Friday, November 30, 2012

Clinic in Mactzul V

Today, several of us headed to Mactzul V and had a good day.  Sandra and I picked up Maria and Martina, while Tomas went to pick up Josue, Aura and Marcos.

We had a small clinic of 6 medical patients, 6 dental patients and one patient for a dental filling.

It was cold, very cold in Mactzul V.  We drank coffee just to stay warm.

The excitement of the day, was the preparation for the celebration of ABC tomorrow afternoon.  There were about 10 young people decorating and it was fun watching them.  It brought back a lot of memories, as we were always doing something in my home congregation.

Here, they are placing balloons, streamers and whatever they can use to decorate on a string and then they suspended it from the ceiling.

These two young girls were also helping with the decorations.

I love this idea they had.  The plastic balls with plastic glasses were pretty once they were suspended.

I know they will enjoy their day tomorrow.  The ABC Program is such a blessing to the children, family, church and community.  Congratulations to all of the children who have completed another year of school!

Tomorrow, Manuel and I go to Chicua for clinic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Clinic

Today, we had clinic in Lemoa and I only had one lady for a pap. I think that people are just getting ready for the end of the year. Everyone's schedule is very busy and as we know, healthcare falls to the bottom of the priority list.

After lunch, I went to visit Magda in Quiche. I had heard that she had attended a couple of church services last week. I wanted to follow up with her and see if she enjoyed it.

I can always tell when she opens the door how she feels. If she feels really good, she starts clapping her hands. If she has been sick or has fallen, she is very sad Today, was a very sad day.

We went into the kitchen and sat down to talk. She tells me that her heart is not good again and that she is very fatigued. I feel bad because I want to help her but there is nothing I can do. I just sit and listen as she tells me different stories. She does tell me that she really enjoyed the services at the church and that she will go with me on Sunday morning. he has not been with me for many months, so this is good. She enjoys being around people so getting out will be good for her.

She tells me that she sorry that she does not have any bread to offer me. Usually, we sit and drink coffee together and have a piece of bread. I tell her that I am fine but find out she has not had any bread for two days. She has not been strong enough to go to the market. She writes down what kind of bread she likes, since I do not know the names of them, and I go to her favorite bakery and buy her enough for a few days.

This is the sunset near my house today. The colors were beautiful.

Tomorrow, Josue and I will do clinic together in Chuguexa.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day in Chichi

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to start writing for a devotional magazine, Daybreak.  We are given a monthly assignment and then we submit it.  I hope you enjoy it and that it has something that will help you in your day-to-day thoughts.

I Corinthians 12:18
Has God ever been alone?

If you believe in The Trinity, you know the answer.  There has always been God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit.  Three separate entities, yet being one.  This may be difficult for our human minds to comprehend but it is not difficult to understand that God created relationships. 

God wanted a human relationship, so He created man.  He cherished this creation so much that he created us in His image (Gen. 1:27 ). He knew that man should also have a human relationship, so Eve was created for Adam and then their children.  Each bond, fulfilling a different need.

Since God is the author of relationship, He wants the physical body to work in harmony.  Therefore, He created the body as it ought to be.  This decision was not left to man.  Each part, having its own significance, is dependent on the others.  When one part respects and protects the others, the whole body is stronger. This displays the wisdom of God.  

This remains the same for the Spiritual Body or The Church.  God created it, placing Christ at the head.  There is no room for jealousy, competition, resentment or distrust . We need to conform, in love, to God's plan. Demonstrating love, voicing encouragement and exhibiting compassion.

We put a lot of significance on the last words that someone speaks, as they approach their death.  What were some of Christ's recorded last words?  Read His prayer in John 17:20-23.
Christ prayed for our unity.  The lack of harmony, gives Satan a foot hold and he will quickly destroy.  If we do not love each other, we lose each other. The world is watching our actions.

Let us be one, as Christ wants us to be.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Diabetic Class in Guatemala City

Sandra, Sheyla and I went to Guatemala City today to finish the Diabetic Class.  Sheyla, is Sandra's friend and she has been here in the highlands for a week.

Today, was a smaller class than before.  I understand that people have a lot going on this time of year.

Margot, the lady that helped plan the classes, told us today about a gentleman that she knows who has diabetes.  His blood sugars are not controlled and he eats 30 tortillas a a lot of other carbohydrates. He has had a lot of trouble with his vision and it is very difficult for him to walk. After our class last month, she talked to him about his diet. She showed him the sheet that we use.

