Sunday, January 31, 2010

How is your relationship with God?

Today I spent the morning trying to get caught up. I could not see the bottom of the table because of my notes and different things. By the end of the afternoon, I could see the glass bottom.................yes, progress!!!

I went to Quiche for worship services in the afternoon and it was a very good sermon. He started by talking about Ephesians, chapter 5. Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus about being careful of slipping back into sin or darkness.

Ephesians 5:14-------Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.

He went on to talk about how easy it is to fall back into sin if we are not careful. He then asked, "So how do we apply this today?"

He suggested that we ask each other, "How is your relationship with God?" That question might stir some thoughts and might keep us in check. Some people might think that is too personal of a question. Yet, if that question causes someone to seriously think if they are where they need to be and reevaluate their life, it is a good question.

How is your relationship with God?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What if God lost interest in us?

This morning the guys and I traveled to Chuchipaca for clinic. We had a good day with patients. We saw a few pregnant ladies and they were progressing well. It was unusual that we did not see any of our diabetic patients. Hopefully, they will be back in 15 days.

When we returned to Chichi, I went to get photos made for the ABC program........2 hours later, with about 200 photos in my hand, I was ready for some ice cream :)

Later in the afternoon I walked to the little store near my house. There was a young man standing there and he asked me if I was a Jehovah's Witness. I told him no, that I am a Christian. I asked him a few questions and he told me that he had been a Jehovah's Witness for about 7 years but right now he is not really anything.

We talked a few more minutes about his searching. I told him that more important than anything was he needed to understand what the Bible teaches. Not matter where he is or who he is talking to, everyone will him a different opinion. People's opinions do not matter......what God says, is what matters.

I could tell as we talked for a few more minutes, he lost interest. He did not want to talk anymore about God. In one moment he was asking the questions and seemed interested but then in the next minute he was anxious to talk about something different or to be on his way.

So my question is, "What if God or Christ lost interest in us?" We know that this can not happen so it is only a thought. Scriptures tell us that God is constant and can not change.

James 1:17---Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Romans 3:3---Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

His love, compassion and interest in us does not change from day to day or minute to minute. Maybe we should be more cognisant of our interest and faithfulness to Him.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thankful Mactzul III

We traveled to Mactzul III for our clinic today. Tomas met Maury, Martina and I there. As soon as we arrived, we were asked to join a group that were praying were the new church building will be built. Today there would be a special lunch, a worship service and some other activities.

We climbed to where the new site will be. There were brothers and sisters from many of the area congregations as we stood at the new site. Look at that sky! Sebastian talked about the growth of The Church and how this is pleasing to God.

When we walked back down to the clinic you could see back up on the hill the guys starting to work.
We had a good clinic with 9 medical patients and Marcos had 20 dental patients. There were many people through out the day waiting for the afternoon activities.

We had several interesting patients. One lady came and her only complaint was that she was always other problems or complaints. I noticed that she has lost 20 pounds in about 5 months and then I heard Lisa talking to me :) Yes, her blood sugar was 431. I spent a lot of time talking to her and her family about her diet and how important it would be with the medication.

There was one young lady that was pregnant. Her husband and mother-in-law seemed excited about this news.

Speaking of diet, it was then time for lunch. We walked to a house up on the hill. I stopped to get a few more photos of what had taken place. They had begun digging and this is the view from where the new building will be.

The very early stages........

There were no more patients after lunch so we finished packing and then went to watch the activities.

Marcos helps gather more information for the prizes.

The first prize was a young bull that had been decorated. He was not fond of the walk until he was able to stop and eat. I thought, now if I win the bull, what will I do with it? Can it live in my kitchen or on my couch??? I do not think Nakko would enjoy him as a yard mate and he would probably eat Tomasita's flowers.

Tomorrow the guys and I will head out to Chuchipaca...........................

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clinic in San Jose

Today, I went to clinic with Josefina and her group in San Jose. It was a small clinic of 9 medical patients and Tomas had 1 dental cleaning.

There was time in between patients for Josefina and I to talk about different things. She has less than a year of school left and then she will be done. It has been a challenging time for her but I think she has done well.

