Saturday, January 29, 2011

Clinici in Chuchipaca

Today, Juan and I went to Chuchipaca. It was a small clinic with 10 patients.

This is Tomas and his daughter Maria Cescibel that helped us with the clinic. Maria translated for me and was a big help. She is 15 years old and studies in the afternoon in Quiche. She is studying to be a nurse and I think she has 5 more years to study.

After clinic, Juan drove me up to the main road and I jumped a bus to go to Pana for the night. I had coffee with Karen and Colleen. I made reservations for a future stay in Pana and then I was done for the day.

I think it will be a quite weekend. I will return to Chichi tomorrow afternoon and do some more preparation for the surgical week in Montellano. The group will arrive on Saturday and we pray that they have a safe flight.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First ABC Clinic in Mactzul 3

We had the first ABC Clinic today in Mactzul 3. It is always exciting to begin a new program in a community and then to be able to look back at it later and see how it has grown. Today we had the first ABC Clinic in this area with 14 children and 13 came today with their family.

The guys getting the clinic started.

This was one of the first families that I saw. There is much room for improvement so I talked to the mother about basic hygiene. I hope that we can see come changes with this family in the near future.

This mother wanted her photo taken with he baby but her baby was not excited about the idea.

These two boy were all giggles for the camera.

It was a good clinic and as I said, it is fun to see new opportunities for different communities.

Tomorrow, Juan and I head to Chuchipaca. After clinic, I will go to Pana and have coffee with Karen. She is here working with different groups of ladies near Panajachel and Lake Atitlan. It will be a fun weekend and I hope to get some things done.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bible Study and more education

For some reason when I do not have photos so share, I feel like the blog is less interesting but it does not mean that there are not events taking place.

The ladies in the area have started another Bible Study on John, while the men in the area are studying James. Sometimes it is difficult to attend if we have a late clinic but this week I was able to go and it was interesting.

We watched a film that talked about John writing Revelations and how it must have affected him. He was in exile at the time that this vision was presented to him and as he wrote about it. Even though he was in prison, he continued to have choices and one choice was that he still wanted to live the Christian life. In Chapter 1:10, John wrote, "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit." This was a choice that John made. What a powerful life he led, not a perfect live as Christ but one that led many to Christ.

On Tuesday, it was time for our class again in Lemoa with the promoters. Lisa had a excellent class on the differences of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungus. She talked about how they are transmitted, how they are treated and different examples of each category. The guys really enjoyed it and they will take the information back to their communities.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Catching up...........

Today and yesterday, we spent our time here in Mactzul V. This is the latest view of the new building or the house of prayer, as they call it here.

These two days were ABC Clinic days. I think we saw 67 ABC Children and 10 non-ABC Patients. I only saw one child that was significantly underweight and one child who had not passed school last year. Hopefully, the under-weight child will return with lab work and we can learn more from that. I think the other child will do well in school this year.

This is Tomas and his family. Yes, they asked for their photo........can you see the excitement in their eyes???? Just kidding........they do have the Guatemala look and I love them!!

This is Sabastian and his family. He is a volunteer promoter with us.

It was a good two days of clinic.

The Church in Mactzul V continues to grow and for that we give the glory to God. The members are very active in their community. They continue to visit patients in the hospital and visit people in their homes. I think that this is very important for the growth of the church. People have a need to be loved and know that people have concern for them.

It is the weekend...........time to rest a little and catch up on things............

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Message from Tiffany at Clinica Ezell

This is a message from Tiffany, who is at Clinica Ezell this week. She is there with several others for a week of surgery.

2nd & 4th grade Teachers (& a few others),

Hola Amigos!

Boys & Girls, I am so excited to be writing to you from Suchidepequez, Guatemala! I am down here on a medical mission trip with a team of about 50 people, and we run a medical and surgical clinic for a week. Basically, we provide very much needed health care for some Guatemalans. It is very, very warm down here (I bet it is still “mucho frio’” in Nashville!). Guatemala is very different from America in some ways. Here, these people are very poor. Most of them live in very small huts, and some don’t even have running water. There are no TV’s, IPODS or video games. There are no cars, air conditioning, drive-thru’s or microwaves. Most all food is cooked over an open fire. But, in a lot of ways they are very similar to us. Many of them believe in God and trust him as the Lord of their life. That is why they trust us to take care of them and their children, because they know that we are here because we love Jesus and we want to serve Him. For those people here in Guatemala that do not know the Lord, we are hoping that they will come to know Him through our witness.

