Saturday, July 30, 2011
Anyway, I walked up to Chichi and they were painting the famous arch. Many of you will remember it from your visit. They had blocked the road from traffic and the guys were working.
I had never thought that it needed to be painted until I saw how much better it looked afterward.
So, it is the weekend........time to get ready for next week. It will be a busy one. We will have some classes and Karen will be here to speak to the ladies in Chuchipaca. On Saturday, we will go to Montellano for the surgical clinic and then I will visit North Carolina! Mom and Dad, are you excited??
Thursday, July 28, 2011
We began praying with the patients outside the clinic. I could see that it was going to be a busy day and I enjoy that.
We had one patient who had suffered from a stoke and was unable to move the right side of his body. This is always a very difficult situation for the patient and also the family. He is also a diabetic and from listening to the family, he did not try to control it. Today, his blood sugar was so high that the meter could not read it.
On the other side of the diabetic story, we had a lady who now is controlling her blood sugar. She has been coming to the diabetic classes with some of her family. When she first came to the clinic, her blood sugar was 354. Today it was 172. We still have room for improvement but it is a start.
Two patients came for surgery. They are a mother and a son, who both have inguinal hernias. They will go to Montellano with us on August 6th and have surgery during that week.
Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Choacoman IV for clinic.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This is the view from the school.
This was the school before all of the action started.
We set up clinic and prayed with everyone. Ruben had a few patients waiting so that was good.
Maury, Agostin and I went to do classes at the school. I talked to Agostin about the class we do and asked if he would mind getting a little dirty for us. He was not sure at first but once he did, I think he had more fun than the students! Every time I introduced him as "Sucio Agostin," he started laughing so hard, we had to pause before we could continue. Every time! I even called his name a few times just to see if he would laugh again.........and he did!
We were only able to complete 4 of the 7 classes so we will return another day. As we were packing up the truck, some children were over by the water faucets and yelled, "We are washing our hands!"
Rueben found the whip that they use to penalize people in the community who have committed different crimes. The people are walked up to the school area, with a mob of people following and this whip is used on them, publicly. Ruben is acing for the camera but when Agostin told us of different stories and how it is used, we were very solemn.
When the truck was loaded we continued to the "House of prayer" for lunch and the ABC Health Class. We walked through the pine trees and then rested as lunch was brought in. We had fried chicken, beans, tortillas and orange drink.
The class covered much of the same material as the classes in the school but with a few added touches for the parents. We talked about brushing teeth, bathing, washing hands, preparing food, maintaining the water filter, covering food and just general hygiene. Everyone seemed to enjoy our time together. They asked when we would return with another class...........I told them we would get back when we had another one.
Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Lemoa. I hope that we have a busy day!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
It was the second class so we talked about the diet. I always tell the classes that the diet is probably the most important class. They asked a lot of questions and really showed interest in the material.
I had dinner with Lisa and Kemmel tonight. Lisa's sister Anna and her husband Charlie and visiting. It was nice to meet them. We had a great dinner of burgers and carrot cake!! How awesome is that?? Thank you!!
Tomorrow, we go up to La Palma for clinic and classes. It will be a full day but a good day!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The sermon was taken from Luke 8 where Jesus calms the sea. The story is familiar. Jesus and his disciples are out on the lake and a storm brews. While Jesus is sleeping, they become afraid and wake him. He gets up, calms the storm and then questions them about their faith. They have a discussion among themselves because they are amazed that the wind and waters obey Him.
The disciples had been with Jesus and had seen His previous miracles but many times, they still doubted or did not understand. If they had just learned to take the lead of Jesus, how much better they would have been. He was sleeping so why should they be nervous? If Jesus was comfortable enough to rest, should they have questioned the weather? Instead, they doubted and did not understand the power of Jesus.
Is it different than us today? I think not. There are times when we need to follow someone's lead, especially the lead of Christ.
There have been many times here in Guatemala that I have needed to trust the guys that I work with and let them take the lead. Even though I am learning the culture more, they will always understand it better. When we come to a problem in the road, need to cross a unsteady bridge, need to cross through water, need to pass through a protest.......there have been so many circumstances, I have needed to follow their lead. I need to act on their advice.
