Saturday, December 5, 2015

More parades and activities

Today, when Manuel and I made our way back to Chichicastenango, there was a parade passing for Santa Cruz del Quiche.  It was a long parade but we patiently waited for them to pass.

We had a busy clinic today with about 30 patients.

These were some of the cars that were in the parade..........unusual not to see children strapped to the hood of the car..

I would like to buy this cute!

Tomorrow, I will head to Quiche for worship. After, will visit my friend in Quiche, do laundry and begin my list for the end of the year.

Everyone is working hard to finish the end of the year.

Lisa and Kemmel are in Chichi with their ABC Celebration.

Please stay posted to our blogs for the rest of the year because we we will have some great stories and photos!  Kemmel and Lisa are
Thank you for reading!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

My poor sole!

A couple of weeks ago, I found a pair of shoes that I had not worn for awhile.  I started wearing them because they still were good and it has been a little chilly.

The other day, Manuel and I were in Xepol and I knew there would be some mud.  When we were loading the truck, I heard a FLAP!  FLAP! FLAP!  I did not know what it was.............eventually, my soul, I mean my sole fell off!

We had a good laugh over it!  I thought, only here in Guatemala.  If I had been in the states and this had of happened, I would have died with embarrassment.

Manuel told me that he has a friend who can put the sole back on for me.  He can either glue or stitch it. He even took the shoes for me.  What service!

Well, the shoes came back to me and were in great shape!  It cost less than $3 to put on new soles.

The other day, I had the opportunity to have my shoes shined and here they are!!

My "new" shoes for less than $5!  Now, that is a bargain in any country!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Clinic in Chuguexa

This morning, I met Manuel and Francisca at Chuguexa.  The room was packed with patients and some were waiting on the porch.  We prayed and started clinic with everyone.

We have always had this clinic once a month but it is continuing to grow.  Today, we had 31 patients arrive and we finished seeing 30 of them.  There were several new patients and almost 50 percent of them were diabetics. 

Next year, we will have two clinics a month and I am looking forward to that.  I do not like to feel like I have to rush through consults because I know that people are tiring from the wait. It will also be a better opportunity to offer dental cleanings.  We will see what happens.

This lady was very excited! She recently had surgery in ASELSI, which is a clinic near my house in Chichi.  She is enjoying her new glasses and vision. Thank you Carol, Dr. DeLeon and ASELSI!

I have already started seeing babies for the Feb. 2016 clinic for cleft lip and palates.  I will post photos when they return with their labs in early January.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!  I am thinking about you every day!!

Thank you for the Christian example that you have always been to us.  I could never dream of having a better mom or dad! I am looking forward to our time in December and we will celebrate even more.

I have always loved this photo of us a few years ago in Guatemala.

 You are even being thought of in India!

 See you in a few short weeks!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, another Thanksgiving has come and almost gone!  Many people have expressed their gratitude today for family, friends, health, God's love and mercy and the list goes on.  I also, am very thankful for all of those things and many more!

I am looking forward to spending some time in North Carolina in a few weeks.  It will be good to visit with my family, friends and a couple of church families.  While I look foward to that time, I do not want to overlook what I have been blessed with here in Guatemala.

I am fortunate to live in a safe community.  I rent a small house that that belongs to a wonderful couple.  Tomasita and Jaime are always looking out for me. When I have been sick, Tomasita has checked on me.  When my parents were sick and I needed to return to the states, they have come and prayed with me. Jaime quickly fixes anything in the house that needs repair and they watch out for my things when I am not here. I appreciate them very much!

I live very close to Kemmel and Lisa and this is another daily blessing that I have.  If I ever need anything, they are here for me. I remember the first time that I met them in 2005.  I never dreamed that I would one day live down the street from them and have the opportunity to serve in the way that we do.  This is another wonderful blessing that I have every day.  Thank you, Lisa and Kemmel!

While I am looking forward to December and traveling to my parents, I do not want to forget what I have TODAY!  Gracias a Dios!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Work Continues...................

It is unbelievable that I have taken this long of break from the blog.  The time has flown and so much has happened.  I do not even know where to begin.