When she was telling us about the changes in him, she still gets chills.  The man's vision has greatly improved and his blood sugars are more controlled.

This was our class today. Since it was a small class, we were able to review the other two classes and answer more questions that people had time to think about.

After the class, I made my way to Antigua.  The traffic was bad so I arrived an hour later than I normally do.

I made an appointment for a massage and then enjoyed dinner. I ate at one of my favorite restaurants and had pizza.

There were fireworks tonight and this is one view from my room.

It will be good to have a relaxing weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Meeting and returning to Chichi

This morning, we enjoyed breakfast and then prepared for the meeting.

Carlos talking about how our life is not ours.........none of it is ours.  It was a very good reminder and helps put different things in perspective.

The highlight of the day for me was when Josue and Marcos started the song, "There's a Fountain Free." The ladies sang this in a class the other day it has been in my mind since then.  It was a surprise and it meant a lot to me.  It is the little things in life that are important! Thank you Josue and Marcos!

After the meeting, we made our way back to Chichi.  Again, we had safe travels.  I was suppose to have an English Class tonight but arrived 30 minutes too late........oh well.......I just have to find the students and apologize.

In the morning, Sandra and I will go to the city to complete the Diabetic Class there.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This morning, we had our usual clinic in Lemoa.

For a couple of weeks, we have had Aura working with us.  She is a scholarship dental student.  She will be finished in a couple of years and then will work with Health Talents.

After clinic, we all made our way to Montellano.  We were invited to go down for a special Thanksgiving dinner and for a meeting in the morning. When we arrived, you could tell that they had been working hard during the day and preparing our dinner.

These two ladies always work very hard in the kitchen.

They had baked a turkey for us and it smelled very good!

They prepared a sweet potato casserole and baked it with marshmallows on top.  People must have really enjoyed this because it was all eaten!

This is Carlos and Sylvia.......they had been doing a lot of preparation.

This is Sandra and Heidy.  They are the two new dentists this year.

Three promoters that help with mobile and surgical clinics.

Everyone waiting for dinner to begin.  Carlos is welcoming everyone and then we offered a blessing for the food.

Enjoying dinner............I think the count was 49 people :)

This is Josue..........he will be leaving us in January for medical school.  I hate to see him leave but we will have him when he is finished with school.......just working in a different capacity :)

Everyone likes to mention what they are thankful for during this time of year.  Of course, I am very thankful for my parents, whom I will see soon!  I am thankful for my friends, sponsoring congregations and the opportunity to be working here.  I am also very thankful for Lisa and Kemmel.  They are great to work with and care very much for the ministry. They are supportive and responsive when we need something.........except for when I hold out my hand for money, Kemmel just looks the other way :) 

It was a great day, with safe travels.................and we are always thankful for that!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Depression Class in Chichi

This afternoon in Chichi, we had the depression class again in Chichi.

We started with a few songs and a prayer.  The lady who started the songs led, There's a Fountain Free.  They did a great job singing that song and I really enjoyed it.

I had braced myself, hoping that today's class would be a little different than the class in Mactzul VI.
The number of ladies continued to grow and I was getting excited.  We usually have about 12-15 ladies but today we had thirty!

There was a lot of questions and participation!  When we hit the one hour mark, I asked them if they wanted to close for the day and continue the next time and they said, "Let's continue!"  We finished after two more hours.  It was truly a blessing and I think they really enjoyed it. 

A few of the ladies shared their personal struggles with this illness but how their faith in God got them through. We talked about our responsibility as Christians when we know someone is struggling.  When a co-worker does not come to work, it does not take us long to call of find out what is happening.  When someone misses worship services for several weeks, they may never receive a call.  The church is a family.  God did not intend Christians to live their lives in solitude.  Just a few things to think about!

When I return after the holidays, the ladies want to study menopause.  I think this will be a good topic for the different congregations. 

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Mactzul VI for clinic.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day in Chichi

Today was a day to work at home and prepare for next week.

In the afternoon, I walked to town to buy some vegetables. 

On the way, I passed some boys practicing some moves on their skateboards.  It looked a little unusual.  They were trying to jump over a beam...........they did not have any knee pads, elbow pads, helmet or mouth guard.

A little farther up the hill, I watched some guys building a concrete wall.  They mixed their cement with hoes......then applied it by hand.  They did not wear any gloves.

Things sure are different here...........and I love it.

When I returned to the house, Tomasita and Jaime were sitting in the yard.  I went to sit with them.  It has been cold and it feels good to have some sun.  Tomasita and I chatted for a while when Jaime went back to his work.  Then he brought me a fresh rose that he cut.  They are very good to me.