Last night, I watched the movie, The Last King of Scotland. I proabably watched with a different perspective than most people but I could relate with the physican that moved to a new country. As I watched, I saw red flags that he should have paid attention to..........but did not. If he had followed the lead of the local people, he would have saved himself much pain. He should have acted on the advise that was given to him by the people who better understood.
It is always so easy to be the critic after the fact. It is easy to say, "The disciples should have learned by now. They should have had more faith. They should have followed the lead of Jesus."
So, how do we apply the scripture to us today? Do I have enough faith? Do I follow the lead of Christ? Do I worry when I should not? Am I preoccupied with earthly things that will pass?
Will Jesus return for me?
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, 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. And 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 where I am going." John 14:1-4
Do I take the lead of Jesus? Let not your hearts be troubled..........................
Thursday, July 21, 2011
If you have been following the blogs, you know that we have been allowed to go into the school system and teach some basis classes on hygiene. We were also gifted some "anti-worm" pills so we have been distributing those to the students and teachers.
Today, we went to Paxot II and had seven classes! We have been taking different people to help with the classes. This way they also learn the material and some day, they will be able to teach the classes.
Today, our Juan and Juan Canche went with me. Juan C. volunteered to become, "Dirty Juan." I told him that just a little mud would be ok but when I turned around, I found that he really got into the part!! What a good sport he was!
The students knew us so that also helped the classes go well.
There was no water in the school so the students either swallowed the pill or decided to chew it. This student chewed his and then fell out of his seat! I had my camera ready and caught it.
The teachers and students participated well. It was a great day.
When I got back to Chichi, Lisa called me about a child that came to see her in Lemoa. Some of you that were here a few weeks ago will remember her from Xepocol. She was the child that had her lip repaired when she was only four months old and her name is Maria. Well, she saw Lisa today and her mother also needs to have surgery. So, if all of the lab work returns good, both Maria and her mother will be going with us to Lemoa in August! How exciting is that??
I will keep you posted!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This is the view from where we have clinic. It was a very pretty day.
One patient brought these in and gave them to Juan. I had no idea that the red object was also a mushroom. Very pretty but I would not eat it.
Victor came to clinic with his mother and he continues to do well. He had two seizures this month but they were light ones. He and his mother are very thankful for the medicine that is helping him. The big news is that he wants to move to Guatemala City and work with his dad and brother but his father is not excited about this.
I told his mom that I wish I could talk to his dad. His dad has never come to clinic before and I have heard that he has some problems. Victor is very smart but was kept from going to school due to his seizures and fighting with other children. His mom has told me that this behavior has stopped.
If we don't allow Victor to work, what will his future be like? When I asked his mom that, she seemed to understand but did not say much. There is a chance that Victor's brother will come here and teach him about the work and see how he does.
I am especially concerned about Victor going live with his dad due to the negative influence he will be under. Tomas and I talked to him about. I told him that is he stops taking the medicine that the seizures will probably happen more often. I want him to know he has to take this medicine for a long time. He can not just stop it. I warned him about drinking alcohol and that this is going to be very difficult for him, especially if his family does. I want him to work but I am afraid of him going to live with his dad. We will see.
Please read Lisa and Kemmel's blog from today at, www.kemmelandlisa.blogspot.com
It is an excellent post that talks about different activities and growth of some of the local congregations. I found it very exciting.
Tomorrow, Juan and some of us will go to the Paxot II schools to do the basic hygiene classes for the children. He thinks that there are seven classes. I think we can finish all of the classes. It becomes a challenge to keep the energy up so the guys do not get bored with the classes. I do not want the students to get bored with us because we lack enthusiasm with the message.
I will keep you posted!
Monday, July 18, 2011
First, we had a worship service together and then it was time for the wedding festivities to take place. There were about 150 guests there.
Then it was time for people to give their gifts and good wishes to Jeronimo and Sylvia.
This is Jeronimo and Sylvia accepting gifts from family and friends. Martina's father is placing them on the table.
We had a wonderful lunch of beef, rice, potato and tamalitos.
This is Jeronimo and Sylvia before we left. They are relaxed a little more and maybe will have some time to enjoy the company of their guests.
Tomorrow, the guys and I will head to Chutzurob for a dental and medical clinic.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Today, was a clinic day for Ruben, Tomas and Manuel. They had 5 patients but you never know how you touch those lives so it is not about the number of patients.
