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!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Travel to Antigua

We all had safe travels to Antigua.

Many of the group members had been on previous trips so they knew where they wanted to have lunch.  While some of us had already arrived at Sky Cafe, we looked below as Susan, Kathleen Sophie, Lizie and Jason arrived.

As you can tell, pink is this years Health Talent shirt color! Kathleen soon found out how bright the sun was!

Then she decided to be creative and make a hat!

In the afternoon, I picked up my passport and some paperwork for a bank.  Karen and I walked to La Merced and she took photos, since it was her first time there.

As we walked back to the hotel, I found a place that it looking for some help but I decided not to apply :)  I would hate to miss seeing the babies next week.

We enjoyed the buffet dinner at the hotel in the evening.

On the morning, Samantha and I will make our way back to Chichi.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thursday in Montellano

With most of the surgeries completed, there is a little down-time.

Karen shows off her keyboard skills as we cheer her on!

 Dr. Powell gives us a taste of some Billy Joel.

Jose, passes through the dining area and recognizes some of the songs.  Apparently, there is one that is a very popular from a current movie.  Today, is his daughter's birthday so he wanted to call his daughter to listen as Dr. Powell played it again.  His daughter cheered and was very excited with the call.

In the morning, we will all head to Antigua and prepare to complete the week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Time to Head Back to Chichi

The parents were happy to see Wednesday arrive!  They are ready to return to the much cooler land of Chichicastenango. 

The vans arrived in the early afternoon.  The parents received their discharge instructions, loaded their things in the van, we had one last prayer and they were on their way!

Juan and his parents.  

Estefany and her mom.

Manuel and his parents busting out the door!

Brandon was sleeping and I did not want to wake him.

It was a great week and we are thankful for all of the patients. Everyone did well and there were no problems.  We finished the week with 84 surgeries.

I will see all of the babies and parents on Monday, the 17th.  Lisa will see Katrina on that Thursday.  I will give you an update and new photos at that time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday in Montellano

Another group of patients had surgery was time for our babies to begin to heal.

Brandon and his mom had a good day. He had some swelling but that is normal and will eventually decrease.

Estefany also had a good day. Her mother has not put her pink clothes back on since she still has her IV in.

Juan's dad spent a lot of time with Juan today. They are very happy with the surgery.

Now, Manuel is a different story.......he was irritable and cried most of the day.  His parents struggled with him and I avoided contact to not make things worse. Finally, in the late afternoon, he was tired enough to sleep a little.

Katrina had her hand surgery today and will probably leave tomorrow with the babies!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday.....full day of Surgery

A full day of surgery started early. 

The lights in the patient ward usually comes on about 4am in preparation for the day.  The patients shower, put on a gown, have an IV started and then wait for their turn.  The babies have their IVs placed once they are in the surgical room.

This is Manuel and his mom as they wait their turn.  They were the first cast of the morning so they went in about 8am.

I sat with Manuel's mom while Manuel was in surgery.  I let her know what what happening and what to expect when Manuel's surgery was completed.

As soon as he came out, he was placed in her arms.  He was fussy but she knew to expect that.  After about 2 hours, he returned to his bed.  Thank you, Kory for supporting Manuel's surgery!

Juan was super hungry this morning and his mom fed him later than she should have.  Because of this, they had to skip his scheduled surgery and let another baby go before him.

It was traumatic and Juan cried even harder as the morning progressed.

This is Juan with his parents when his surgery was completed.  Danny, we appreciate you sponsoring Juan's surgery!  Thank you!

This is Brandon before his surgery. He was moved up on the list when Juan was bumped.

Brandon came out of surgery doing well.  He did not cry a lot and then was taken to his bed.  Many thanks to Jeanie for supporting Brandon's surgery!
The last baby of our group was Estefany and Donna supported her surgery.  Thank you, Donna!This was the first time all week that I saw Estefany without a pink outfit on! Her mom always has her dressed cute.

It was a long day but everyone did well.  Katrina will have her hand surgery in the morning.

Now it is time for everyone to try to get a good night's rest.  Tomorrow is another day and a very full schedule!

Sunday, August 2, 2015 was a waiting game!

We started out with morning worship with the Montellano church across the street. I was so happy when all of the babies and families appeared!

I meant to show you this photo last night and forgot.  This is Kenia, who has had two lips surgeries.  for some reason, after each surgery, she developed a severe infection.  We were thankful that in February, her stitches did not come out.  She has healed very well and hope to have her palate repaired in February of 2016.

This is Katrina waiting to hear when her hand surgery is scheduled.  If we can get her done early in the week, she may be able to catch a ride with the babies as they return to Chichi.

No surgeries for lips or palates were scheduled for today.  Everyone did what they could, to pass the time and stay out of the heat.  Manuel and his mom, play games on the floor by his bed.

Juan spent most of his day taking naps.

Brandon played with some toys as he stayed in bed.

Estefany and her mom just wanted to get on with the show!  It is very hot here and there was just a short mist of rain last night.  We are hoping to get some more today.

All of the babies will have surgery tomorrow!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Finally off to Montellano!!

It is time for another trip to Montellano!  The babies and families are ready for the afternoon of travel.

This is Jose Saquic and his parents.  He is a patient in the milk program at ASELSI and they provided transportation for two of the families.  This is Carol, the nurse at ASELSI.  She and Juan are having a serious conversation.

This is Manuel and his parents.  He had his lip repaired last year in Guatemala.  This week, we will have his palate repaired.

When we arrived at the coast, we caught up with Lindsey and two more families. These families live near Panajachel and transportation is provided by Solomon's Porch.

This is Brandon and his parents.

This is Estefany with her mom and dad.

This family rode with me to Montellano.  This is Karina with her baby and husband.  She is a patient of Lisa and will have surgery on her hand.  Her husband, Juan Carlos, will watch the little girl when Karina has her surgery. Juan was laughing and joking all of the way to Montellano but for the photo, I got the Guatemalan look :) We stopped for a quick ice cream on the road that everyone enjoyed :)

We will start the consults tonight and see how the surgeries are positioned for the week. Please remember these patients in your thoughts and prayers.