Tomasita and I walked around the yard and looked at her flowers and birds. 

In the morning, I will go to Chichi to worship and prepare for the week ahead.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Class in Mactzul VI

Today, we had another ladies Bible Class in Mactzul VI.  There were about 30 ladies present and it was an encouraging time together.  As we have studied over the several months, it is good to look out into the group and see those who attend regularly.  I have to admit that the participation has not been what I hoped for, but some things just take time.

The topic today was depression.  This subject was selected by the ladies in Chichi, not Mactzul VI.
The first five minutes of the class were a disaster.  No one seemed to know what I was talking about and Ana Maria, who translates for me, was giving me the look that she did not understand either.

So I quickly back-pedaled. 

I started talking about what sadness is.  I thought of some examples that they might understand..........and then, they finally did. Whew.................there was no need to continue if we were all lost.

One lady told me that they are lucky here in Matzul VI.  She said there is always some degree of sadness but not depression. She told me that she has a friend that lives in another community that does not want to change her clothes or bathe.  When she told me this, then I knew they understood since I had not mentioned these symptoms of depression.

I hope that it warms up a little over the weekend.  It sure has been cold.

Monday, we have a class in Mactzul II and on Tuesday, in Chichi.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Xepol------last 2012 clinic

Today, was our last clinic in Xepol for 2012 and what an exciting year it has been for this community. 

This is the new building that is slowly being done.  As we say.....little by little..........
Tomas, talking to Manuel and Josue before we begin clinic.

One gentleman had cataract surgery this year and this has been another accomplishment.  He is so thankful that he has regained his vision.

This is one of the little girls that always comes with her grandmother.  She helps us carry our backpacks down to the clinic.  Her grandmother is a diabetic and was feeling much better today.

You have heard me talk about Victor.  This is Victor in December 2010.

This is Victor today.  Since the last photo, his dad has been baptized and his mother is now attending services with them.

I talked today to Victor and his mom about the hope that we have.  Christians have hope that other people do not have.  I told them about me sharing their story in the Dominican Republic.  I told them about how excited the people were to hear of their baptisms. 

His father has not drank in 6 weeks.  Victor and his father are both helping with the construction. He is much more content.  He does not start fights any more.

We have the hope of some day being with language barriers, no difference in culture, no struggling with trying to understand.   We will all be one, with Him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Clinic in Chutzurob

Manuel and Josue passed by my house this morning and I jumped in the truck.  Then we picked up Gaspar in Chichi. As we drove to Chutzurob, we passed by two big parties. 

This is a time of the year that many people celebrate and visit San Simon or Maximon/ Mashimon. They are pre-Columbian Mayan gods. They are almost life-sized wooden statues, usually dressed in black and smoking.  People visit for many reasons and the history of him varies.  Usually, he has a short staff in his hand and people bring gifts as alcohol, tobacco, money, plants, incense or perfume. People are hoping to obtain wealth and success from him.

So, when we saw these large gatherings, we feared that our clinic would be small.......and it was. 

We set things up and waited......and waited......and waited.

Then it was time to buy a Pepsi and bread, so we enjoyed this.  We realized this would be the last clinic in Chutzurob for the year. 

I keep teasing Josue and telling him that he can not go to medical school in January.  Of course, I am just teasing but he will really be missed. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trip to Panajachel with Andrew and Debra

This morning, we all met at Santo Tomas for worship.  Some people headed down to the coast for an eye clinic, some people headed to Guatemala City to spend the night before the flight home in the morning and some of us, went to Panajachel.

Andrew and Debra opted to spend two more nights in Guatemala so we went to Panajachel.  We stayed at Rancho Grande Inn.  It is a very nice hotel that is known for their breakfast.  This was the view from Andrew's room.  Debra and I had a room below.

We could not get into the rooms right away so we took a boat over to Santiago.  We visited the Catholic Church and walked around town. When we returned, our rooms were ready.

I walked around to get some photos of the flowers.  They keep the grounds very nice.

The lawn guy was especially proud of the orchids.

Debra and I decided to try a few jumps....................up, up and away!!!

Look mom, NO hands!

We saw by the pool and chatted before dinner. Then it was time to head down to the lake.  Many of the restaurants have the same menu with a great view.  I loved this cloud.

