Friday, July 31, 2009

Clinic in Paxot II

Yesterday was a little different. I spent the morning working on educational material for our future CHE classes. Later in the day, Juan and I visited a gentleman in his house near the clinic. Kemmel showed us where Armando lived and then Juan and I trekked to his house.

This young man is having to use a walker and apparently had surgery a few years ago. He was told that he had a mass but when they performed the operation they could not find one. Steve, a physical therapist, was here a few weeks ago and he went to visit him. He gave him some exercises to do so Juan and I will be making a house call every two weeks to offer support and help him in any way that we can.

Today we had clinic in Paxot II. Gaspar and I arrived and met Juan there since this is his community. He had a small clinic of only 7 patients.

One good thing about Paxot is that they like to feed you..................if fact, sometimes it is difficult to eat everything. We started out by having atole and a muffin for our morning snack. In fact, I had two cups of atole. We sat in the kitchen area over the open flames and tried to stay warm. Juan's mom and Manuel's mom are usually there and they take good care of us.

We had a mom bring in her 2 week old baby, Kevin. This is her first baby and she was a little nervous about typical baby things so we just chatted for awhile. We had a small gift for her that included a bulb syringe, a baby blanket and some shampoo.

Kevin weighed 7 lbs at birth and today weighed 14 lbs.

When we finished seeing all of the patients, we were told to wash our hands since lunch was ready. We went down to the pilas and washed our hands. Then we sat by the fires again and enjoyed steak, rice, tortillas, fresh salsa and a warm peach drink.

I am still in the process of moving so I went by the new house with some more of my things. They also connected the internet today so I hope that will work fine.

Tomorrow the guys and I head to Mactzul VI for clinic. Please be thinking of Lisa and Kemmel as they are in The City. Their sponsoring congregation will arrive tomorrow and will be with us for one week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Clinic in Xepol

Juan, Gaspar and I left at 0730 this morning for Xepol. On the way to clinic, the guys wished me, "Happy Chauffeur's Day." We met some vans that were decorated...........any reason to celebrate!

We arrived and carried everything down to the clinic. There were a few patients waiting and then a few more arrived. We ended up with 16 patients for the day.

These two girls wanted their photo taken inside the church building where we have clinic.

I think this is only our 4th clinic in this area and it continues to do well. Tomas always helps me with the translation to K'iche' and today another brother also helped. When I asked this gentleman to pray with the third patient, he prayed, " God, thank you for this grand privilege that I have to help in this clinic today."

This mother and her baby came to see us.

The area of Xepol is about 90 minutes from Chichi. It is a very poor area and does not have access to a lot of medical care.

We saw one lady today that only weighed 75 pounds.

Another lady came and brought 4 of her 8 children with her. She started by saying that her 2 year old child had recently died. Her family told us about her sadness, inability to eat and to complicate the situation even more, that she is about 7 months pregnant. We talked for quite a while and the brothers really focused on her spiritual needs...........they were very patient and kind with her and she was receptive. As the conversation progressed, she told us that she had not felt the baby move for about 20 days...............heavy sigh.

We shifted gears to the need of going to the hospital. I offered to take her with us when we finished with the patients. I like to take patients to the hospital because it gives us the opportunity to spend more time with them and for follow-up. Through the afternoon she changed her mind twice and told me that she would go later in the day when her husband returns from work. We prayed with her and the family and again emphasized the need. I asked her to please return to the clinic in August. All of the children are very sick and I want to see that they are gaining weight and are doing better.

These are some of the children that always come and see us when the clinic is over. They help us carry our equipment and backpacks to the car. Then they run down the road and wave until we are out of sight.

It was a good day but one of many emotions. We saw one family that was doing much better than last time we were here. We always give God the thanks and the glory when we see that. It is not our doing but His love and compassion that heals. We pray that as the clinics continue to grow, the members of The Church will have the opportunity to reach out and minister to their community.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Clinic in Chutzurob

This morning the guys and I headed to Chutzurob. As many of you know, this is one of my favorite clinics. There were 7 members of the church there to help us today. They are always very enthusiastic and willing to help.

We had a busy day with 31 medical patients. When we first arrived, Gaspar had one patient for dental cleaning. I always tease him and say that in ten more minutes he may have ten more patients.......................and he did! He was excited and so was I!

