Wednesday, October 24, 2018

ABC Children from Chuchuca

For starters, the last two days have been a struggle due to political activities.  Yesterday, all main roads were blocked from 0400 to 1700, so we had to cancel clinics. People are upset at the road situation, because there is no maintenance.

Today, we had an ABC clinic scheduled in Lemoa so a bus brought fifteen ABC Children and a few others that needed a consult. As soon as I arrived to get the truck, the phone was sounding off from people who could not get a bus to come to clinic. I told them to be safe and no worries.  We would find a way to make it work.  Ana and Brenda called called Tomas to pick them up. Aura had to walk from Pacaja Xesic to Quiche to connect with Tomas.  I went to Chichi to pick up Cesar.

We had a good clinic with the patients and families.  One young boy, has had fever for fifteen days and we found the source of infection.  He received antibiotics and his parents know to follow-up in their community in two weeks.

I want to introduce you to Agostin.  He is only thirty-three days old and he was born with a cleft-lip and palate. Someone called me last week, to tell me they would visit so I was looking for them.

He was born at home and weighed seven pounds at birth.  His mom is doing well and today, he weighed eight pounds.

This is Agostin, his mom and his sister.  They will return to see us in a month to be sure that things are still going well.  We may be able to slide him in on the Febuary clinic but we will reevaluate as we get closer.

We had a few patients that could not keep their appointment today due to the road situation.  There were and still are 500 vehicles, plus an unknown number of people, walking to Guatemala City from Quiche!  They are doing so in protest of the road situation. They are driving very slow to cause problems in the road and their goal is to get to the city and camp out in front of certain businesses and homes. They left Quiche at 0900 and at 1600 had only made it to Las Trampas..............unbelievable.  We do not know what time they will return tomorrow. Our main hope is that there is no violence and we can continue tomorrow with our planned clinics.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Clinic in Lemoa

We all met in Lemoa this morning for our clinic.  We had a good number of patients waiting when we arrived. 

We began our morning with our devotional before we went out to welcome the patients.  Gaspar spoke a few minutes about how we should be a living sacrifice as mentioned in Romans 12:1,2.

Any living creature senses fear at the thought of being killed. Dying and suffering is not something a psychologically-well person looks forward to.  Even Christ, before his death prayed to his father, hoping that there was another way to reconcile the relationship with man.................but as we know, the only sacrifice that would wash away our sins, was his blood.

So Gaspar mentioned a few ideas of how we today present ourselves as a living sacrifice.  We should think of others and their needs before ours.  We do things that are difficult, when it is the right thing to do. He mentioned people that do not participate in worship because it is raining too hard............and then other days they decide not to because it is too sunny. Decision making is a conscience effort.  Life as a Christian is not always the easiest road. We were never promised that it would be.

We finished with prayer and we have a lot of people within our team with sick family members. We also prayed for the people of Honduras and the struggles that they are having.

I met a young lady that has not been able to have another child.  The more we talked, I found out that she is having marital problems.  We talked for a long time and then I introduced her to Gaspar.  My hope is that she will invite him to speak to her and her husband.

Another great day and productive clinic!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ABC Clinic in Chajbal

We all headed out for Chajbal this morning.  We really needed an ark to get there and I was thankful that the rain slowed down. It has rained hard since yesterday afternoon so I have been watching for the sun but as of yet, it continues to hide.

Manuel, Mike, Teresa and I headed down the highway.  Cesar was a little later since a trailer had got stuck on the main highway before Chichi.  He will have to wait until they clear it off the road before the traffic can pass.  Andrea met us there with her dental supplies.

We quickly unloaded the trucks and set up clinic. It was an ABC clinic for the communities of Chajbal and Pacaja Xesic.

We had 19 children from the ABC program and a few others that popped in. 

The ladies from the congregation brought us fried chicken, salad, rice and tortillas for our lunch. I think we devoured everything but the napkins.

All of the children were doing well.  I do not think that we saw anyone underweight or sick.  The children from Pacaja continue to impress me.  They all have a goal in mind and have a plan for their studies.  Someone from that area is really working with them.

Tomorrow, another day and another clinic.  As always, we pray for safe travels!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Back in Chichicastenango and All is Well

I am back in Chichi after the surgical trip at the coast.  During the trip, I saw some awesome people and that I already knew.  I also met some wonderful people, who responded to our need and they signed up for the clinic at the last minute.  They said, "Here I am.  Send me!"  They had a powerful experience with the HTI team and I believe they will return and bring others with them. 

That last comment reminds me of Sandy, who came on an HTI trip by herself, back in the early 2000's. She did know know Spanish but she was determined to learn it so she could return the next year and translate for patients.

During the next year, she studied Spanish and returned with her husband.  Later, she returned with her children and her sister.......who then brought her husband and then their children.  Later the children married and now they have returned with their spouses.........and the story is still being written.

This is the photo of the OR team from the October 2018 Surgical Clinic. Those who worked in the OR, could not wait to return to tell others what a great group of physicians that they worked with.

The Trip Report will soon be out and I will let you know when it is published.

I have to share one more...............Mark, a caregiver, went above and beyond! He had a cake prepared for a patient, when it was her birthday!  I apologize that I chopped his head off but I had to stand on a bed to get the photo.....there were so many people surrounding to sing, "Happy Birthday!"

 And as for everything that HTI does, we want to remember that is all for the Glory of God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back on the Radar

Well, it is time to return to Guatemala and work in some clinics.

I have been in The States for about seven weeks.,  My parents need surgery so I went to be with them and I loved our time together. Returning was a little more difficult but my parents are doing well and I will see them again in December.

I also attended MedSend in Charlotte and visited Nashville.  It was good to see Julie, Adolfo, Carlos, Sylvia and the children. Julie and I visited with the mission faculty, the nursing faculty and I was invited to speak to a mission class of Steve Sherman.  I saw many people who come down to Guatemala on a regular basis and a few that I have not seen for several years. It was a really good visit and many thanks to those who made it possible.

As I was waiting for my early morning flight to Guatemala, I observed something very interesting.  Usually, I read as I wait for a flight but I was watching how people arrived to the gate and how people selected their seat as we waited to board.  If you have studied different cultures, you may have hear of "hot and cold cultures."

There were about eighteen North Americans, they were all traveling alone and they selected seats far apart. No one sat near another person.  A soon as they sat, they pulled out their cell phones and tablets and were quickly absorbed in whatever they were doing. No one was talking or interacting with another person, only their device.

Four people arrived that were traveling to different parts of Central America.  They arrived one by one and did not know each other.  Within just a few minutes they changed seats to occupy four seats together, exchanged names and where they were traveling to. One lady pulled out a plastic container of pineapple, opened it and shared it with the other three before she removed her portion. They sat for ninety minutes and actually talked to each other, spoke of their families and showed concern for each other.  Not one pulled out a cell phone or tablet.

I do believe in hot and cold cultures and this was a clear example of it.

Manuel picked me up from the airport and we drove to Chichi without any problems. In the morning, we will all do clinic in Lemoa together and I look forward to seeing everyone. Friday, I will prepare to travel to Montellano for a week of surgical clinic.  I am back on the ground and running.........all will be well.