Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Bithday Geronimo!!!

Today all of us were invited to the birthday celebration of Martina's brother. Geronimo. When we arrived at the house we was out doing errands but we were served a wonderful meal of fried chicken, salad, rice and tortillas. His mom also served us some chili, that was to die for so, we are going to see if she will make us a gallon and sell it to us!

This is Geronimo.

After lunch, we sat and talked for awhile and then moved into the kitchen area. Martina's mom started talking about the cortes and huipils. She went and got a set and Lisa tried them on. They were very pretty and looked good on Lisa. We were calculating the cost and now undestand why the ladies are lucky if they get one new outfit a year.

Lisa and Martina's mom, Tomasa.

We got everyone together for a family photo.

Then we were entertained by the turkeys and other animals. The turkeys were my favorite and I thought it was very interesting that when they made noise, they all did it together as a choir and then they were all silent. They were strutting around the patio!

Martina's mom took us out to see a turkey that was sitting on a nest of chicken eggs. A turkey will sit on chicken eggs but a chicken will not sit on turkey eggs until they hatch. That does not seem quite fair. Anyway, there were several under her that had hatched and a few more that would probably hatch in a few hours.

We were then served a piece of birthday cake that was large enough for four people. We were giving a plate and a bag to take home the part we were unable to finish.

It was a good day and Happy Birthday, Geronimo!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010



See you in a few weeks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Church of Christ in India

Today, I have a day at home to do laundry and catch up on things.

A few weeks ago, I started receiving messages from Bontha, that lives in India. I am not sure how he found me but he did and we started chatting. Because of the time difference from Guatemala and India, when he is starting his day, I am ending mine.

This is The Church of Christ that meets in Kamepalli, India. They very much support the widows and orphans in the area.

Almost every night, we chat for a few minutes and we talk about our day. This is Bontha as he prepares to baptize a gentleman.

Distribution of food for those who are in need.

Bontha asks for our prayers in their ministry. Prayer is so important to the work of The Church. It does not matter which county we are in. The needs of people are the same and yet situations are different. Some areas are poorer than others when it comes to material blessings yet everyone needs Christ.

Material things will end. Think about the words of Christ in Luke 12, when He talked about the rich fool. The man thought he would build more barns for his grains and his goods. His priorities were not on his relationship with God.

So, God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

So, the question is, "How do we apply this parable or story to ourselves today?"

Please pray for the work of Bontha and the work of The Church in Kamepalli, India.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meeting in Clinica Ezell

After breakfast we gathered to begin the meeting.

We had a guest speaker from Antigua, Dr. Raul, visit and speak to us. He and his wife work in Antigua and are very special people. I did not have my camera yet but will post a photo of him later.

This year, employees who had 5 years or more received Bibles. Here, Rosario receives her Bible from Sylvia. Lisa, Kemmel and Gaspar from the highlands received a Bible......I was disappointed when their photos did not turn out well.

As we waited for the next session to start, the Lux family enjoyed photos on Josefina's computer. (David, Josefina and Marcos)

In the evening, we enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner together...........David takes control of that turkey as Violeta moves on. We enjoyed turkey, honey-baked ham, beans, squash and bread. We also had scrumptious deserts as apple pie, pumpkin pie and apple ????? It was my favorite but my English has escaped me :(

The line continues to grow behind Violeta.

I counted 45 people during the meeting. A few more joined us for dinner so that is a large group to cook for. The ladies in the kitchen always do a fabulous job and we appreciate them.

So, since this was our time of thanksgiving..........I am thankful for my family and friends, as everyone is. I am also thankful for my opportunity to be here and work with Health Talents. I am thankful for the South Fork Church of Christ for sponsoring me. I am thankful for Lisa and Kemmel and for their leadership/example that they are to list could go on but it is time to get in line.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trip to the coast after clinic

Today, Gaspar, Juan and I went to the coast after clinic. We will have a meeting for two days with all of the Health Talent workers.

Our clinic was in Chuguexa and we had 12 patients. Most of them were diabetics and somewhat controlled. I would like their blood sugars a little lower so we will continue to work on that.

The excitement of the day............and also continued into the night were accidents on the highway. The guys and I saw two and we were thankful to get to Clinica Ezell safe.

The second was the worse one by far. When it happened, the flying dust and debris stopped all traffic and we had to wait for the cloud of dust to settle before we would see what had happened.
It included two huge trailer trucks and one car. Everyone was ok except the passenger of one trucks. The driver left the scene........he was GONE!