She had one patient that came and told her about an accident he and his wife had been in. It sounded as if it had been an serious one and the truck/ car had gone off an embankment. Josefina encouraged he husband to return with his wife and she did come to the clinic in the next hour.

While we were waiting for the patient, the little girl that lives there went and picked guayaba fruit for us. We washed it in the pila and ate it. It was very good

The wife did come for a consult and Josefina talked to her about her injuries. The injuries were minor and for that we are very thankful. The lady told Josefina that she is a Christian and that she knows how blessed she is since she was not hurt more than she was. They talked about God's plan for each of us and sometimes we do not understand why things happen and yet God is always with us. Josefina prayed with her and she was very appreciative of the consult and the medicine.

We went to Carris to have lunch and see if we needed to help out.

Two of the cleft-lip babies came for exams.

Gloria continues to have some problems with her eyes and needs an ultrasound now.
Marvin came for his first consult so we will continue to watch him for surgery in August.

We had dinner with Ric and Nathan again tonight and wished them the best travels back to The States.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There is a Panther fan in La Palma!!!

Neva, Maury and I went to Quiche to meet Josefina and her group. Today we went to La Palma for an ABC Clinic. I love the drive to La it always very pretty.

The Panthers will be very excited to hear they have a fan in La Palma, Guatemala!! Maybe he will cheer them on to a better season next year!

There are 25 ABC students in La Palma and we examined 2o of them today. Tomas is checking their vision.

The exam is taken very serious by the students and they enjoy it.

This lady and her daughter waited patiently until it was their time to be seen.

This is Noe and his dad, Agostin. Noe is sponsored by my parents and Agostin helps us in the clinics.

When we arrived back to Lemoa, we checked in at Clinica Carris. They were having a good day and had a few patients for Dr. Ric and Nathan.

We all had dinner together and enjoyed the fellowship.................tomorrow is another day and another adventure!!

Education Day

"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life." ~ Henry Doherty (1870-1939)

Today we had an an educational day with Lisa. She is a great teacher and is always ready to help us. So we gathered outside and studied prenatal issues, babies with high bilirubin and abdominal assessments. When I see patients later, I can hear her talking and it is helpful!

After lunch we went inside and reviewed eye exams.

While we had class, the guys and Maury worked around the clinic. A few months ago they planted several types of vegetables to see how they would grow. I think that today was the first time they were able to take some of the vegetables.

Here Tomas has a few tomatoes and carrots. That is one carrot!

We later met for dinner in Chichi. Dr. Ric is here for two days to work with patients with arthritis. Nathan is also with us for two days and he is a physical therapist. The clinics last year were a great success because so many people here have chronic pain.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Xepocol Baptisms

We gathered at the pools for baptisms this morning. The Church from Xepocol has continued to grow and today there were 8 baptisms.......and all for the glory of God!

When I arrived, everyone was singing and preparing for the baptisms. Sebastian from Mactzul V talked about the freedom that we have in Christ when we are Christians.

There were about 70-80 people present.

We gathered in a small pool area and sang before the baptisms.

This was the first gentleman baptized.

As each person would enter the water, the men would talk and explain what was going to happen.......and each person left the water a new person with a new life in Christ.

Romans 6:3-5-----Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

This was the two elders having a final prayer as they left the water.

I left the park after talking to Gaspar and some of the men. We talked about how the angels in heaven are rejoicing today as more people have accepted Christ and now are Christians.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday in Chichi

When I was home for Christmas, the South Fork congregation gave me a basket of letters. The instructions were to open one letter and read it when I became lonely or homesick. Well, I do miss my family and friends but I would not say I am "homesick."

I randomly opened my first letter today and it was written by Eric.

I appreciated the words written by his young man. He stated that if people listen and obey the words of God that they will go to heaven. He stated that he is aware that many people in Guatemala need help. He wrote that many prayers are sent for the work here in Guatemala. Thank you, Eric!

Even though one of the obvious cultural differences between here and The States is financial wealth, I think wanting to give your guest or visitor the best is equally important. In The States, the host wants the house to be in perfect order and pulls out the dinner china. Here, the guest will be given the best seat and usually will be served first.

