a smile face. I did not notice that last night as I was eating them.

Now that we have discussed Guatemalan Fruit Loops, let's discuss another flavorful dish........which consists of malinas. When I was with Josefina last week in Panajxit, they were discussing eating these insects. I do not want to offend anyone but I will pass on this opportunity.

I recently updated the right side of the blog. I have added a link to the Brewer Road Iglesia de Cristo in Winston Salem, NC. They are continuing to grow and recently had several baptisms. There is also a link for Glenn and Neva. They are studying Spanish in Antigua and I know they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Please check these out when you have time. I have added new prayer requests and updated the thanksgivings. We always need to be thankful..........
Psalms 118:28-29
You are my God and I will give You thanks; you are my God and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting ready for the week......

Yesterday afternoon I worshipped with The Church in Santa Cruz. The lesson was based on the scripture James 1:8.....a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. Other versions use the term inconsistent or uncertain instead of double minded.......regardless of the term used, it is a negative connotation. It is not a positive Christian characteristic.

We need to decide which way we will live. A Godly life or one influenced by the world. It is impossible to live in both worlds. People want consistency in relationships. Children want to have an idea how their parents will react when they approach them. A relationship is much more comfortable when you know how the other person will respond. Our relationship with God is no different and our life should reflect that.

I want to share more photos of the Aurora Hotel in Antigua from when Fran and I stayed there.

OK trivia question: How many flavors are there in Guatemalan Fruit Loops? I found some in the grocery store and had some for dinner. I will tell you tomorrow how many flavors there are and they even have marshmellows too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Just a quick HAPPY MOTHER'S everyone...................

but especially my MOM!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Days of Rest

Kemmel and Lisa were kind and let me have two days allowed me time to get caught up on some things and get prepared for future events. Even though it is good to have a couple of days, it feels odd not going to clinic. I asked Lisa both days how clinic was and she said they were good.

I was able to finish some mountains of laundry, clean the house, prepare some photos we are using for diabetic teaching and prepare a suitcase for the June clinic. As many know, I will be in NC for a seminar on Community Health Evangelism. I am really excited about it but not sure why I needed to sign a health waiver and submit a copy of my health may be more adventurous than I am thinking!

This afternoon, I walked up to Chichi and had lunch. There was a lot of traffic and some people that were not very happy. Two drivers were battling it out over who hit who.....between a mini-van driver and a parked construction truck. I know where I would place my vote. A huge tourist bus was trying to make its way through the streets and having a difficult time. The owner of one restaurant was very upset and came out into the street as the bus kept touching the roof tiles of his restaurant. The bus eventually rounded the corner after doing a 19-point turn.

I warn not have an apple pie craving in is not healthy. I visited 6 stores that I thought might have it and I was disappointed 6 times. Really, I was disappointed 7 times because I then realized I had also passed all of the ice cream stores. Maybe I will find some tomorrow in Santa Cruz......until then, this will have to suffice.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day! This is a warning for those of you who may have and buy a card, be prepared to call your mother or better yet........order her some roses :)

Tomorrow I will go to Santa Cruz for worship. My friend, Magda, said she will go with me if it is not raining..........hmmmmmm, I hope it stops raining.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Meet Gloria and her mom, Josefina

I went to Panajxit with Josefina and Tomas today. We eventually had one patient come to clinic. It is the time of year for everyone to be out preparing their fields and planting corn. We have had a few days of rain so they do not want to miss their opportunity.

While we were wating for patients, Kemmel called and told me that a mother was at the clinic with her baby and she has a cleft lip. He offfered to go and get a basket for the baby but it was in a locked room in my house.

When we finished our patient, I went to the house and got one of the baskets that Jane left us for babies we might make contact with. This mother had taken her baby to ASELSI, which is a clinic in Chichi. They are aware of our clinic and sent them to us for a consult. I discussed the items in the basket and answered the questions she had. She will return to the clinic in June for another consult.

Josefina and Gloria at 5 months.

Santos Elias and his dad came to the clinic today to see Lisa. Lisa was kind enough to send me a photo she took during his consult. It is good to see him smiling! Here he shows off his incision from the chest tube that he had. As Tomas and I drove away from the clinic this morning, he stood on the porch waving at us until we were out of site...........

Every day is full of unique opportunities that we need to be aware of and just take advantge of. We discussed this last night at dinner with Pat. We can share the love of God and the compassion of Christ, not matter where we are living. People are looking for comfort and every country. That hope can only come from God, through having a relationship with Him and knowing what His word teaches.

As every night, I will end the day with thanksgiving that everyone is home safe. We have all been on the roads traveling through the day and now everyone is home and well. Thankful that Santos is home from the hospital, is breathing better and is gainning some weight. Thankful that we have met another baby and mother that we can help physically and possibly spiritually........and also thankful for what tomorrow might bring.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Clinic in Xepol

Pat, Al, Gaspar, Juan and I went to a new clinic today in Xepol. We left Chichi at 0730 since it is about an hour and a half away. Our first clinic there was in March with the Pepperdine students so today was our second clinic there. We had 12 patients today with 3 of them returning for the second time. We saw a variety of illnesses but many of the typical ones you see when you start a new clinic.

The children welcomed the camera more than they did in March. This is Pat with some of the children before we started clinic.

We began clinic as we always do. We welcomed everyone and explained what services we can offer. Gaspar talked about dental cleaning and the importance of that. We prayed as a group and then began the clinic. We found one lady with a hernia and we hope she will return so we can help her with surgery. One gentleman was having a difficult time after having what seemed like a small stroke.

After we finished, we carried everything back to the truck. These children wanted to help so they carried small boxes and our back packs for us.

We drove down the road to a small store. Al bought us Cokes as we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches..............and then we were ready for the drive home.

Pat and Al invited us out to dinner and we enjoyed that time together. They will be headed back to The City in the morning. We pray that they have a safe travel home and that they enjoyed their time here with us. It is always exciting to have people visit and share the clinics.

Pat and Al meet Chutzurob

We had two truck loads today for Chutzurob. We had a great clinic with 21 medical patients and 3 patients for dental cleaning. We saw a wide variety of patients. We were told that there were 4 baptisms last week and we are excited for the growth of The Church and for those added souls.

This is Pat and Al in front of the house of prayer.

As we left clinic, we stopped to buy some cokes and had a picnic. Lisa was prepared and brought us lunch which we greatly appreciated.

As we progressed toward Chichi, there was some road construction and who knows what else was blocking traffic........sometimes it is an unsolved mystery as to what brings the traffic to a halt.

As you can see, the traffic has been stopped and it was a long line. Lisa and the guys are in a truck ahead of the red Toyota. You can barely see a guy in a red shirt up on the left bank after the hairpin turn......

We will have clinic tomorrow in Xepol. It will be our second clinic there. Our first clinic there was in March with the Pepperdine students.