Saturday, November 28, 2009

Meeting in Montellano

We arranged to drive to Montellano for our end-of-the-year meeting. There was 49 people gathered for the meeting. It is exciting to see how Health Talents is growing and to see how God is blessing the work here. It is a true blessing to be thankful for. Now, Thanksgiving is not a Guatemalan holiday but our co-workers made it a special day for us.

Carlos led the meeting , which was started with a devotional. Then he talked about decision making processes using urgency and importance as guidelines.

Many of you have met Pedro, who is a guard at the clinic. He usually opens the gate and welcomes everyone as they arrive. He has been working for HTI for 15 years and now he is retiring. He will really be missed but we wish him the best. I think we will continue to see him at the clinic from time to time.

We had a contest for designing a T-shirt. There were 3 separate ties so these guys are trying to count the last ballots to see who the real winner will be. Nydia from the dental area won it. Congratulations Nydia! She told me she hopes to travel to Tikal with a family member.

The staff in Montellano wanted to prepare a turkey and ham dinner for us. We thought this was really nice of them since this is not a traditional meal for them. Carlos was helping out in the kitchen with Lisa, Sylvia and Nydia.

While dinner was being prepared, Neva checked back to The States and said hello to her family.

The guys enjoyed a soccor game.

The first of three turkeys is pulled from the oven.

There were 49 of us and we enjoyed the food!

I think that everyone ate as much as they could!

Then we were told the desert was apple crisp!!

It was a good day of fellowship, singing, refecting on some important points and enjoying a good meal together.

One have more day and then we will return our homes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!......

Even though we see many, many turkeys each day in the street, I do not think we will be eating any today. If I am wrong, I will let you know.

Let us continue to be more thankful each day for each blessing! You know them, friends, our health, our financial status, living in a free country..........and the list goes on. I know I am thankful for the blessings I have.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clinic in Mactzul VI

We arrived in Mactzul VI we were the only ones there. Usually some of the church members meet us at the entry but today we had to find them. This was not a good sign for a busy clinic but we finished ok. We had 6 patients today.

We waited outside on the steps and then we waited inside near the medicine.............surely someone needed something.

Gaspar, Juan and I had just moved outside again when this man came to the clinic carrying his son on his back. Glenn and Neva were inside waiting. Then gentleman told us that his son has been in bed for 20 days, unable to walk. He had seen Josefina in Clinica Caris and brought the labwork she requested they obtain.

After we examined him and finished the consult, I noticed that contumbre was written under religion. I recognized his family from the church in Mactzul. He told me that he was not baptized. We talked to him about his need for baptism and Juan translated into K'iche' for his parents and grandmother. I hope something was said that will cause him to think about his realtionship with God and his need for baptism.

Then they decided to play nice for the camera:)

OK, tomorrow we are all headed to the coast for an end of the year meeting. Please pray that everyone has safe travels.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Not to long ago, I mentioned a friend of mine who is trying to sell some of her paintings. She lives in Antigua and had a showing of her art a few weeks ago. If you are interested in any of her paintings or have any questions, please email me and I can connect you with Mary.

Clinics in Lemoa and Xepocol

On Monday, I worked in Lemoa with Josefina's group. We had a great day with 30 medical patients. I worked in the pharmacy, checked blood sugars and helped with glasses. This lady needed some sunglasses but we did not have a mirror so she could decide if she wanted them or not. When I showed her the photo, she was so excited to have them! I love it when patients are happy patients.

Today we had clinic in Xepocol. We had 13 patients today. We had a variety of patients. Many had stomach problems, many had a cough and one was early in her pregnancy.

One young man has problems with drinking once a month. During this time he does not know where he is and says he will not do it again but always does. We talked about his family and how it is affecting his children. I hope that something was said different today that will cause him to think about his actions and decisions. Sometimes people have to fall really hard before they know they need to change. I hope that he will return to the clinic again in January.

This is Gapsar and his dog Odie. Odie was camera shy today.

OK, tomorrow we are off to Mactzul VI..................

Monday, November 23, 2009

To God be the Glory

I want to express my thanks to God for the continued growth of Heath Talents and for the support I have received from South Fork. Many missions are started but do not last for very long. God has continued to bless Health Talents and those who support it.