Some of us went to the school that is close by and did some education in the school. At first I was not sure of how the brothers from the community would do. They have not been with us before and they usually are very, very serious. After the first class they started laughing a little and I tried to find ways to include them more. It went well and I hope that the children learned something.
This is the first class that we went to.
We had each child fill their cup with some water and then we went from desk to desk with the pill and a couple of pieces of candy. The process went much better than when we first started the class in Mactzul I....for an obvious reason......the taste of the pill.
This was "Sucio Joel." He was a little shy at first and then when he found out what the class was like, he started to enjoy it more. The class is not to cause anyone to be uncomfortable but to teach children to wash their hands and brush their teeth more to prevent illness. We also talk about covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. We discuss clean water and bathing regularly with soap. It is just concepts of basic hygiene that we usually teach our children.
This is one way that we know that the children have listened! After the class, this student came up to the clinic and asked for medicine for his younger brothers that are at home. Yes, we happily gave him two pills to take home!
Kemmel joined us later in the morning when he could. After lunch, we delivered four water filters in the area. This is one of the homes that we went to.
It was a good day with different activities. We had safe travels and returned home before the rains began!
Tomorrow, the guys and I will head to Chuchipaca.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Lisa preparing the box of questions.
The girls take their questions.
Some of the guys take their questions.
After everyone was given sufficient time to answer their answers, they returned their papers. Lisa shuffled the box and the papers went out again. We went around the class with everyone reading the questions and responses they had.
The second portion of the class had to deal with sharing Jesus or the gospel with people. Lisa asked the students, "How do you share or talk about the Bible or Christ for the first time with people?" It is an excellent question!
Many times, people do not know how to get started with this discussion. We have to start at the level the person is. For example, if a person had no belief in God, you start at a different point than you would with someone who already has a faith. Where do you start with someone who has a traditional Mayan belief? With someone who has never heard of Christ? With someone who believes there are many gods?
It was an excellent discussion and you could tell that people really enjoyed it. As the class continued, people mentioned that we need to discuss this more. People were encouraged to share with the class each week the experiences they will have. Gaspar mentioned that we needed to pray more concerning this, so we prayed.
When people are hurting or have an illness they are more prone to talk about spiritual issues. We need to be ready.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear, conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Yesterday, we had a special communion time together, led by Brett.
A we know, communion is a time to remember the sacrifice that Christ made for us (I Cor. 11:23-26). Due to His sacrifice, we have forgiveness of our sins. Without the sacrifice we would have no salvation. We are proclaiming His death until He returns for us.
In I Corinthians, Paul tells of how Christ taught his apostels how to remember Him. He taught them around a table as they were eating together. It was a time of sharing and Christ wanted to teach them something that we continue to observe today.
The communion time is both sad and yet a time to be thankful . We are sad that Christ died for us, the physical pain and also the emotional pain He went through. Yet we can also be joyful and thankful. We have much to be thankful for and we need to share this with our brothers and sisters. We have freedom, salvation, hope and have we have power over evil. We have this and so much more due to His death and resurrection.
When we concluded yesterday, we were asked to turn to someone near us and share why this is so important or share a few words of encouragement. There was a small group of us that took turns saying a few things and it was an encouragement. I can still remember what each person said and I will remember this for a long time.
Maybe if this was done more, it would be an encouragement through the week for many people.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This morning we had our worship at the hotel.
Rick shared a few thoughts from the parable in Luke about the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son.
He reminded us that nothing or no one intends on being lost but it does happen.
In the case of the sheep, there were 100 sheep and one lost its way. Sheep always are eating and do not seem to pay attention to where they are. They just eat, wander and eat some more. Thus one, eventually became lost. So, when you apply this to life, this might be the person who gets so caught up in work, family or responsibilities so when they do look up, they are lost. They are alone. They did not intend for this to happen but it did. So we, as a shepherd, need to help this person return. We need to be concerned with each soul. If we do not take responsibility to help the lost, who never intended to be in this situation, they will continue to wander.