The guys in the congregation took turns today reading some new books they had. One was a Bible Dictionary and they other was a reference book. You could tell they were so excited to have something new to use for study. They would read part of their Bible and then find more information in their books. When I saw their excitement, I thought of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my hearts delight, for I bear your name, Oh Lord God Almighty.

One of the ladies of the congregation had a small mass removed from her neck last week. Sebastian asked us if we would go and visit her in her home. Six of us jumped into the truck and went to visit her and her family. She is sore but is healing. The biopsy of the mass was negative so everyone is thankful. We talked for awhile and then knelt at her bed for prayer. The husband told us that when they were first married, he was not a Christian but through his wife, he came to know Christ.

This is Sebastian and his nieces and nephew. You may remember him from our first visit in the Chutzurob area over a year ago.

After clinic, I went by the house I will be moving into just to check on everything. We had not had a chance to eat lunch but the Dunhams had told me about a lady near by that sometimes has food. Well, she did this evening and she took good care of me. I asked her for one tamale but then she decided I needed two.........she wanted me to try her tortillas and she tossed some of those in a bag. I left with enough food for two meals for only $1.00. This could become an easy habit!

I also met one of the little girls that lives near the house. She knocked on my door and asked for a plastic pail of water. I was real careful not to let the dog escape again. Her name is Sandra and she is about 7 years old. She followed me to the little store to buy food so I am sure I will be seeing more of her.

Ok, tomorrow we go to Xepol.......................

Monday, July 27, 2009

Little Catch-up

My dad asked me if I had gone on strike with the blog.............I did not realize it had been so long.......time to get back into it......

I am still in the process of moving. The guys, Lisa and Kemmel helped me with the furniture on Friday after our clinic in Choacaman IV. I think we did it in three loads. I will post some photos when I get a little more settled there. I think it will be cute and comfortable.

On Saturday, we had clinic in Chuchipaca. For those who have been there before, you will remember in the front there is an elevated area of dirt where there is a a podium and a table. Now, we have a resident rabbit, conejo (Spanish) or imul (K'iche'). This is his/her freshly dug home.

Later that day Lisa and I talked some about our educational plans....................and then she made some outstanding pizza!! Lisa, you need to blog the photo of the pizza! It was spinach and cheese and they rolled me out the door :)

Tomorrow the guys and I head to Chutzurob.......................

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How not to impress your new landlord.........

As many of you know, I am moving to the other side of Kemmel and Lisa's house. I know good neighbors and a good neighborhood when I see it.

Today I packed up the Suk a few times and carried some of my things over. Lisa told me I just needed a rocking chair tied to the top and I could be the Beverly Hillbillys. OK, sing along......Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed. A poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed. Then one day..............ok, that is enough :)

The first thing you should not do when you move into a new house, is let the dog escape. Tomasita was very nice when I told her what I had done but I still felt bad. He returned to the house later, unharmed, but you can be sure that dog will have a chain around it's neck when I am there.

I will keep you posted on the move..........

Please be thinking about the surgical team at the coast this week for the eye clinic. Pray that the patients will do well physically and that something will be done or said that will cause them to have a closer walk with God.

Please also remember South Fork Church of Christ as they are in the Ukraine until Aug. 4th.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seminar in Paxot II

The ladies classes in Paxot II began today. There has been a lot of preparation and we are gathered to learn.

Mary Beth beginning the seminar in her Sacapulas corte. Her lesson is on the book of Ephesians.

Rosario translating for Mary Beth into K'iche'. The women participated in small group activities, singing and praying through out the day.

Mary Beth and Roasario wanted to teach us a song in K'iche'. One of the ladies knew the song and joined them after a few minutes.

Mary Beth was teaching that as baptized believers, we receive two great blessings. First, we receive the Holy Spirit and second, the forgiveness of our sins. She used this doll and changed it's clothes to represent our transformation when we become Christians. Many of the ladies wanted their photo taken with the doll after the class.

She also talked about how we always has access to our Father. She talked about the relationship that a child has with its mother. This point is well understood in this culture. We as Christians, can approach our Father at any time..........for all of our needs.

These ladies came Sacapulas, the area that Mary Beth and Roger once lived in. It was a nice reunion for them as they were able to speak in K'iche'.

Photos taken during a break.