The police arrived in about 20 minutes and then we took off.........there was nothing we could do and it was obvious the police felt the same. They stood and watched as cars started passing in a situation very dangerous, young people were looting out of the trucks, people were jumping up in the truck to see the gentleman that had died.........the situation was terrible.

Because no one took control nor organized anything, the accident stopped traffic for hours. Josefina's truck, Lisa, Kemmel and Marcos were all several hours late. Lisa, Kemmel and Marcos arrived 6-8 hours later than they should have.

Accidents are a very difficult situation here. The police do not have authority, take control nor are there ambulances available with the needed equipment or trained personnel.

When the guys and I arrived, Carlos and Dante were waiting for us. Dante is four months old!

When Josefina's team arrived......we were thankful but still waiting for Kemmel, Lisa and Marcos. Josefina went home with her brother, David. The guys wanted to eat so we loaded two trucks and went to Chicacao for chicken. The Dunhams had pizza for us did not know when they would arrive.

The best part is that everyone finally did arrive and as I said, we were very thankful!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poco pacientes en Mactzul I

This morning Gaspar called and told me that I may have problems in an area called Chintinimit. They are working on the road and he heard it is closed. My neighbor told me the same thing as I gave her a ride to the market in Chichi. I was lucky and did not have problems but think more people will be working this afternoon.

I met Gaspar without any problems but when we were waiting for Juan, he called. He said that no trucks were running and asked if we could go and get him. Sure! He has heard that the trucks will not be running for 1-3 months due to the road situation. We will see what happens.

When we arrived in Mactzul I, we did not have any patients. I was sad. We mounted the speakers and encouraged people to attend the clinic.

The first two patients that finally arrived were Cristofer and Ismeal. They are four month old twins! One has a bracelet around his wrist so they can tell who is who!

We had 6 medical patents and 6 dental patients.

This little guy was being toted around all morning and all he wanted to do was to be left alone so he could enjoy his thumb........but no, his family would not let him!!

These children came to entertain me when we did not have any more patients.

That was it for the day. We enjoyed lunch....waited for a few more patients but none arrived.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Chuguexa. After clinic, we will head to the coast for 2 days.

Friday, November 19, 2010

ABC Nutrition Class in Mactzul V and exciting news.....

I left for Mactzul V this morning and as I got close to where the class was going to be, I stopped to give people a ride.

When we arrived, Tomas was the only one waiting for us. The crowd was slow to congregate but that is ok. We started off with a few songs and then someone lead us in prayer.

We had a small crowd than expected but that is ok. Tomas told me that tomorrow, there are going to be 15 baptisms! That is no typo, yes, 15 baptisms! Several people that would have been at the class today are away preparing for the activities of tomorrow. I do think the class is important but I think preparing for baptisms is more important!!

So, we had about 70-80 people at the class and that is great. This is a photo of all the students.

The class lasted for about 2.5 hours. They did not have as many questions as the other groups had but that is OK.

After class, I was invited to eat lunch with some of the guys and it was very good. They talked mostly about the construction of the building and measurements. Then they asked me if I had some photos of the old building before they tore it down. I am sure I can find some of those photos for them.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will head out to Chuchipaca to see what we can see!! (as Lisa would say)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clinic in Lemoa

Today was a hopping clinic in Lemoa and it was a good one. It seems that many things always happen during the day and I never can remember all of them to tell you......but this was a funny moment.

I was talking to a patient and he was chewing gum. I guess that he decided that he had chewed it long enough so he stood up, took it out of his mouth and aimed for the trash can. Well, it did not hit the trash can and he realized that it had fallen inside my backpack! We spent a few minutes trying to fish it out but the key is, we found it!

OK, back to the important stuff..........we had 27 medical patients in clinic today. We had several diabetics and a few of them had brought their blood sugar from over 500 to less than 200. I think that is exciting. I saw the first patient I have seen here that has Parkinson's Disease.

We had another baby come to the clinic today that hopes to have his lip repaired in February. His name is Abner and here he is 4 months old. He is already weighing at 12 pounds so we will see what his labs are.

Abner was smiling when he first arrived but he thought I was taking too long to complete the paper work so he got fussy. Here, mom tries to comfort him with the "famous head rub."