Yesterday was Mission Sunday at South Fork and they have already exceeded their goal by 25 percent!! Not only do they support work here in Guatemala but also in the Ukraine, the Eastern European Missions, Haiti, Nigeria and the Iglesia de Cristo in Winston Salem.

It seems like just last week when I came here to Guatemala. I remember my last Sunday to worship in Winston. Charlie asked me to come to the front and he read a scripture to the congregation.
Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went all through the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field."
I still carry that yellow card in my Bible as a reminder. We all have a mission. We are here to teach as Jesus and his disciples did. Christ provides hope that does not come from physical or material gain.
Service is an act that we can perform, no matter what country we are in or the time of day. Let us remember our mission and carry it through with love and compassion.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This morning, I jumped on a bus and went to Quiche for worship. I also wanted to get some photos made, get my hair cut and check on Tomasa from yesterdays clinic.

There were not many people at worship this morning. The afternoon session has become so large they are considering finding another location. The morning session remains small.

Afterwards, I went to get photos copied and when I was a block from the Fuji store, a transformer blew and it sounded like more firecrackers and another party. Well, that shot the electricity and the internet services.

I went to get my hair cut but there was a line of customers waiting for Celso. This was good for Celso but not for me.

I finally was able to contact some of Tomasa's family. The lady that I talked to told me that Tomasa was not any better. She had gone to the hospital, had received an injection but they were not told I still have no idea what is wrong.

I have decided that Nako is depressed and I wanted to cheer him up so I decided to decorate him. Once he understood the wreath was to wear and not to eat, he did not mind it.

He wanted to show you both his sides.

During the afternoon, I worked on a diabetic lesson I am preparing.

Tomorrow, I will do clinic with Josefina and her group. After clinic, I hope to return to Quiche and finish the things I did not accomplish today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Clinic in Mactzul V

I met Gaspar and Juan this morning and we went to Mactzul V. I was in for a surprise because I did not realize Mactzul has had a face lift.......or I should say a land lift. For those who have been there, you will remember that we drove up an embankment and their building was up on another level.

Well, they have totally torn their building down, for a good reason, and have leveled the land. They have outgrown their building and did not have room for everyone and are continuing to grow. They have dug out the land and there is level now.

We had a good clinic of 12-13 patients. The morning went fairly quick with nothing unusual.

In the afternoon, one patient came that was having difficulty breathing. I called Lisa for a consult and then encouraged the young lady to go to the hospital in Quiche. I will call and check on her tomorrow and give you an update.

Today we took photos of the children that might be admitted to the ABC program in 2010. These children had the most personable smiles.

After all of the patients were seen, we had lunch and it was very delicious. We had fried chicken, rice, salad and tortillas. During lunch I was joking with the guys on when they were going to start building again..................they told me hopefully, in 2015! Then they laughed so hard I thought they were going to fall out of their chair!

After clinic tonight, I felt like going up to town and just checking things out. There was a group singing in the park and someone should have asked them to quit :) I went to one of my favorite restaurants and had guacamole with chips and spinach soup. I then grabbed some cokes and came home for the night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clinic in Lemoa

Today was our clinic in Lemoa. We had a great clinic of 28 patients.

We started out with our morning devotional with Marcos leading our thoughts. Then we prayed with all of the patients........then we went to work.

I especially liked the way I was able to work. In the morning, I was able to follow Lisa and ask questions. Then there was a meeting about the ABC Program, so I was able to work in the pharmacy. After lunch, I saw patients. It was an exciting day and I did not get bored.

Tomorrow will be a day to study at home and the focus will be diabetic teaching.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clinic in Xepol

Nako looked very lonely this morning. I sat on the step and talked to him as I waited for Kemmel this morning. Kemmel stopped for me and then we got Gaspar in Chichi. We had an uneventful drive to Xepol but let me tell you how cold it was there! Now, when I am in Montellano I remind you several times how HOT it is there so I may remind you a few times how COLD it was today in Xepol!

When we first arrived, we did not have any patients. We set up the clinic and patiently waited.

One by one, a few arrived. The complaint that most patients had was a sore throat, cough and fever. Could that be related to how COLD it is in Xepol???

This was a few children who were hanging out with their parents today. Notice they have on short sleeves???