This is my 5th trip here, and my job is to provide the anesthesia for individuals having surgery. The people having surgery can be adults or children just like you. And, just like you, sometimes they are very scared. I LOVE taking care of the children. It is very fun for me to befriend them and then help them through their surgery. You will see in the pictures that I am playing with a couple of my patients before they go into surgery. Every time I come here, Trevor and Erica give me stuffed animals to bring to the children, and those are always a big hit! They really help to comfort the kids. As you can see in the picture, the kids are laughing and having a good time. The little boy you see is named FranSISco (and we say it just like that – FranSISco!). After he and I played with the “loco mono” (silly monkey). He took a piggy back ride with me back to surgery. I put his silly pet monkey to sleep first (lol!), and then I put him to sleep. You can see me doing that in the picture – that is why I have a mask over his face. He did a great job and his surgery went very well. The little girl’s name is Madeline, and she is muy bonita!!! She also did a great job.

While we are down here, we will do about 65 surgeries. We have 3 operating rooms going at the same time. We operate for long hours and it is very hot, but I just can’t put into words how much I love being down here and being a part of this medical team. I am blown away that God would allow me to be a part of this. You see, boys and girls, God is at work everywhere – America, Guatemala, Haiti … Davidson Academy! And, He uses people all the time to accomplish His work. Sometimes, He gives us the opportunity to be a part of what He is doing, and those are amazing experiences! In 2008, I felt that God called me to join this medical ministry. I went on my first trip and loved it! The funny thing is that here I was in Guatemala, volunteering my time to help others, but I was the one who felt blessed!!! That is the way it is with God’s work: when we serve others, we get the blessing! It is an amazing thing to follow God wherever He leads you. I hope you will allow Him to lead you somewhere amazing.

Okay, I have to say a few words to Trevor & Erica … Hello my sweet children! I miss you terribly, but you know that a piece of my heart lives in Guatemala and how much I love doing this. So, thank you for letting my come. Thank you for being terrific kids who can live without their mom for a week (but, don’t get too used to it!) J. Thank you so much for all the stuffed animals and the use of the ipods. As always, they both are so very helpful. I should explain to your classmates, that I use your ipods to play Spanish praise and worship music for my patients while they are waiting, or nervous or as they are going to sleep. Ms. Peacher gave me all the Spanish music, and my patients LOVE it. You can see the headphones on Fransisco in the picture. Lastly, Trevor and Erica, I love you so much, and I can’t wait until you can come here with me!

On a funny note, I have taught my young patients this week to play UNO. It’s pretty funny that I, an English-speaking American, is teaching a bunch of Spanish-speaking kids to play UNO! They love it! I must admit that I let them win, but it is so worth it to see the thrill on their face. See pictures.

Much love to you all! Have a great week!

Ms. Tiffany

Thanks, Tiffany!

Church in India

Not too long ago, I mentioned a church in India and that I had been talking to the minister from there. He has sent some photos of their work there and I wanted to share then with you.

It is so easy for us to have tunnel vision and only focus on the church in our area and forget that others in the world might be struggling and need or thoughts and prayers. This congregation is very active with the widows, orphans and the handicapped people in there area. We know that helping others is a command but do we really put it into motion?

This is the minister that I have been talking to and he is in the home of one of the church members.

The gentleman that died here was a member of The Church of Christ.

Here is a photo of a baptism in the community.

We all are born and we all will die........and what happens after death is based on how we live. Lisa and I were talking on Tuesday about baptism and Romans 6:3-4.

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."

We have to die to self and be baptized so we may have a new life. It is something that many people struggle with but yet it determines what happens after our death. It has been exciting to hear of the baptisms here in Guatemala and the baptisms in India. The gospel does not is the same today as it was in the New Testament times and it does not change with borders of a country.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clinic in Chuguexa

The guys and I went to Chuguexa today and we had 9 patients. That is not very many patients but the consults lasted longer.

There were several diabetics today and that takes a lot of teaching. The teaching is slow and for some it is all new material. People learn at different speeds and sometimes, people just need to hear it over and over again.

Two cases were especially sad. One lady, who is only 55 years old, returned after 8 months today. This is a very sad situation because she lives close in the area and has been very sick. She has lost 23 pounds. Now, 23 pounds may not sound that scary but when you start at only weighing 91 pounds.........that is wasting away to nothing!

We talked a long time about her diet and how she needed to change it. Her daughter told us that she is still drinking cokes and eating lots of foods that she she should not.

We encouraged her to change her diet and to return in February. I talked to her and her daughter about the dangerous situation she is in so let's pray that she returns.