Think of how special our new home will be. Eric made reference to this in his letter, heaven.

At this very moment, Christ is preparing our new home for us. We have no idea how special this will be......we just have to trust.

John 14:2-4------Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place I am going.

So Guatemala is not my home, nor The States, nor North Carolina. I am waiting for the promise of my true all Christians are.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We filled two trucks today and headed to Chuchuca. This is the area that sometimes we are not able to get to due to heavy rain and mud. This morning Kemmel, Glen, Neva, Josefina, Tomas, Manuel, Maury and I made the travel. We left Chichi about 0630 and began clinic about 0930.

It was a pretty morning for a drive as we climbed up and the altitude of 7,726 feet.

It was a busy day but we enjoyed it. Marcos was one of our patients today.

Between patients we had a few minutes to talk to the children.

With just a few more patients left, it was time for lunch. We enjoyed great chicken and rice soup with tortillas.

On the way back to clinic, Josefina walked the plank across the ditch.

We saw 44 medical patients and Tomas had 4 patients for dental cleanings.

As we were finishing, Glen was letting one young man listen to his heart.

This is Estella and she is an ABC Child. She is sponsored by Hettie from Morganton, NC and she is a very nice young lady.

Wow, what a day! On the day home, Kemmel let us stop for a snack. I ran to the Diet Coke aisle but I also stopped for some ice cream too :)

We arrived back in Chichi about 7 pm................a good day and one in which we were able to help where there is a need.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa and house visits

It was a good day in Lemoa with clinic. There were 28 medical patients and Gaspar had 6 patients for dental cleaning.

We began our morning with the usual sweeping and preparing the clinic. Marcos had a short devotional for us. We then prayed for several things, including Haiti, The Church in Xepocol as it continues to grow, Mary R. and her health, Marcos' mom, the surgical patients at the coast and our daily travels. I know that God will answer those prayers.

We had a surprise visit today from a little girl that we have been trying to find. Her name is Gloria and many may remember her from last August when she had her cleft lip repaired at Clinica Ezell. It is time for her to have her palate repaired but we have been unable to find her.

Anyway, as we examined her today, Lisa was concerned with her eye. Her mom said that Gloria does not see with her right eye but as Lisa examined it, she became even more concerned. We gave information to Gloria's mom about a specialist in Solola so we are hoping they will return to the clinic after an evaluation. Please pray for Gloria and her mom and I will keep you posted.

Juan and I visited Armando in his home during the afternoon and took him a new walker. He seemed pleased with it. He told us that he continues to get stronger but the progress is slow. I told him that I had received an email from Steve and he hopes to visit again in July.

We then went to visit another lady and she seemed a little more relaxed with us today. We took her some medicine and talked to her about the clinic. She has connections with a group of ladies that meet in that community and told her that we would be glad to offer classes within the community if they are interested. We will see if we hear anything on that.

Tomorrow we will leave Chichi early and go to Chuchuca for a clinic there. It should be a great day of travel and an exciting clinic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maybe a spark in Chuguexa??

Today Lisa, Neva, Juan and I headed to Chuguexa. This is a clinic where there is apparent much need but the spirit needs to be revived in the clinic. In November, we spoke to the members of the church there about helping us with the clinic and taking a bigger part in its success.

This young man wanted to show is new sticker to the camera.

When he found out how much fun it was to see his photo, he wanted his friends to participate.

So, today, we did see a little spark. The men from the congregation stayed and helped Lisa and Neva with the consult. Juan worked the pharmacy and I did vital signs and labs.

It was a diabetic / scabies clinic. There is a great need in this area and maybe we will see the interest continue to grow. We had 11 patients today. Before we left, the people asked when the next clinic would be and they assured us that they will continue to announce it.

The area is very pretty. This photo is taken from where the clinic is held.

Tomorrow is another day...........and another adventure.........

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A day of study

Today was a day to continue to prepare more educational materials for our health promoters and prepare for classes.