Lunch was provided and as usual, it was delicious. Then men served the ladies a bowl which included steak, rice and salsa. The tamalitos were served in the baskets and they made sure baskets remained full. It is a lot of preparation and work to feed a group this size! There were between 60-70 people when everyone arrived.

During the afternoon we listened to more of Ephesians in K'iche', the ladies participated in some role-playing and then we enjoyed some singing.

This is Maury and her friend talking about what they learned in the class today.

This is the group of ladies from Sacapulas. They lead us in some Sacapulteca style.
It does not matter the time or place........what year or what country........God's word remains unchanged. The letter of Ephesians and the teachings that it contain should be held close to our heart.

I want to point out one cultural difference. During the break, each family received a roll of toilet explanation was just a gift. Josefina and her mom with their gift.

I have a special prayer request. Some of the members of the South Fork Church of Christ are in the Ukraine for a mission trip. This group consists of Bill, Gina, Leslie, Crystal and Lauren. They left on the 15th and will return on August 2nd. Please pray that they will be effective in sharing the teachings of Jesus and that the hearts of those who hear will be tender.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Carry your candle.................

When I went to the clinic today Marcos and Lisa asked me if I had seen the video yet. I did not know what they were talking about but now I do. Below is a link to a video that the Memorial Church of Christ presented. You will see a photo of Marcos, Gaspar, Maury, Martina, Josefina and two young girls from Choacaman IV. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did today!

Matthew 5: 16
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clinic in Mactzul III

I drove to get the guys today and we went to Mactzul III for clinic. As we got closer to the Mactzul areas, we saw many, many people walking away and leaving the area. The guys told me that there was some reunion for the women heart sunk. I have learned that when there is a school function, a meeting of the church members, a wedding, a funeral, a baptism......there are NO patients.

However, I was encouraged when I saw the signs that had been posted in the roads about our clinic today. I do not remember them doing this before so this is a step in the right direction.

We had four patients...........when all of the patients were seen , it was time for the school break. All of the 30 students came to see us. They all stood around my bench and wanted to learn English. I asked them what they wanted to learn and they told me the we practiced the alphabet a few times. After their class was over, 8 of them returned to learn a few more words. I will see how much they remember when we return on August 12th.

Finally, I have a photo of Mary Beth to blog. I have mentioned her and the seminar that she is doing in Paxot II on Friday and Saturday. She is speaking to the ladies on Ephesians. Rosario, has come to translate into K'iche' for her. They are studying and preparing for a couple days before the seminar begins. We enjoyed dinner together tonight.

So, we have Kemmel, Lisa and Mary Beth in the back with Rosario and I in the front.

I think the ladies of Paxot will be blessed on Friday and Saturday. The days will be special for them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When you think you have the day planned...........

Well, just when you think you have the day all changes!

Lisa gave me a ride this morning to Clinica Carris this morning for our educational day with the guys. After we arrived, Kemmel called and said that Josefina and her team could not make it to their clinic because of protests in the street. We waited so they could join in on the education but they never made it because of the streets being blocked.

Within a few minutes, Kemmel called and said we should head home while we could because they may block more streets later in the day.

Later, I saw Manuel walking in Chichi. He told me that his team had to get out of the truck and join the protest even though they did not want to. Later, Josefina told me that they had to wait 30-40 minutes before they could get back into the truck. She had been very nervous and I can see why.

So, it was another day, another adventure...........without the education that Lisa had planned.

Please pray for our safety tomorrow as the guys and I travel Mactzcul III for clinic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Calm day..............

For the last few days that I have sat here and blogged, studied, day-dreamed or whatever..........I have been watching this rose bloom. It is outside in the terrace and I can see it from the table. I went out during the rain and wanted to share it with you.

Lisa, Kemmel and Mary Beth went to Paxot II to celebrate a birthday. Some bug hit me the other day so I have decided to stay home.

Mary Beth will be having a ladies class in Paxot II on Friday and Saturday. Rosario, from the coast, will come and translate into K'iche'. I think that Mary Beth could translate for herself but she will let Rosario do it this time. Please pray for her during these two days. It is a great opportunity for the ladies to hear and learn more from the book of Ephesians.

The eye team will be here next Saturday. Please pray for their safe arrival and the healing of their patients. We have three patients from this area going for surgery.