I do know that my prayer request list has continued to get longer and longer.  I told Lisa the other day that sometimes I think God tires from hearing my requests but I know that is not true.  But I do know, that it is equally important to lay prayers of thanksgiving before Him as well.

So, my list of requests:  parents health, Sally and her family, the work of HTI and the strength of the leaders, Kemmel, Lisa, Sara and family, Sandra and familly, Aura, all of the workers, Anna, Roberta, Marleny, Sofia, Santos, Pascuala, that ASELSI can find a physician to work with them, Carol's travels, Jennifer and family, Erin and family, Katy and family, Rick, Jo, Selwyn's family, Cecy and her exams, Martina and famiily, Mary and Jim, Dustin, Sandy, South Fork searching for a new minister, the work in India.........and the list goes on.

List of thanksgiving:  for family, friends and the people that I work with, our safe travels, recent baptisms here in Guatemala, South Fork Church of Christ, Hennessee Church of Christ, Morganton Church of Christ, Dave and Susan's son Matt, Julie, improvement with Marleny and Sofia, recent surgeries that have gone so well, recent rains that did not cause many problems, Magdna, being able to pray with people and their willingness to listen, Santos, Gaspar and his work following up with patients, the ABC program and the people that contribute to that..............and the list goes on.

A few months ago I wanted to post this photo and now is the perfect time.  This photo demonstrates why I enjoy Guatemala and the work that we do.

Lisa went to visit a lady behind our clinic that has respiratory problems.  She needed some medicine so I took it to her.  We visited for a while, had a Coke and a Club cracker and then as we left, a family member picked some fresh greens from her garden to show her gratitude.  Kemmel titled the photo, "Lisa and Sheri with their pay."  I did not know that he was taking it until I saw it posted  :)

Anyway, the blog is up and running again.  We are beginning to wrap up the year.......we have about 3 more weeks of clinic and activities. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Another Day for a Parade!!

I was expecting parades today so it was Sunday that surprised me!  When I left my house, the streets were full of people sitting, waiting, buying, drinking, eating and talking........sounds like my English Class on "verbs in action."   They may be waiting but the vendors are in action!!

I jumped into the Despensa real quick and I liked it!!  There was only one other customer and myself shopping.  I could tell the employees were bored :)

When I came out, the parade was slowly, slowly moving down the street.

When I saw this group, I hoped that they had not inflated all of these balloons without a tank.  There were hundreds of them!

It was also easy to see that the teachers were having more fun than the students!

Then we had some students dressed as Traditional Guatemalan Dancers.

Every parade needs some twirlers!

I took this photo for my brother, Mike.  These are the Guatemalan Firemen.  My brother works for the Fire Service of North Carolina.

It was a nice day for a walk up to Chichi and back home....................and today should end all of the festivities until the election on the 25th of October.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Celebration Starts Early!!

When I left my house this morning, I did not expect to see all of the activity in the streets.  I know what to expect on the 14th and 15th but the celebration had started early!

I got in a minivan and fully expected to make it to Chichi but after 3 blocks, I had to jump off, walk a couple of blocks and then take a tuk tuk up to the hotel.  The road was blocked off due to a parade that would start soon.

Everyone had some place to go!

I went to the hotel to get Linda and Sandra. The parade had started but was very slow in movement! We were able to duck into some stores and then catch up with the parade.

It is nice out patriotic most Guatemalans are. Many still remember and talk about the civil war that spanned from 1960 to 1996. They do not take for granted their independence which was declared in 1821 from Spain.

We left the parade to jump into a bank to get some money.........

and then caught up with the children who were doing a hula-hoop routine.

These are some of the huge kites that fly on November 1st or The Day of the Dead.  In Sumpango, they fly kites that range in 2-20 meters in size.  It is a huge day of activity and celebration in Guatemala. These are some of the smaller ones but very colorful.

Every parade needs some princesses.

When we had enough of the parade and crowds, we stopped in the vegetable market to get a photo. 

It was soon time for lunch and then worship with the Chichi congregation.