The lost coin did nothing itself to be in the lost situation. Someone misplaced it. Someone's actions placed it at this point. It was not the action of the coin itself. This may represent a child who's parents did not provide proper teaching. It could be someone who is practicing false doctrine because that is how they were taught. Again, Christians have the responsibility to teach the Bibical truth, nothing more. This person may not know that what they are doing is incorrect. It can be a difficult situation but there is still a responsibility to teach.
The last one was the parable of the lost son. He wanted his inheritance before it was due. He spent it on all. He was only concerned with the needs of each day. He squandered it, nothing left and eventually had to eat with the pigs. He did not originally set out to be lost but found himself in that situation. He knew he had to change. He knew he needed to repent. When he returned home, he was welcomed by the opened arms of his father.
The difficulty comes with application. How do I reach out to help someone? How do I help someone who is lost and does not know it? Could I be the one lost and the one that needs to change?
Rick, thank you for a good lesson.
The group traveled to Guatemala City and we are thankful for their safe travels.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
This is Samantha, Amy and Glenda before we began clinic.
Rita is getting ready. Juan, in the background is discussing different things with the members of the congregation.
Rita sitting with one of the patients before we pray.
We went outside to welcome all of the patients and pray before we started. It was great to see so many patients waiting for a medical consult or a dental consult. We eventually saw 46 medical patients and 21 dental patients.
Glenda counts and bags medicines so they will be ready for the patients.
My second patient wanted to know if she was pregnant. The husband was rather nervous and for most of the consult was on his knees. When I had the result of the exam, we returned to our consult area. When I told them she was pregnant, they just looked at me as if they were in shock. The husband returned to his knees and asked me, "Why?" The wife asked, "Why now?" That is when they told me that their youngest was 7 years old! My response to them was, "Because, God wants you to have another child." They finally gave a little smile.
The dental area stayed busy. Kim helping Dr. Dale.
If you remember "Sucio Jaime" from the day in Xepocol, he is now very clean and helping in dental with Larry.
The thunder rolled for most of the late morning and afternoon. I have been in Chutzurob when it rained and it was very difficult getting the trucks out........so then the dark clouds moved in, we moved the trucks up the hill.
Dr. Dale, Glenda, Amy, Rita, Larry, Kim, John, Samantha and Juan after their cardio-vascular workout to the truck.
We drove back to Chuchipaca to meet up with Lisa's clinic. It is a good thing that she called me because I would have forgot about them. Sorry :(
We dropped everyone off at the hotel and reloaded the trucks. We cleaned out the storage room at the hotel and delivered everything to Clinic Caris or to the office. All of our equipment now is in its proper place, more or less and the trucks are ready to carry people to Guatemala city tomorrow, if needed.
Tomorrow morning, we will have our worship and then everyone can hit the market for some fun.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Michelle and Rita check in the first patient of the day.
Lisa planned on taking a group to a school but because of an activity there, they cancelled the class. My group headed to another school.
We had a smaller group today. We had "Sucia Cara", John and and Somer. John and Somer are cheering "Sucia Cara" on as she dresses for her role! When she was done, John asked here if the mud smelled like poop. She smelled her hands and said, "Yep! Sure does!!"
Anna translated for us today. The younger children do not speak very much Spanish so it helps to have someone with us.
When we first entered the school, the directer wanted to introduce us before we started going from class to class. So, when I asked the students how many of them wanted good health, they all raised their hands and cheered!!
Somer was our sneezer today...............when she attempted to blow the baby powder into the the class, she ended up with more of it on her than in the air!!! It was hysterical and it seemed that each class got worse! By the end of the day, her scrub was white!
We were invited to sit and have a mid-morning snack with the students. For those of you who know John and Somer, ask them if they like hot chocolate and rice drink.
We went back to the clinic and they had 26 medial patients and 40 dental patients.
We enjoyed a lunch together of fried chicken, rice, radish salad and tortillas.
There were a few more dental patients to be seen so Cara read to some of the children, after she washed her hands and face :)
For those that have been down, you always know I am trying to sell something. Here, I am finding out that Bret is only going to pay me one quetzal and not the five quetzales as I had wanted.
It was a good day with clinics and education. Kemmel and a few delivered a few water filters.
Back to the hotel for dinner and a devotional time together. Tonight, Acapella, sang for us. Here they are singing as Rick and Scott enjoy listening.