Another young man came to clinic that is a diabetic. He is 20 years old and 8 months ago he was diagnosed with diabetes. He is not go for a follow-up visit and 3 months ago, lost his vision. Gaspar and I also talked to him and his parents for quite a while

Diabetes is a scary illness. Many people think that after one or two bags of medicine, they will be cured but this is not the case. Gaspar emphasised today with the patients that prayer is the most important factor, followed by diet and then medicine.

I hope that these patients, plus all of the other diabetics in this area return during the February clinic.

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ABC Clinic in Mactzul I

Today, we had a busting day in Mactzul I..........or either I am getting too old to do this anymore :)

Kemmel, Lisa and I picked up Martina, Maury, Juan and Gaspar.......yes, we all fit inside the truck! We drove to Mactzul I and the drive was exciting because for the first time, the road was open. They had been reconstructing the road and it has taken several months to complete. It is very nice and Kemmel teased that they will now put down tumulos since people will be driving too fast! We will see :)

There were 9 regular patients and 49 ABC Patients today. School started earlier this year so the children came in the afternoon.

This was one mom that wanted a photo of her and her baby.

This is Miguel, he is one of our Mactzul I favorites.

One sad problem with Mactzul I is that several of the children are not doing well in school. This may be due to the children not going to school every day or not doing their home work in the evenings. If a child does not pass a grade for two years in a row, they are automatically removed from the ABC Program. Lisa and I spent time today talking to the students and families that are in this situation. All of the parents told me that their child is going to school 5 days a week. Some admitted that their child is not paying attention in class or is not doing their home work in the evenings. If the students do not pass this year, it will sadly affect them and the family as a whole.

This is Rosa and she was the first student of the day. She is doing well in school and seems very content. I was excited to find out a few days ago that she is sponsored by some of my friends, Anita and Ben, in Virgina. Anita and I went to Michican Christian together many, many years ago!

We arrived back in Chichi at 1830 and it was a good day. Tomorrow, the guys and I go to Chuguexa for the first clinic there in 2011.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Catching up..........

Today, I tried to get my hair cut but I was not successful......again.

So, I went to visit Madgna and it was good to see her cheerful. She had a visitor in her kitchen and she was so excited when I knocked on the door. She had been a little nervous since I had not visited when I returned to Guatemala but I explained that I had been sick and wanted to wait until I felt better.

We had a cup of hot fruit juice and some bread. She gave me a large bag of marshmallows that she had wanted to give me for Christmas. Each marshmallow is almost the size of an apple!

Tomorrow, we have an ABC Clinic in Mactzul I. It should be a large clinic with a lot of adventure.............

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank you, South Fork Church of Christ

I have been in Guatemala full-time for 4 years and it has been a wonderful opportunity. It has had it times of uncertainty but that comes with any adventure. It has been very obvious to me that this is where I am suppose to be at this time. God has provided everything that I need and it seems that each day I need less in this world.

I am very thankful to be working with Health Talents and I am very thankful to be sponsored by the Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, NC.

When I was home during Christmas, I met with the Missions Committee and The Church has agreed to sponsor me for two more years.

I remember four years ago when Charlie read the passage from Matthew and I still carry the yellow card in my Bible.

Jesus went through the cities and the 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 for they were harassed helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He then said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field."

When we are Christians, our lives and our activities reflect Christ and the church. Coming here to Guatemala added new responsibility. Now, my life and my actions also reflect Health Talents and The South Fork Church of Christ. I take this responsibility seriously.

It is our responsibility to work in the field. I pray that our work here will be the service that God wants and that it will lead others to Christ.

Friday, January 14, 2011

ABC Clinic in Mactzul II

This morning, Kemmel picked me up and we headed to Chichi to get Maury and Martina. On the way, Kemmel told me that Miguel from Mactzul V had died. He was a very nice gentleman that had congestive heart failure for many years. Please check Kemmel and Lisa's blog at for a photo of Miguel and more about him and his family.

It is so true. Those who have fought the good fight will receive a new body and a crown for eternity. May we continue to prepare for that day.

When we arrived in Mactzul II, we helped Kemmel prepare the folders for the day. He has taken a lot of time in preparing a statistic sheet on each of our ABC children. It will be very helpful in following their progress.

This is Josefina, outside of the clinic before we started.

These are two of the volunteer promoters that helped us with our clinic today. After each patient had their consult, these brothers would pray with the patient or the family.

These patients waited their turn. It was a cold and dreary day with very little sun.