Linda and Sandra will be leaving at 0630 in the morning for Guatemala City.  They will have the day to rest there and then fly back to The States on Tuesday.  It was good to have them come and visit and to see the work here in The Highlands.  We pray for their safe travel and look forward to their next visit.............which will be in Febuary for plastic surgery :)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Clinic in Chuchipaca

It has been a busy week but a great one!! Things have calmed down a little after the elections and we will see what happens on October 25th, when the second election occurs. On Wednesday, we had a full clinic in Chuguexa.

On Thursday, I went down to Montellano to meet up with Linda and Sandra.  Linda has made 11 trips to Guatemala to help in the surgical clinic but this is the first time she will travel to Chichicastenango.  Sandra is her sister and this is her second trip to Guatemala.

On Friday evening, we had dinner with Lisa and Kemmel. It is always good to catch up with them. They will be heading to Guatemala City tomorrow, in search of some things that we need.

Our clinic today was in Chuchipaca.  I had some specific patients that I was looking for but they did not come to visit us.

This is Sandra, with a daughter of one of the patients.  She is also Cecy's niece.

One quick photo after we loaded the truck.......Sandra, Manuel, Cecy and Linda.

After we finished, I told Cecy that we would like to visit her grandmother.  Her grandmother is the lady who was baptized a few weeks ago.  She has been very sick and not able to get out of bed. The lack of mobility is hard and causes more problems.  We prayed with her before we left and then returned to Chichi.

We had lunch at Casa San Juan........we thought a late lunch of burgers was in order.  Then we went out to Lemoa to visit the clinic.  I knew we were having some work done at Caris but was surprised at the amount of people there.  I learned there was going to be a community meeting about the water so that explained the number of people.

Then we went to visit the Mayan Sacrificial area below the cemetery.  I like to take people to visit places and to see the market.

We finished later in the evening and it was time to rest a little...........tomorrow we will do the market, make a lot of purchases, have lunch and then worship with the Chichi congregation.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Guatemala Votes as the Ex President Jailed

Guatemalteco headed to vote on Sunday.  The streets were crowded but the actual markets in Chichi and Quiche were small.  This is only one area in Chichi, where people were allowed to vote.

Jimmy Morales won the first round but he did not win by 50%  so there will be a second election.
Jimmy is a comedian, with no political experience. He is weighing heavily on, "not a thief, not corrupt."

On October 25th, he will run against Sandra Torrees. She is the ex-wife of a former president. While he was in office, they divorced so she could run for an office of political power.  People divorce for many reasons and I guess that this is just as good of an excuse as many.

People are concerned that neither of these two candidates will move the country in the direction that it needs to go.  One voter was quoted for saying, "It does not matter which one will win.   Whoever wins will rob the counry."

Friday, September 4, 2015

Samantha Says Goodbye to The Highlands

Today was Samantha's last clinic with us. She went with Lisa and the others to Mactzul I.  She has been with us for about a month and in the morning, Mario and Sara will driver her to the coast.  She will join a surgical team there for a week before she heads back to The States

Mario and Sara hosted a meal for us this afternoon and it was soooooo good.  Mario grilled steaks and they had great flavor.  It is not very often that you can eat steak this good!

So this is the group of Health Talents as it is now.  I think back to the day when it was just Kemmel, Lisa and Gaspar.

So from left to right:  Petronila (student), Maury (administration), Aura (dentist), Manuel (health promoter), Mario (volunteers with HTI), Cesar (works with ABC Program), Tomas is kneeling (health promoter), Enrique (health promoter), Kemmel (director), Lisa (MD), Cecy (health promoter), Martina (dental assistant), Samantha (PA student), Maria (dental assistant), Sandra (dentist), and Sara (MD).  That is our family!

Samantha and I before I left.  I had contacted someone that wanted to buy another water filter so I  left a few minutes early.

Tomorrow, we will have another English Class in Chichi.

The presidential elections will be on Sunday.  There are 14 candidates and there will be a secondary election if one does not receive more than 50% of the votes.  We will see what happens.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Changing Roles in Xepocol

Sandra, Cecy, Manuel and I traveled today to Xepocol for clinic.

We had a few patients and safe travels.

There was some extra time today so Cecy was able to take advantage of it.  Cecy went from promoter to patient.  She needed a cavity filled and there was opportunity.  Maria changed her role as a dental assistant to dentist and Sandra went from dentist to teacher. 