I love this gentleman. He is the grandfather of Tomas that helps us with the clinic. He is 88 years old....................but that age is still up for question.

Now, this gentleman is aware of the temperature in Xepol. He went to lay down in the sun. I was just a little nervous on the slope he chose to lay on!

The patient that concerned me the most was a 13 year old that has seizures. He has had them for 1.5 years and his father said this is the first time they have sought help. He may have 2-3 a day and then at another time he may have 1-2 in a week. I started him on medicine and he will see Lisa at Carris in a couple of weeks. I really hope we can help him. He is studying in school and it is difficult for him.

We had 7 patients today and I always say that is better than none :)

I have heard that Jane is doing well after her knee surgery. We are thankful to God for His love and protection.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy clinic in Chutzurob

We had a great day in Chutzurob! I picked up Gaspar today. We were missing Juan since he is in Montellano helping with the eye clinic. The drive was unremarkable but when we arrived it was remarkable!

The brothers met us outside and told us we had a crowd. We had 32 medical patients and 12 dental cleanings waiting for us. We talked for a few minutes at the truck and then decided that we could do it. They had already announced the cleanings and we felt we needed to do them.

Gaspar started taking the names and I started doing the initial vital signs. We then talked to the patients for a few minutes and asked them for their patience. We prayed and then began.

Gaspar set up his cleaning area and he was so excited. He said he would help me with the pharmacy between problem.

We were cruising and then Lisa and Kemmel came to help! They arrived at a good time. A young child of 2.5 years that had not developed well was the next patient. Lisa helped me with her and then we saw patients seperate.

Kemmel working in the pharmacy area.

Lisa teaching the ladies how to take a blood pressure. Sorry it is so blurry. My camera lens is loose and sometimes does not work well.

They needed another arm to practice on.

We finished and loaded the truck. We followed Kemmel and Lisa back to Chichi. After parking the trucks, I was craving fried chicken. It was odd but that is what I wanted. I took a book with me and read about urinary tract infections and gram + and gram - stuff.

It was dark about 6 pm and when I arrived at the house........I had a surprise. I heard music and I stopped to listen. It was Christmas music coming from the house and the trees had been decorated with lights! I could not believe it! Tomasita will be surprised to find out how much of a scrooge I am. It is not even December yet!! Maybe I need to find a decoration for Nako to wear around his neck! ha ha ha

Thank you again Lisa and Kemmel..........Gaspar and I may still be in Chutzurob!...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Catch-up stuff

OK, time to catch up on a few things. JoLee and I headed to Panajachel on Friday morning since we had time to swing by on our way to Antigua.

During our drive, we saw this ayudante trying to stay on top of the bus and not get tangled in the wires or fall on the metal yes, the bus was moving at good speed!

We stopped along the way so I could get a few photos and JoLee could buy a few more things!

We ate steak on the lake and it was very good.

We spent the night in Antigua at Casa Florencia. Kemmel suggested it and I also would recommend it. We arranged her shuttle near the hotel for the next morning.

I took my passport to my friend Mary, who lives in Antigua. She helps me with that since the day the office is open is not an easy day to travel to Antigua. She is also trying to sell some paintings and I will post some of those later.

For those that know me, you know one of my favorite restaurants is Cafe in the Sky........yes, we had dinner there and I loved my salad!

JoLee had a safe flight to New York and will visit when she has time again. It was nice having her for a few more days.

Please remember Jane in your prayers. She is having knee surgery today in Winston Salem. She is the friend who started Evelyn's Baskets of Love and Live for the cleft lip and palate babies.

Tomorrow, I will go to Chutzurob and see what patients I can see :):):)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday in Lemoa

This morning, Lisa picked me up and then we went to get Neva and JoLee. We had a clinic full and it was great. Glenn went with the other group to San Jose.

We began our usual clinic day with a short devotional. Marcos led us in some thoughts and then we prayed. We remembered that JoLee would be flying back to New York, that Glenn and Neva would be traveling to the coast for the eye clinic, for the activities of the local churches and the patients that we would be seeing today.

We then went outside and Gaspar led us in prayer with the patients.