We saw 35 ABC Children and 6 regular patients. These children were not as healthy as those in other communities. Some of these were below in weight but this is the first year for the ABC Program here in Mactzul II. Some children are in need of sponsors so if you are willing to help, please let me know and I will have the information sent to you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clinic in Lemoa

Today was a busy day in Lemoa. We had 32 medical patients and one for dental cleaning.

It seemed like an odd day for me since I did not have many diabetics nor did I have any children.

I had one diabetic patient, who has really turned his health around. A few months ago, he came in with several complaints and a blood sugar of over 500. I talked to him about diabetes and his diet. He returned in two weeks with a blood sugar of 300. He returned later with it in the 200's. For the last 2 months, his blood sugar has been in the 90's and he is feeling much better! This is one exciting story!

There was another patient today, who's story is not as exciting. She lost a baby last year and today, she miscarried again. She has been very excited for two months and today, as she was waiting to be seen, the excitement came to an end. It is things like this that are very sad and there is nothing you can say. I have said it before in other blogs, it is times as this that only Jesus can heal.

This lady does not have a Christian faith so maybe from our chat, she will reconsider her decisions. I invited her again to attend the worship in Chichi and I will look for her. Please pray for her peace and healing.

Tomorrow, I will go with Josefina to another ABC Clinic in Mactzul II.

As you have been reading about the ABC Clinics, maybe you have some questions on the program and how it helps the child and also the family. If you would like some information, please email me and I will have it sent to you. There are children waiting for sponsors and you have the opportunity to help.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ABC Clinic in Mactzul VI

Today, we all went to Mactzul VI for the ABC Clinic and we had a good attendance.

First, I want to show you the new painting that was done in Xepocol. I saw it yesterday for the first time and Gaspar said there are a few things that need to be added. I think it looks great as it is but the painter knows!

We had 25 children from the ABC Program today and 5 regular patients.

All of the children were healthy and are gaining weight. There are some children that were playing after the clinic.

This young man told me that he had three hands!

This is one of the volunteer promoters who helped organizing the names of the children.

It was a good day and we even had a little rain this evening. The rain is good because the dust is several inches thick but with the rain, comes the cold. I guess you can not have everything the way you like it.

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ABC Clinic in Xepocol

Today, Kemmel, Lisa and I went to Xepocol for an ABC Clinic. We saw 30 ABC Children and 10 other patients. Kemmel worked in the pharmacy and explained the medicines to the patients.

This is one family in Xepocol: Emilio, Esteban, Julio and their mom. Emilio and Esteban are two of my children :)

This is Sandra and she is also one of my children. I do not have a brag book. I have a brag blog!!

Tomorrow, we will head to Mactzul 6 for another ABC Clinic.............and it will be a wonderful day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week off to a busy start

We had a busy day and it was good.

Lisa and Kemmel gave me a ride to Lemoa on their way to Paxot II. There is a conference going on for the young people. Lisa and Kemmel will attend to show their support and I will work for Manuel so he can attend.

Lisa wore a very pretty corte this morning. Maury and Martina helped Lisa with the belt. Can you tell which corte is Maury, which is Martina and which is Lisa?

The conference was full and it was an exciting day. Later Kemmel and Lisa told me that there were 20 baptisms. There is nothing more exciting than this!! The church continues to grow here in Guatemala and we are so thankful for that.

Tomorrow, we have ABC Clinic in Xepocol.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Preparing for plastic surgery!

Today, I went to clinic with Lisa. She had some pap patients and some of the children brought their lab work is almost surgery time!!

This is Inelda and she is a exciting little girl. Her dad came with her today and he will go to Montellano with her. She is 9 years old and has a small hole in her palate that needs to be repaired. Lisa filled me in on her history. Until last year, she was not allowed to go to school. They thought she was developing slow...... but now she is allowed to go to school and her grades are wonderful! She is precious and will be sponsored by Carrie and Travis in NC. Thank you!

This is Reyli and his mom. He is 17 months old and this will be his first time to the clinic.

Reyli was bored with the process so he took a nap as I talked to his mom. He will be sponsored by Glenn and Neva, who will also be with him during his surgery. Thank you!

This is Bartolo and his dad. Bartolo is 14 months old. This will be his first trip down to the clinic and his dad will go with him. Glenn and Neva are also sponsoring his surgery and Bartolo's dad is very appreciative.

Bartolo is thinking, "All of the girls are going to love my eyes!"

This is Juan Martin and his mom. He had his lip repaired in August 2010. He is doing very well and is ready to return for his palate repair. Danny, thank you for helping Juan again.