The only down-side of having a filling done before lunch, is that it is difficult to eat.  We were served a wonderful chicken soup and Cecy was able to eat the soft vegetables.

Later, we packed the trucks and headed to Lemoa to unload some equipment.

When we passed through Sepela, there was a huge political campaign!  There were 5 police/ transportation people to direct traffic.  It was amazing the number of trucks and people there!

As I have mentioned before, we are in the middle of hug political problems.  On September the 6th, they will elect a new president.  Usually, there are two elections and I am ready for this to be over with. People are nervous, roads have been closed and people are not sure what will happen next.

Tomorrow, we will travel to Chuicaca for clinic.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Never to Old to Obey

I have been wanting to share this story for a few weeks and I am finally getting to it.

Cecy is one of our health promoters and her prayer was answered on this day.  Her grandmother, Nicolasa, wanted to be baptized!  She is 91 years-old and has never wanted to do this.  But, something changed her mind and now she wants to be a Christian.

According to Romans 6:3-4----Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into union with the Messiah Jesus were baptized into his death?  Therefore, through baptism we were buried with him into his death so that, just as the Messiah was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too may live an entirely new life.

Nicolasa beginning her new life.

Raised to walk in glory.

Cecy (second from left) with her mom, grandmother and other family members.

Cecy's parents and  grandmother.

What a day of rejoicing for this family.  Even the angels rejoice according to Luke 15:10----In the same way, I tell you that there is joy in the presence of God's angels over one sinner that repents.

I once had a friend in Antigua and we talked many times about baptism.  I remember one day she said to me, "Sheri, I know many people who spend more time trying to find reasons why they do not need to be baptized than reading the Bible. Christ himself was baptized so why is it something that people want to avoid?"

I think she had a good question.

Never give up on people.  We all have family or friends who have not yet seen the importance of baptism. We will continue to pray, that one day they may change their mind as Nicolasa did :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Religion and Politics

What are two of the most dreaded topics of conversation?  Most people would guess religion and politics.  Subjects very controversial and many times have hidden agendas.

I jumped on a bus and went to Quiche for worship this morning.  The streets were full of people and political activities.  The current president is under a lot of fire and it is not friendly-fire.  The vice-president was bumped out of office in May over a corruption scandal and now the president is facing possible impeachment.

There sermon this morning was very good.  He talked about sin and how it separates us from God.  Many times we do not think of the consequences that sin brings.   We think, "Oh, it is not that bad do or say this from time-to-time."  Yet, we need to remember that Adam and Eve were forced out of the garden the very first time they sinned.  It was something that God did not tolerate.

He talked about Moses and what happened when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. It seems like such a small issue, yet the consequence was great. With disobedience comes punishment.

We like to think of God as loving, kind and merciful...............and He is!  Yet, there is another side when we willingly disobey.

When I returned back to Chichi, Tomasita and Jaime had a new addition to the house.  They had put up a Guatemalan flag.

I live in a small house behind these two houses.

There are many political problems in Guatemala at this time.  The vice-president has been replaced, the president is facing impeachment and the political campaigns are loud.  People are nervous about their future and their next leader.

The election will be on September 6th and we will see what happens.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What Have We Forgotten??

We had a wonderful clinic today in Chuchipaca.  Manuel picked Maria and me up this morning.  We had a variety of 29 patients. It could have not been a better day.

As we returned to Chichi  in the afternoon, we noticed that a parade was forming.  I did not know what the parade was for but my only concern was getting home before it started to rain.  The sky was grey and the wind was stirring.

As I made my way thought the streets, I noticed a theme in the floats.  I stopped and talked to some people and they told me that today is, "The Day of the Bible."  Wow!!  The day of what??

My thought made me sad.  I knew that this would not take place in The United States of America.

This first float focused on Psalm 119:105:  Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my pathway.

This float has the scripture from Romans 10:17:  So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing the word of God.

These children were dressed in animal suits with the rainbow..........representing the story of the flood and God's promise to us.

Representing the Ten Commandments. The parde was over five blocks long.

What a great reminder this verse is.  It is taken from John 14:27:  These are the words of Jesus, "I am leaving you at peace.  I'm giving you my own peace. I am not giving it to you as the world gives.  So don't let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid."