We have had some rain the last few days and even tonight. It is odd but then again, there is another storm going over Guatemala and Belize.

Tomorrow, we have a ABC Nutrition Class in Mactzul V. We are expecting a large group of children and parents!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ABC Nutritional Class in Mactzul I

We are continuing to take the ABC Nutritional Class from community to community. Today it was Mactzul I's turn. As Juan and I got closer to the church building we picked up people in the road that were walking. Later, I talked to Lisa and she said this morning she saw several families walking to the class and they looked excited!

I have enjoyed working with each of the promoters that have helped with the class. Today, Juan did a fantastic job. Unfortunately, my K'iche' is pretty pathetic so for each class one of the promoters help me. But this is good..........because in the future, they will be the ones to give the class.

Mactzul I participated today and really showed an interest in the material They had a lot of questions and also encouraged the children to participate. There are 44 children in the program. I was told that over 105 attended the class. Some people, who do not have children in the program, attended the classes because they wanted to hear the information. It was a fun day!

These are the students in the ABC Program in Mactzul I.

After class, Juan and I were invited to have lunch with some of the members of the congregation. We had soup, tortillas and coke.

I want to give an update on three other blogs I have done.

First, in September, we saw a little girl here in Mactzul. Her name is Paulina and she had a severe infection in her hand. I was not sure how her hand would heal. I saw her today and her hand looks wonderful. The whole area of her palm is totally healed. I am so thankful!

Second, in October, I told the story about Jessica. She was the little girl that we thought had meningitis and died. Today, Lisa called me and said that her father has called Gaspar and wants Gaspar to come and talk to him about the gospel. It is a very tragic story for the family but maybe it is causing the parents to think about their relationship with God.

Third, when the last group was here we made a house-call to a lady who had fallen. Dr. Jim, Barbara, Kristin and I drove to a home near a school. The lady was in severe pain and unable to walk. We left her some medicine with the hope that it would help her feel better. I heard last night that she is feeling much better. She is still unable to walk but her grandson said she is not suffering as she was.

Tomorrow is another day and another adventure..........I will be in Lemoa with Lisa and the promoters and Kemmel will be trying to keep us all straight!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ABC Nutrition and Ladies Bible Class

Maury and I left Chichi this morning to go to Mactzul VI for an ABC Nutrition Class. Maury had not seen the material so we talked about it as we were driving. This photo is of the students in the ABC Program.

This is a photo of the parents and the children. Some of the parents are standing on a bench.......Guatemalans are not that tall!! There were some that did not want to be in the photo but there were 70-75 people in attendance.

Before we started the class, I asked if anyone could give me an example of a food that was a protein. I had a few responses but they were in another category of food. For me this is the exciting part.

After we have studied the three classes of food, the students get a photo of a food and they tell the parents what class it is. It is exciting to see the change and how they now can respond to questions.

The Church was very nice and provided lunch for Maury and I. As we ate, the leaders of the ABC program had a meeting with the parents.

After lunch, we went to Chichi to finish a Ladies Bible class that we started a few months ago. We were finished in about three hours and then it was time to head home.

It was a fun and exciting day. Tomorrow will be another adventure!! Juan and I will go to Mactzul I for another ABC Nutritional Class.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A study day at home....

Today I worked at home, making changes in the classes and preparing some new ones.

About 3 pm, I realized how cold I was so I walked to town to be in the sun. It felt very nice outside. I got some photos printed and went to our HUGE grocery store.

I had some photos sent to me and I wanted to share them. I did not have any photos of Debra and Mary, so I was glad to receive this one. This is on Sunday before going into the market.

This is a photo of the group in Xepocol and this little girl has a punctured ear drum.

Tomorrow will be a day in Lemoa with Lisa. We will probably have some procedures and maybe some babies will come that will have surgery in February. It will be a good day!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ABC Nutritional Class in Paxot II

This morning I headed out to Paxot II for their ABC Nutritional Class. There were about 70 people there and it was an exciting time. Manuel translated into K'iche' for me.

They wanted the class in the room that we usually use for dental so it was a little crowded but it worked. They seemed to be very interested and asked a lot of questions. Several people took notes and it worked to their advantage for the exercise after the class.

All of the children got in a line and had a photo of a different food. They had to tell the adults what class of food it was.

One of the gentleman wanted to give a synopsis of the class and it was very good. This let me know that the main concepts of the class were understood. We are really trying to increase protein in the diet and help people be more aware of a balanced diet.