As I mentioned, the hotel is known for their breakfast, especially, the pancakes.  Lisa told me to eat one for her and my parents and I are always talking about eating something for the other, I ate one pancake.  So, one-quarter was for Lisa, one-quarter was for Dad, one-quarter was for Mom and one-quarter was for me.  The left is butter and honey and the other side is fresh strawberry jam.  You guy can decide which side was yours :)

After lunch, we went to Antigua. We went to market and then I headed back for Chichi.  I left a little after 2pm to arrive in time for a dinner with Rick.  There were two accidents near Chimaltenango, so I arrived later than planned.  I heard they had a good dinner and hope to be able to be at the next one.

It has been a busy few weeks but I have loved it.  Now, it is time to get started in on clinics and prepare for classes on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Tomorrow, the guys and I will go to Chutzurob.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Group meets Mactzul VI

Again, we enjoyed breakfast, loaded the trucks and headed in three directions.  Lisa took a group to Chuchipaca, Ruben traveled to Mactzul V and we went to Mactzul VI.  We have had two great days of clinic and I was sure that today would be the same.

We saw a combination of medical patients, ABC Children and dental patients.

This was the dental team........Julie, Tomasa, Jim, Sandra and Barbara.  They had a very difficult day.  Some days, those teeth just do not want to come out!

This is Halston nad Michaela as they gave out the last medicines for the day. 

For lunch, the sisters of the congregation made us chow mein. 

My favorite part of the day was right after lunch. We gathered around and Halston read a daily devotional from a book that she reads.  I forgot the name of it but maybe she will mention it.  Then, Michaela had her Bible and and we finished by reading the verses that correlated.   It was a great time.

This is Nicky with one of the brothers from the church.

It was a good day!  We had 28 ABC Children, 10 medical patients and 15 dental patients. We finished in time to have ice cream before dinner.

It is always good to have groups down and have them participate in the work.  They are able to meet brothers and sisters from the church and it is an encouragement to everyone.

Hotel Santo Tomas has some new toucan.  They are very pretty.

We pray that everyone has safe travels as they return to the states on Monday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Group meets Mactzul I

We enjoyed breakfast again at the hotel and then took off in different directions.  Lisa took a group to Paxot II, Ruben went to Mactzul II and we went to Mactzul I.  We had a busy clinic and I did not get as many photos as I usually do :(

This is Halston and Nicky.  Halston is a P.A. and Nicky is translating for her during the clinics.

The first child that I saw this morning, fell yesterday and cut his stomach.  I heard he wanted sutures but they were not needed.  I cleaned his wound good, gave him some medicine and then helped him jump off the table. He left laughing.

This is Rosa and she is an ABC Child.  She is sponsored by some of my friends in Virginia, Ben and Anita.  Rosa has really grown and is doing well.  She is very shy and it is difficult to get her to talk.

This is Tomas and he always helps us with our clinics.  His young son, Rogelio is sponsored by Glenn and Neva. I remember when his little girl was born.  Lisa and I visited them in their home after she was only a few days old.  Time has flown..........................

This is Tomasa, Maury and Josue.  Tomasa is helping dental this week.  Maury helped Josue in the pharmacy today.

This is Paulina.  She is also an ABC Child and is sponsored by Rick and Sarah from North Carolina.  She is also growing well and doing great in school.

We saw 41 ABC Children, 4 medical patients and 11 dental patients.

We returned to Chichi in time to enjoy some ice cream before dinner.

Tomorrow, we will head to three more communities!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Group meets Xeopcol

This morning, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and went in three different directions.  Lisa took a group to Caris, Ruben went to Las Cuevas with a group and some of us went to Xepocol.

We had a combination of regular clinic and also ABC Children.

Andrew seeing ABC Children and Danny helping with the translation.  We saw 30 ABC Children.

This is Sarah and she lives in El Salvador.  She is a physician and is here helping us with clinics this week. 

This is Dr. Jim and Julie.  Tomasa is also helping in the background.

This is Susan and Dave, and they worked with dental today.  This is their first time to Guatemala but have been working with short-term missions for a long time. They live in Chattanooga, TN.

This is Manuel and he had dental cleanings today.

These two brothers are in the ABC Program and want to be nurses.

This is Emilio.  He is one of my ABC Children.

This is Sandra and she told me today that she just received a scholarship to continue to study. She wants to be a teacher.

It was a good day with the 30 ABC Children, 13 medical patients, 20 dental patients and 5 for dental cleaning.

When we returned to the hotel for dinner, the group from Las Cuevas had not returned.  We expected them to be a little later but was getting concerned.  Sandra called and said they had a flat tire......what a bummer!!!  We are just thankful that everyone is ok.

Tomorrow, another day and many more adventures!!!