Neva worked with Lisa and was able to "pick her brain." I am sure we wear her brain out sometimes :)

This gentleman comes and sees us for his diabetes. He has had several problems in his life but today he told me that he has worked out most of his problems and that he is, "very tranquil." He is walking for exercise and knows he needs to continue this. His blood sugar has been running high 200's and today it was around 120. He is on the right road!!

We finished seeing the patients and had a quick lunch of eggs, tortillas and a special salsa. It was very good!

Juan, Neva, JoLee and I went to visit Armando. He is the patient that we have been visiting in his him twice a month. He states that he does feel stronger. He also told us about a friend who he had not seen for quite a while and his friend also noticed the difference in strength. It is these little steps that are encouraging.

Armando's wife just had a baby and he is precious. Neva held the baby for a few minutes. I decided to wait until the next visit to see if they want a photo. I still try to be very careful with the camera.

Tomorrow, JoLee and I will go to Antigua and get her a shuttle to the airport on Saturday. It has been great having her here. We have had some wonderful meals in the local restaurants but the best one is The Dunham Restaurant! Soup, cheese, fresh baked bread, diet coke...........a great meal for any medical missionary!!! Thank you, Lisa and Kemmel!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Last clinic for Chuguexa in 2009

Juan, Jo Lee, Glenn, Neva and I traveled to Chuguexa this morning. We had a great drive. There was no fog or other problems and we arrived in plenty of time to set up the clinic.

This will be the last clinic for the year so I told Juan that we needed to talk to the person in charge of the clinic about continuing next year. We have had very little involvement of the members of the church and we are hoping to change that.

We carried things that we needed up to the clinic and began talking to one man as we waited for some patients. He stated that he would get some other men from the congregation and we could talk.

Juan explained in K'iche' what our concerns were and I interjected at times. I emphasised that we want to continue the clinic if they would participate and announce it more. I think there is a great need in this community.

We received the usual fear that if more advertising is done, some patients might not be seen. We talked through that. The clinic is the ministry of the local church and we need their involvement. There was a sense of enthusiasm before we ended the session. One of the gentleman gave Juan his phone number for a contact. We will call before a clinic for encouragement and to remind them to announce. We concluded with a prayer asking God for His blessing on the clinic and the local church.

Events like this are very exciting for me..........if there is more involvement from the members,the clinic will grow but more important, the patients will have contact with the Christians.

This mother brought her baby for another exam. This is her first baby and she is little nervous.

We had 7 patients and I think that 4 were diabetic. One gentleman usually has a glucose of 200-300. Today his blood sugar was 98!! I was so excited for him! He was at the clinic last month when we had our small class on nutrition. I hope he continues to do well.

We had a pregnant lady and Glenn was able to do some teaching. She was close to delivery and she may already be holding her baby :)

It was a great day and I am looking forward to the new year with Chuguexa!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Class in Lemoa

Today was another educational day for the promoters. We had a smaller class than usual and who knows why.................

Lisa prepared a great CHE lesson on worry and how it affects the body. We have many, many patients that come to clinics and complain of their nerves. They are unable to sleep, unable to rest, have problems with headaches and stomach problems and worry about everything possible.

Lisa divided the class into 4 groups and gave each group a few scriptures to read and explain. This is one reason why I like the CHE is class participatory and you can relate the physical classes to spiritual matters.

This is two of the groups discussing their scriptures.

This group is in heavy discussion while preparing their material.

Manuel had the pleasure of explaining his groups thoughts.

One scripture referenced was...........
Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable----if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-------think about such things.

Lisa gave everyone homework. She told everyone to go home and make a list of the things above in their life. For example, you can think of your children, the good health they have, for the crops that have grown.................the list goes on. We have so much to be thankful for and yet at times we choose to think on the negative and amplify those matters in our lives.

Josefina and Juan Rafael follow along in their Bibles. Juan Rafael is a high school student from La Estancia. He has been observing Josefina for a few weeks for credit in his classes.

After the class, the guys got to play. Juan mows grass for the very first time in his life!!

Tomas tries out the weed eater.

It was a great day............................we discussed physical matters, explored spiritual thoughts and played in the grass.........hopefully, the guys took something home to help them teach their communities and bring glory to God.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday in Chichi

Glenn, Neva and I drove to Santo Tomas for worship. We arrived in time to grab a cup of coffee and then we began.