My fear is what has happened in the world.  Guatemala has many, many problems.There is no hiding that. Problems exists socially and politically.  It has severe economic issues but yet they recognize that they need God.  They have not forgotten Him.

We have many days of celebration during the year and these are very important to us.  We also have some days that are for entertainment as Dog Day, Trail Mix Day, Bring your Manners to Work Day,
Cheese Pizza Day, No Socks Day and the list goes on.............................

Personally, I believe that every day should be Bible Day but it is nice to know that Guatemala does acknowledges it.

Maybe we should think of the history of the Israelites. Deuteronomy, chapter 28, lists the promises of God to this group of people.  God is the same today as He was then. He demands obedience and with disobedience, comes consequences. God is a jealous and will not allow anything or anyone to come before Him. (Exodus 34:14)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Babies One Week Post-Op

The babies and the parents returned on Monday for their follow-up after one week.  Everyone looked great and no signs of infection.  All are eating well and the parents are so thankful!!

So, here is Manuel after his palate was repaired.  He had so much energy today and even his parents are jumping around!  Thanks again to Kory, for sponsoring this surgery.

This is Estefany and she is doing great!  Her mom had her dressed in pink as usual and she is a doll.  Many thanks to Donna for sponsoring her surgery and we will hopefully be able to do her palate in February of 2016.

This is Juan and he still is not sure if he likes to visit us or not.  Thanks to Danny for sponsoring his surgery.  He will also return in February if he gains enough weight.

With Brandon it is easy.......we know that he does not enjoy visiting us. If he can gain enough weight, we will also take him to Montellano in February but it will remain a secret.  Thanks to Jeanie for sponsoring Brandon's surgery.

Well, that is a wrap on all of the babies. They will return on December 7th to see if they have gained enough weight for surgery in February.  Time will tell.............

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers during this time.  It was another week of successful surgeries!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Busting Clinic and Patient Follow Up

Kemmel and Lisa picked me up this morning and we made our way to Lemoa.  When we pulled into the clinic, Kemmel said, "Looks like you guys are going to have a party today!"  The porch was full of patients and it is always a welcoming site.

I am not sure how many procedures that Lisa had but we had a combination of 34 or 36 patients.

We have one patient that has been having a hard time finding comfortable shoes because she has horrible rheumatoid arthritis.  Her fingers and toes have been greatly affected and she is in a lot of pain.  Cesar was able to find these shoes for her and she loves them! They are very soft and do not cause more pressure on her toes.

This young lady, Tomasa, has been one of our patients for several years.  She first came to see us when she developed some abdominal pain.  At this time, Katy F. was down here visiting.  She returned a few weeks later with an ultrasound that showed a large mass.  It had grown so much that when she laid down, she had difficulty breathing.

She went with us to Montellano and had surgery.  Our Gaspar was able to watch this surgery as they removed a 12 pound tumor. Jean D. spent a lot of time with Tomasa in the clinic and we prayed with her a few times. 

Today, Tomasa told us that she is getting married in two weeks and she is so happy! Jean, she remembers you and wanted me to tell you, "Hello!"

Tomorrow is a huge celebration in Quiche so we will not have clinic tomorrow.  I have become "addicted" to The Following, so I hope to be able to watch several episodes tonight.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gaspar's Prayer Room and Update on Anderson

The Eastside Church of Christ visited with us a couple of weeks ago.  They are the sponsoring congregation of Kemmel and Lisa.  They are an encouragement to our whole team and always want to do something special to help the ministry.

Gaspar, has been praying with people in the lab room since we do not have any other room.  He counsels and prays with patients after their medical consult.  Unfortunately, he does not have a lot of room nor privacy.  So, Eastside built this area for Gaspar to use.  It even has a lime tree growing in front so we will be able to make lemonade!

Anderson Joel and his parents came to visit me this afternoon.  He had his lip and palate repaired with us in Montellano during the February clinics of 2013 and 2014.  He has so much energy, I could not get a photo of him being still :)

This is the photo of Anderson, his mom and I in Feb. 2013.  What a change in this young boy and his parents are so very thankful!

Many thanks again to those who help with the children's surgeries!