It is an every day challenge to continue to learn the language, well really two languages, continue to learn the culture and study more to function better in the clinics. I do not think my Spanish will ever be perfect but I long for the day that I no longer sound like a gringa. I hope that some day I will be able to communicate well enough in K'iche' that I do not need a translator. I know, my life is full of hopes.............but I can handle that.

During the last four years, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the Ethiopian eunuch........

Acts 8:26-36-----Now an angel of the Lord said to Phillip, "Go south to the road, the desert road that goes down from the Jerusalem, to Gaza." So he started out and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to the chariot and stay near it." Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. "How can I," he said "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

So, Philip goes on to explain the passage in Isaiah. The Ethiopian learns about Christ and learns what he needs to do. He then sees water, understands the need for baptism and Philip baptizes him.

Anyway, I have thought about this man sitting in his chariot more times than I can say. He had just traveled Jerusalem to worship so he did have an interest in learning what he needed to know. He wanted to learn but needed help. I can not tell you how many times I have needed help! I continue to need help every day!

The need to learn can be frustrating. Sometimes you do not see the progress you want to see. Sometimes you study and study but can't remember the next day. Sometimes you think you know it and then realize you are way off.

During college, I did study enough to get by but now, learning is different. It has become a means to survive. It is a strong drive. If I don't continue to learn, I will never function at my optimum level. At that point maybe I should start making and selling tortillas on the corner.......just kidding.

Tomorrow we have clinic in hope for them is that their clinic will grow this year. There is a definite need there and maybe we can be Philip to them!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Did you feel what I felt????

Many people have heard about the earthquake that hit Guatemala on Monday morning. In the light of what recently happened in Haiti, it was nothing. It did register at 6.0 on the Richter Scale but no reports death or damage..................just enough to shake you up a little, literally.

I had gone to lake Atitlan to play with a new camera. I was getting ready to go have breakfast and then I heard the wind blowing. I looked out the window and the trees were actually moving! The windows began to rattle........and then the floor moved. That is when it hit me, "Here goes another earthquake!" The trash can bounced around a few inches. The pictures on the wall could not decide if they were going to fall or just sway. It lasted long enough for me to think, "This is enough......enough."

After the excitement, I went and had that breakfast.

Photos of Lake Atitlan around 11am.

My return to Chichi was it is time to get back to work!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa

Today was one of my "residency days" with Lisa in Lemoa and it was good. I saw patients and if they were new to the clinic, I would examine and then present them to her. My first two were trauma patients. The first little boy had fallen off his bike and the other was a father who's little girl had jammed him in the eye with a pencil............yes, children will be children!!

We are getting down to the wire on the Plastic Clinic in February. We saw three children today. Below is Edison and his family. His paperwork and lab work are complete. This will be his second surgery in Montellano and will be sponsored by the Morganton Church of Christ.

Edison and his mom.

This is Wilmer and this will be his second surgery but his first at Montellano. He will have his palate repaired. He is ready to go and his sponsor is Lorie, who has helped in plastic clinics.

Wilmer and his dad.

This is Amelia. She returned on Monday and she is also ready now. This will be her first surgery in Montellano and she will be sponsored by Frank and Evelyn.

There are a few going to Montellano for a consult so we will see what happens........I will keep you posted............

ABC Clinic in Mactzul VI

We had another ABC Clinic today in Mactzul VI. It was a busy day but not one out of control :)

We unloaded the truck, set up the table, hung some privacy sheets, prayed as a group and went to work. We saw 24 ABC Children, 16 general consults and 10 dental patients.

Kemmel took photos of the children in the program. These were two of the children.

What prize students!

I talked to Juan about the Paxot Conference that we went to on Monday. If you remember, there were between 1,800 and 2,000 in attendance. I asked him about Tuesday and he said an easy 2,000 were there! That is a lot of tortillas, tomalitos or whatever you are preparing. I asked him about the meat that they served. He said that the church had purchased and prepared three bulls for the conference!! Wow!!! That is a lot of................meat :) He told me that he has promised to donate one bull for the conference in 2011-2012. He said twice, "That is my promise to The Church."