This is Adam during his last minutes before we began. His message was very good and something we probably all need. His thoughts were on rest and even thought we do not remember the Sabbath Day as it was remembered during the Old Testament, God still wants us to rest.

Adam pointed out that even though we do enjoy our work and we find pleasure in it, there are times we need to say, "enough." Medical people enjoy what they do but after the day is done, it is time to go home to the family. People who work in offices need to clean the desk, close the door and "call it a day."

Robert gave the group a few instructions about the day in the market.

Julie distributed HTI pins and explained the meaning of the cross, the world and the man in the center. The cross represents Christ and He is bigger than the world. The man's legs and arms are extended which represents that HTI reaches out to man spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. Health Talents is holistic in care.

Small groups went in different directions in the market streets. I hung out with Jo Lee as she looked for Christmas gifts.

Several of us met at Casa San Juan and we had a good lunch. Most of us had the nachos and they were great............but the limonadas con soda were really good!!!

This is Dave and his son, Robert, in the market. Rosa, one of the street vendors saw me and asked, "Are your friends real tall?" Yes, Rosa, they are very tall :)

Jo Lee dealing with a seller and then helping another lady.

Jo Lee had seen these shirts hanging in the street and liked them. I wanted one too so we bought them and wore them together as the group left. It did not take long before we changed back into different clothing.

The group headed to Guatemala City where they will have dinner and spend the night. They have an early flight in the morning back to The States. We pray for their safe flight.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clinic in Chuchipaca

The group met for breakfast and again went in different directions. Lisa took one group to Mactzul I and we headed to Chuchipca. There was not a crowd that there usually is when we have a jornada. There are a couple of different factors..............I heard later that there was a wedding in the area and people know that the new floor is being placed in the church building.

We ended up with 28 medical patients, 46 dental patients and 2 dental cleanings.

These people are waiting outside as we were gathering names. We prayed with everyone and then the clinic began!

Glenn and Gaymarie reviewing the medicines that are available.

Two patients waiting outside.

For those of you who are able to follow the blog, you may remember one patient, Sebastian. He has a hard time walking and when Sarah was down here, she suggested Naproxen and he loves it! After Dee visited, she sent me cane to try and see if a patient liked it. Today, I gave the cane to Sebastian to try. I told him, if it was good or bad it was ok to tell me. I wanted to know what he thinks of it.

I gave the cane to him and we got a photo. This is not a good photo of either of us but at least it is a photo with him and his new cane. We will see what he says.

That completed the clinics for the jornada. The clinics have gone quickly and we pray that the patients will feel better but more important, that they have seen the love of Christ and they will have a close relationship with Him.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday in Paxot II

We met at the hotel for breakfast and then went in two different directions.......Xepocol and Paxot II. Our group went to Paxot and we had a good day.

I drove the Suk, which I love. Josefina, Neva and I rode in it to clinic. We had a good time as we drove through the mud and hoped for the best! We sang songs that we knew in English and Spanish...................we were preparing for clinic :)

This is Adam, who is serving as our chaplain this week. He also brought me some Diet Dr. Pepper......thank you, Adam!!

These were two of our young patients.

Jala is demonstrating her skills as a nurse. This is her second time down.........................I think she will return!

We had a very good lunch of fried chicken, rice, beans and tamalitos.

This is Adam, Josefina, Mike and Jana. Mike is Jana's dad.

This is Kristina, checking out a baby. I translated for a few patients with Kristina and then I went to work in the pharmacy.

We saw 21 medical patients, had 75 dental patients and 7 dental cleanings.

When most of the patients were done, Donna and Robert wanted to visit their ABC Child that lives near by. We jumped into the Suk and drove to their house. They were home and very excited to see Donna and Robert.

They gave a piece of material to Donna. The mother folded it and placed on Donna's left shoulder.

Robert proceeded to show the gifts they brought. They really liked the plastic truck that can run on the cement. They also liked the pencils and stickers.

When all of the patients were seen, we loaded the trucks and headed home. We were told we would have problems passing on parts of the road......but someone else told us we would have not problems so we went for it. There was a lot of mud but all of us stayed on the road and we are always thankful for that.