These are the ABC Students in Paxot II.

These are the children with their parents.

The children took turns playing soccer on the roof before we went to lunch. The girls got to play for 15 minutes and then the boys had their turn. When the plastic ball was kicked off the roof, another one was waiting to be used.

So, how do you know if your students remember the material of the class???
1. When one student misses the soccer ball and the others yell at him saying, "Your diet lacks protein!!"
2. When you are eating soup that has pasta in it and the little boy next to you says, "Sheri, you are eating a carbohydrate!!"
3. When you are putting lime in your soup and the lady of the house says, "Sheri, lime is a fruit! Right??"

The classes are fun and eventually our health promoters will be giving the classes and teaching others to give them. It is a slow progress but it will work. The next class will be in Mactzul V and Tomas will be helping me that day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day in Chichi

This morning I went to Santa Cruz to get Magdna for an exam. She has been feeling bad for about a month and wanted to have a consult. As I guessed, her blood pressure is up. Josefina talked to her about taking her medicine since she stopped taking it last time. Let's hope that she sees the need for it and that she will feel better with it.

I saw the Juan and Maury at the clinic when I was there and we have three more classes scheduled. We will finish the Chichi ladies class on the 16th and we will do the ABC Nutritional classes Mactzul I and VI on the 16th and 17th. I will look forward to those days.

Saw my shepherdess friend today as she was herding her sheep home. I have a date with her! I will meet her next Monday morning, near the house at 11AM.........and I will hang out with her and her sheep for the day. I hope the sheep are not camera shy :)

Tomorrow the guys and I head to Xepol................and then I need to go to the health dept. to get my third tetanus shot. whoooooooohoooooooooooo!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday in Chichi

It has been a great week.....full of adventure, meeting new people, helping people who have needs and now it is Sunday, the Lord's Day.

For our worship time this morning we met upstairs, where we usually meet for our evening devotion.

First, I want to introduce to you Ben and Miriam. They have been with us this week and it has been nice getting to know them.

Their father, Pancho, was down in November of 2008 and he was our chaplain during that week. Our primary focus that morning was the Lord's Supper. This is a special time that Christians around the world remember the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We are so thankful for his death but how sad it would be if there had not been the resurrection. We would not have any hope.

Anyway, Pancho asked people to share with the group the different places in the world they had participated in the Lord's Supper. Many members of the group shared that they had been in the middle of different oceans, many were in different countries, backpacking or on camping trips, in a desert, in fox holes during war and others were on mission trips as this.

There are many reasons this time is so important but as Paul said in I Corinthians 11:26------For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup. you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Christ will return some day. Many people do not think we need to do this on a weekly basis/ the first day of the week as the apostles and disciples did but is it something that we want to lose sight of?

In the afternoon the group had a chance to hit the market..........I started out with Shana, who needed to get a few things. As we were walking around, I took her upstairs so she could see part of the market below.

We decided it was time to get some ice ream.......any time is good for ice cream, right? We met several others who had the same idea.

After lunch, it was time to pack the trucks up and point the group in the direction of Guatemala City. They will spend one night there and then fly back to The States in the morning. We pray that they have safe flights and travel......................................and that they will want to return to Guatemala when they have the opportunity.

Many thanks to Julie for organizing the group from The States and many thanks to Kemmel for the organization on this side.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mactzul me a fire, please!!

After breakfast, some of us went to Mactzul V for clinic. It was a good clinic but a very cold one.

When we arrived, they had not put down the pine needles so we had that opportunity to help. Here Josefina and Barbara place the pine needles on the dirt floor.

Miriam and Katie also take part in the activity.

We had two separate areas for dental and medical consults. This is the first time we have had clinic in the new church building.

We saw 22 medical patients, 66 dental patients and 5 patients for dental cleaning.

Have I mentioned that it was a cold day??? Well, we found out that wearing face masks helped retain our body heat.

Here David and Linda try to stay warm as they clean the dental equipment.

Velveth works with a patient as Danny is running to stay warm. Go, Danny, Go!!!!

Tomas' wife was very kind and built us a fire. Well, really it was for everyone. People huddled around the fire until it was their turn to be seen by the dentist. Tomas's wife is to the left of Josefina. Rosa had either fallen asleep or is thinking, "Sheri is NEVER going to learn K'iche'!!"