It was another great day. We had some visitors that knew Kemmel and Lisa. They flew into the Santa Cruz airport, rode to Mactzul, visited and then had lunch with us. Does it sound like we eat a lot here? Well.........we had rice, steak and tortillas. We pray that the group returns safely.

Tomorrow, is another clinic in Lemoa. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Xepocol ABC Clinic

Today, we had ABC Clinic in Xepocol which is Gaspar's community. Yes, it was another cold day. I wrapped up in my scarf and gloves. Even the Guatemalans were cold. This is Martina, trying to warm her hands inside her purse.

Who's feet are these? There was one spot with warm sun light inside where we have clinic and this person is trying to warm their feet. The answer to follow.

We stopped and had a lunch of salad, rice, steak and watermelon drink. It was great. We finished the afternoon with a few patient. Lisa and Gaspar went to visit a lady in her home.

Neva, measuring one of the young ladies.

One of the young guys posing for Kemmel, who was our photographer today.

It was a good day. We saw 27 ABC Children, 9 adults and 22 dental patients.

There was one young many with a hernia and hopefully, he will see Dr. Hoak in Chichi.

If you still are not sure of those feet, they belong to Marcos :)

Tomorrow, we are off to Mactzul VI for another ABC Clinic.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paxot II Conference

Lisa, Kemmel and I went to the Paxot II Conference today. It was a very, very cold morning. Mary and Jim, I bundled up in your scarf and gloves :) When we arrived there were many people but many more would arrive! The seats filled quickly and then they carried in more seats to fill the aisles.....until there was no more room! This is a problem but it is a good problem.

The outside was in the same situation. Tarps had been hung and people filled the chairs.

The singing was great! It was just a glimpse of what heaven will be like. The building trembled.

Lisa and Kemmel talking with some of the brothers.

It was great seeing so many people from the different clinics. It takes a while but then you begin to remember which community they are from.

I went into the kitchen to see what was happening.........and there was a lot of cooking going on!! These ladies were cooking something like spinach. The lady on the left (Manuel's wife) was tossing in the greens as the other lady was stirring them down as they cooked. Then two more handfuls were tossed in!

So, you have greens being cooked and then in the pot with the blue cover are the tamalitos. I can not tell you how many pot fulls were cooking or had been cooked.

A closer look at the tamalitos.

For awhile they let me stir the coffee and it was good. Then I helped carry in some more firewood. I really like helping out in the kitchen.

Now, that is a pot full of beans!!

Through the day, I heard different people say how many people they thought were in attendance. I heard 800 and then I heard 1,200. Based on the meals served, the count was 1,800-2,000. Those ladies in the kitchen really have a hard job but they are greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 8, 2010

ABC Clinic in Patxot II

We headed to Paxot II today for an ABC Clinic. It was a beautiful but very cool morning.

Before we started clinic I went upstairs and got this photo from the surrounding area.

This is Neva preparing for clinic.

It was busy day but it went along smoothly. Lisa saw 20 general patients, I saw 45 ABC children and Marcos attended to 17 dental patients. Kemmel, with the promotors kept patients moving through the process. We had Manuel, Juan and Gaspar today and Martina assisting Marcos.

Some children playing after their consult.

We know the children are our future.........our health care givers, our business leaders, our church leaders as our politicians. We will eventually depend on them. If this is a scary thought, maybe us as adults have not done our job. We need to ascertain that they are receiving the best education possible.

Proverbs 22:6-----Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Training is a key component but our example and respect for the child is equally important.

Colossians 4:21---Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged.

Parenting is not easy......much love and prayer are needed but it is a responsibility.

Next week begins the Paxot II conference. It will last for 3 days and there will be several speakers though the week. I will be a time of prayer and praise.

These men from the community have set up an area where people will be able to get snacks during the conference.

This was the first ABC clinic of the year and there will be more. These children will have the opportunity to remain in school, recieve dental and medical care during the year, recieve school supplies, will write letters to their sponsor and remain active in the church with their family.

Tomorrow, Lisa and I have a Pap Clinic in Lemoa.