Juan's lip looks great! He is just wondering, "Why do I have to do this again??"

This Amelia, who had her first surgery in February 2010. She is doing well but her blood count is a little low so we will wait until August to repair her palate. Her lip looks great and she is spunky. A special thanks to Frank and Evelyn for helping Amelia.

It was a wonderful day and we accomplished a lot. is time for the weekend!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Clinic in Chuchuca

This morning, Gaspar and I met Josefina and Tomas and we headed for Chuchuca. We did not have any problems in the road and we are always thankful for that. When we arrived, the doors were closed and no one was waiting for us. This is unusual so we sat in the sun and waited.

Within a few minutes someone came and opened the door for us. As we waited for a patient, we walked to a house and bought a Pepsi. We had our first patient in about an hour.

It was a slow day but we eventually saw 7 patients.

This dog was hopping around today. At first, we thought the dog had broke his leg or hurt his paw and the owner had tied his leg around his neck for support. Well, we were wrong!!! The dog was caught eating the corn that belonged to his owner so he tied his leg up for punishment!! What can ya say?????

These little girls sat with us for part of the morning.

Even though it was a small clinic, it was a good day.

The week has gone very quick. It is almost the weekend! Tomorrow, I will be in Lemoa with Lisa for pap-clinic day and the babies will bring in their labs.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ABC Nutrition Class in La Palma

Today, Juan and I went to La Palma to do the Nutrition Class for the ABC Program. We had about 30 people in attendance and it was a good class.

The main thing for any class is to be flexible. Kemmel had warned me that they probably did not have electricity in the church building so I would not be able to use the projector......and he was right. We put the benches as close as we could to the computer and hoped for the best. The parents huddled around and they also had questions.

Since these are smaller communities and farther away so we had Las Cuevas and La Palma together.
This is the congregation from Las Cuevas. It is a small community and very poor.

This is the congregation from La Palma.

After class, we shared a lunch together and then Juan and I returned to Chichi.

Tomorrow, I will go with Josefina and the guys to Chuchuca.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Clinic in Xepol

Today we had clinic in Xepol with 10 patients.

The excitement of the day was seeing two HUGE tractor trucks flipped up on their side. I am not sure how they will ever get them flipped back up. Did I say that they were HUGE??

This little boy always hangs around the clinic looking for some excitement.....can you see it in his eyes??

This family comes to see us every few months.

More children around the clinic.

The guys are always good with the children. Here, Gaspar is teaching some math to the children.
I had dinner with Lisa and Kemmel tonight. It was good to see them and catch up on all of the events. They showed me the new office and I am really excited about it. It will be a good place for us to work, study and prepare materials. We will also be able to store water filters and smokeless stoves there. The space will be put to excellent use!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First clinic of 2011!

Today, the guys and I went to Chutzurob for our first clinic of 2011. We had a busy day with 24 medical patients and 4 patients for dental cleaning.

We saw a variety of patients.

The first was a young man who was beaten up last week. Being assaulted was not a good thing but maybe something good will come from it. His eye was in bad shape but he is lucky he was not hurt worse. After the consult, I realized that he did not have a church listed. When I asked him about that, he became uncomfortable. He hung his head and said, "The truth is that I use to attend the service here regularly but now I do not go any where." I told him that I was very sorry that he had been hurt but this might be a good time to reconsider his life choices. The brother from the church also talked to him so hopefully, he will think about his current relationship with Christ.

We saw a lady with severe anemia and also a family with scabies.

It was a good clinic and now we are back in motion...................................

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chichi-----day of catch up

Today was a day to catch up on stuff before the real work starts :)

I went to Lemoa today to see everyone and say hi. Everyone is doing well and the clinic looked busy with 18 patients.

Tomas gave me the good news that we have dates for the last of the 4 communities that need the ABC Nutritional class. The response from the communities was good and the families seemed to enjoy it. Eventually, the promoters will be teaching the class.........step-by-step. We are ready to roll out the diabetes classes and I think we will begin to prepare the prenatal classes.

After Lemoa, I went to Santa Cruz and signed up for K'iche' classes! They can not teach classes the days I would like them but if I don't study, I will continue to be frustrated. I will have classes Sunday afternoons for 4 hours, for 5 months.

This is Nakko. I think he was glad to have me return. He has sat in front of my door since I have been back. I know..........probably just wanting some bread.

Kemmel and Lisa fly back to Guatemala today and will arrive in Chichi tomorrow. It will be good to have them back.

The guys and I have clinic tomorrow in will be a good clinic!

OK, time to go and give Nakko some bread.