It was a good day but we were ready to get back to have coffee or tea by the fire in Santo Tomas Hotel.

This ends the clinic days for the team. Tomorrow, we will worship together in the hotel, enjoy some shopping and then they will return to Guatemala City for the night. We pray that they will have safe travels and want to return to Guatemala in the future.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Katie!!!!

Happy Birthday, Katie!!!!

Happy Birthday to you!!!

As we were finishing dinner, Katie had no idea .....

Then we started singing Happy Birthday in Spanish and then in English...........little did she know, she had 2 sets of candles to blow out!

After one cake, there was the second.............

She almost gave up but she DID IT!!

We all hope that it was a great birthday for Katie!

Clinic in Paxot II....... and ABC Child

This morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then broke up into groups for different clinics. Our group went to Paxot II and let me tell was a cold, cold day.

Shana spent time with the children. She had coloring books and different things for occupying the children. This is one of the first children and by the end of the day, all of the materials were used.

This is the dental area for the day. Do you know these people behind the masks. Well, first is Dave, then Linda and Barbara. Barbara assisted her husband, Jim, who is a dentist while Dave and Linda kept clean instruments available.

Dave and Linda were invited to have lunch with their ABC Child. I was able to hang out with them and it was a fun time. When we stopped for lunch, we walked down the road, through the corn field, past some adobe houses, through some gardens and then arrived at the house.

This is Dave and Linda with their ABC child, Manuela. The family bought Dave a special shirt and made Linda a hand-bag to carry. It is times like this that are very special. Through the kindness of Dave and Linda, Manuela will have the opportunity to remain in school, receive dental and medical care, receive school supplies and the family will also receive basic food needs. The church has the responsibility to assure that Manuela remains in school and is active in church.

Dave hoisted up Manuela's brother on his shoulders and you can tell by that grin, he loved it!

Shana wanted a photo with the name of the community. This is a photo of Shana, a nurse and Mark, who is our chaplain this week.

This little boy helped us close up shop for the day.

Today, we saw a patient that had several problems. We talked about different things and when we finished, I asked her if she attended church anywhere. She started giggling and I could tell she was embarrassed. Then she finally told us, "No." I started talking to her about the church in Paxot and then Tomas also started talking to her. I think there is a good chance that she will return to visit the congregation here. She is looking for something and knows that the church can pray for her.

This is what the ministry is all about. People have needs, no matter where they are and no matter how old they are. Things have not changed. The needs are the same today as they were in the Bible days. People are lost, sick and lonely and they are looking for healing and salvation. It is only Christ that can provide the hope and comfort that we need.

It was a good clinic of 25 medical patients and 58 dental patients. We drove back to Chichi without any problems and we are always appreciative of that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clinic in Xepocol

We all had breakfast at Santo Tomas Hotel this morning and then went in different directions. Our group went to Xepocol and had a good clinic in Gaspar's community.

This is Rosa and Danny. Rosa is my K'iche' translator for the week. I hopefully will learn more K'iche from her. Danny works with HTI and lives down near Clinica Ezell.

As we were setting up for the day, we were able to get a few photos. This is Julie, Kristin, Andrew and Mark before we started the consults. Julie works for HTI, Kristin is a Spanish translator, Andrew is a physician and Mark is our chaplain this week.

I am not sure why I moved when I took this photo but it is a good example of how communication barriers can be overcome. Andrew and Mary speak some Spanish but were more comfortable with a translator. Kristin helps then with this patient.

Julie and Mark pray with a patient after she has been through her consult. We really want people to understand that the clinic is the ministry of the church. The physical aspect is small part of what is taking place. We want people to be well physically but more important, spiritually.

John and Jim talking between patients.

It was a very cold day. After lunch, they built a fire for us outside.

We had 20 medical patients and 25 dental patients.

This young girl was one of the last patients of the day. She had a perforated ear drum and will visit us again in a few weeks.

After clinic today, a few of us went to do a house visit. I heard about a lady who had fallen and has been in a lot of pain. Barbara, Jim, Kristin and I drove to the lady's house and visited with her. She has not been talking anything for pain so hopefully, the medicine will help. Her son live with her and he has had difficulty taking care of her.

Before we left, we prayed with her and the family asking God to give her comfort and relief of pain.

We had dinner at the hotel and then it was back home for the night................tomorrow is another day, another adventure!!!