Another great day.....safe travel.....wonderful experiences and fantastic food.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
When we arrived, it did not take much time to get set up. We prayed as a group and then began seeing medical and dental patients.
This is Lesca, Antonio and Mehgan. They took care of the medical patients. Lesca serves on the board of HTI, has been down several times to help in clinics and now she has recruited Antonio. This is also Mehgan's first time down.
Dental begins to set up their area. This is Julie and Maury. This is Julie's third time down to help us.......and she is planning a return trip in November!
The dentists are setting their strategy for the day! Dr. Jim and Dr. Dale are ready to see their first patients.
More of the dental crew preparing..........Glenda, Larry and Barbara. Glenda, later went to the school with us and was our photographer!
A few of us went to a school in Xepocol. Sebastian translated into K'iche' for the younger classes........Glenda, John, Lydia, Somer and Olivia were the crew. As we went along, we remained spontaneous with our class.
Glenda took the photos and helped share with the students that germs continue to spread and and don't strop traveling. John was "Sucio Jaime" and he really acted out the part with getting dirty for the students. Lydia "sneezed" baby powder in the classes to demonstrate how germs travel. Somer and Olivia changed the posters as we went from topic to topic. They also demonstrated how people feel when they get sick.
We visited seven classes today. Lidia, John, Olivia and Somer are teaching the class that, "Bacteria is not our friend."
One part of the class is the students learning how to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough. All of the students participated.
After seven classes, it was time for the school to close. We did not visit five classes but we will return.
We traveled back to Xepocol and they were busy with 14 medical patients and 38 dental patients. We enjoyed a good lunch together and are very thankful for the ladies of Xepocol that prepared the meal.
Everyone returned to Santo Tomas for dinner. Tomorrow is another day...........and more adventures!!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
We only had 6 patients and everyone's blood sugar was under 150. One lady has been coming to see us of about 6 months and her original blood sugar was over 400. She has continually dropped and today it was 147. I am very pleased with her progress and even more important, she feels so much better.
The group has arrived and everyone is safe. They are checked into the hotel and are in their rooms. We had a short meeting after dinner and then the rain began! Most of them were going to have fires started in their fireplaces and may even be asleep by now.
Tomorrow, we will be in three communities........Lemoa, Xepool and Panaxit. We will have three good days of clinic with everyone.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We started out with just a few people but ended up with 12 in the class. This is a good number. This offers everyone the opportunity to participate and ask questions.
Juan and Gaspar have helped with most of the classes so this was a chance for Manuel and Tomas to participate. They translated into K'iche' and were great answering the questions. It is interesting to see how each of their teaching styles are different. I love to give a few key words and watch how they go with it. These will eventually be classes they will be teaching and they are on their way!
When we finished with class, we went to Chichi to meet with Kemmel. We spent part of the afternoon loading and unloading different things in preparation. A group will arrive from The States tomorrow and will be here a few days with us. We will have clinics, have some education in different schools and deliver more water filters. Yes, there is always something to do!
Please pray that the group has safe travels and everything goes well as they are here. I will keep you posted!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Today is not a holiday here in Guatemala but those of us who are Americans, remember this holiday. We are thankful for the freedom that we share and never want to forget the people who gave so much so we could enjoy so much.
We had 20 patients in the clinic. It rained off and on through the morning and for the most of the morning was very cool.
Three patients for surgery came. They are the children that will go to the coast to have their palates repaired in August. It will be a good week.
We enjoyed our usual lunch of eggs and tortillas. I am not complaining. The salsa and the chili added a special kick to it.
After clinic I took the Suk to Kemmel and Lisa's house. We exchanged some money :) and some information and then I started walking to Chichi to go to the bank. As I was walking, it started raining to I changed plans and took a micro van.
One of the problems here in Chichi, is that businesses tend to post different hours than what they are really opened. For example, the place that I pay my electric bill post that they are opened to 5pm but they actually stop taking money at 4:35. At 4:35, they lock their door but the sign says they are opened to 5pm. The bank posts that on Mondays they are opened until 5pm but today they were closed at 3:40. Fine, if you want to close at a certain time but please post the proper times.
Tomorrow, we will have class in Lemoa and it will be a diabetic class. It will be the second of the three class series. Last month there were 30 patients so I hope we will see this response again.