Tired of photos????

Yes, I have more photos and more stories to share............

I did not have a clinic this week with Rick, Susan or Jimmy so this was the best "family" shot I have...........we missed not having Julie Ann but hope she had fun at camp.

More temperatures being taken in Chuchipaca.....................

More dental work...............................

More physical therapy....................or recreational therapy???????

Yes, there is a blood pressure..............let's check it again.......

Somer will be a dentist.............I can see it in her smile....... :)

Susanne is concentrating on her the child is thinking about taking the pill.......

Steve......our physical therapist / vital sign taker.......Elsa make sure he is doing it right.

More children at the Sepela school..............see the one face that does not quite fit in?????

Right at this moment, the group is at the hotel waiting for the shuttle to go to the airport................thanks to Dale and Facebook!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Last Group Photo in Chichicastenango

The group met for one last photo in the Santo Tomas Hotel, Chichicastenango before returning to The City. They will spend the night there and then fly home tomorrow.

We pray that they have a safe flight home. They will return home with many good memories. They have made new friends and served others, while reflecting the love of Christ.

Photo Catch-up

It is difficult to post all of the photos while a group is here..........there are so many! So, here are a few more.

Getting ready to screen students in Sepela on Thursday. I think the teacher is having as much fun as the students.

Steve and Kristin are not sure they want to ride the bus home..............while Diana is like me, she is looking forward to the adventure!

Jessica and Maury working in dental.

Haley checking the blood pressure of one of our regular diabetic patients.

Sara and Nancy setting up the pharmacy in Chuchipaca.

Dental group in Chichipaca on Saturday.

May I please have some privacy??

Views from driving back from Mactzul II on Friday. This is the lake in Lemoa, near where Clinica Carris is.

Another view of Lemoa.

It was a great three days of clinics..............including medical, dental, dental cleaning and physical therapy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chuchipaca Clinic

This is the front of Chuchipaca, where we had one of the clinics today. The other group went to Mactzul V.

The patients patiently gathered around the door until we were ready to begin. Juan jumped up in the back of our truck, welcomed everyone, let them know what services we had to offer, asked them to continue to be patient and then he prayed.

While the patents were signing in and getting ready for their dental or medical consult, these guys were gettting ready for their busy day to begin.

Scott and Robert are setting up for their day.........Scott will asstist with dental and Robert will sterilize the instruments.

The dental patients are lined up and ready............

This is Josh, our physical therapist and he is helping a patient while Juan translates into K'iche'. This was a good opportunity for Juan since we will be doing some follow-up and home visits with some of the patients.

Lisa with one of her first patients......................

Lauren and Kristin with some of their patients..............

Reminding a patient when we will be having the next clinic and inviting them to return..............

Kemmel and Nancy maintaining the pharmacy......................

It was a busy day with 70 medical patients, 95 dental patients and 16 patients for dental cleaning. We loaded up the bus and truck and headed back for dinner.

Tomorrrow morning we will worshop together, they will have some time in the market and then they will return to The City.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Clinic in Mactzul II

We met at the hotel for breakfast again and then headed to our different locations. One group went to Paxot II and we went to Mactzul II.

When we arrived in Mactzul II, I started looking for our supplies to evaluate the school children and then I realized it was back at the hotel.................I had a few supplies in my backpack and we managed to pull together enough things to make it through the day. Kemmel told me that Josefina had quite a few patients so once the children were being seen, I went down to help Josefina.

It was a busy day with 70 medical patients, 78 dental patients and 8 patients for dental cleaning.

We had several members of the local church helping us. These men are looking for previous charts on patients who returned today.

I was not able to get out and take photos so Somer helped me with today's photos. Thanks, Somer!

This is Brad, our pharmacist-chaplain. By day he is a pharmacist and in the evening, he serves as our chaplain. This is Brad's first time here but I think he will return!
Josefina consulting with a family.

This is Steve, our physical therapist and Somer, his daughter. It is their second time visiting!

This was the group for the bus ride home. We took two ladies back with us that helped prepare the wonderful meal that we had.

Between the two clinics, about 300 patients were seen. We pray that something was said or done that will cause the patients to think about their spiritual well-being.
As always, we are thankul for our safe travels.............everyone is home or in the hotel and safe. always, another adventure!!