Friday, April 11, 2014

Foot Washing

I have reported on this sweet man before. He arrived to our clinic with a severe wound on his leg.  I provided him with some socks to protect his feet.  He returned again for additional wound care, and while I was caring for his wound I took the time to look at the rest of his foot.  It was clear that he had been unable to wash his foot or trim his nails in a long long time.  It is times like this where being a nurse isn't about delivering medicine, drawing blood, or giving instuctions.  It is times like this where it is about connecting with someone, offering the gift of touch, or, a time like this, to simply wash someone's foot that hadn't been washed in months.  To trim nails, and give care that is not necessarily about physical care, but emotional and spiritual care.  It is times like this that I am privileged to be a nurse.

Matthew 25:34-40 (Do for the least of theses)

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

John 13:10-17 (foot washing)

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean,though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our reputation

Well...it is official...our reputation for quality medication and quality services is getting out there.  We had a family come to clinic today to treat their 9 month old son.  To see a pediatric specialist is about $25 dollars, which for most people is more than their daily wage.  We charge a nominal $2.50 to be seen.  Then, if medication is required, depending on the type, even good 'ol run-of-the-mill amoxicillin, other pharmacies will charge $8.00 for that, much less if the child needs Tylenol, or anything else, that incures additional charges.  In otherwords, a trip to the pediatrician with antibiotics will cost $40 -$50 dollars...now we are talking two days wage or more.  For medication our clinic charges $1.00, and that is not per medication, that is for ALL of their medication.  So, an average trip to the pediatrician at our clinic will cost a nominal $3.50. It is no wonder our good reputation of quality has gone near and far.  As of yesterday, our farthest traveled person came from the island off the coast, Roatan.  A good 1 1/2 hours by boat then another 1 1/2 hours by bus to get to our clinic.  As of today, we just saw a family that came all this way from the city that neighbors Guatemala called Santa Rosa de Copan, more than 200 miles from La Ceiba.  They started their treck yesterday so they could arrive today, early, to be seen.  Pictured here is the mom with her little boy.  The other three are not in this picture.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How an old pair of socks can change someones life.

John Bunyan wrote, "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."

A sweet man, Ruben, 71 years old, came to clinic this week.  He has very high blood pressure, and this was the first time we had seen him.  Our first concern was to take care of his blood pressure, but that soon was followed-up by caring for his really bad leg ulcer.  As he was removing his shoes so I could clean his wound, I noticed he had no socks on his feet to protect himself from the rubbing of his shoes to his delicate feet.  I asked him about that, and he just looked up at me and said, "no tengo."  (I don't have any).  If you know me at all, you know what that means.  I immediately went to my clothing closet and scrounged for some socks.  I am still awaiting shelves, or some other means of putting up the clothes so organize and sort them, so currently they are still in bags.  Anyway - after looking through all my bags I didn't find any socks to give him.  With him promising me to return the following day so I could clean his wound again, I wrote myself a note to bring him some socks from home.  They aren't new socks, but they are good quality, with a lot of life left.  I brought him three pair.  His face lit up in joy over his "new" socks.  I had to give my heart a second to catch up as seeing the joy in his face made it skip a beat.  Amazing how something as simple as a pair of socks can literally change a mans life - by helping to protect his feet from this happening in the future.

 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Peru

For a week I was able to participate in a leadership evaluation that our mission agency, Mission to the World put on.  It was an opportunity to put potential leaders in role playing situations, and see how they navigate difficult situations, or team members.  We also had a chance to interview them...my goal was to make it challenging, to test the waters and ask difficult and challenging questions.  I didn't want to throw any soft balls, but allow folks to shine, or even stumble so we could see the way they operated.  It was also my first time to South America.  The change in weather was a nice change of pace as well.  I enjoyed the opportunity to participate, and the MTW staff enjoyed having me there. I have been asked to return for another evaluation called Readiness Evaluation.  It was an evaluation that we were required to go through before we could be accepted as missionaries.  Only long-term missionaries are required to go through it.  So, I will be joining the team in July as an evaluator - the evaluation will be in Georgia, so it coresponds nicely to when we will be in the States starting our furlough.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let the little children come to me...

Having a clinic that has been around in some capacity for almot six years allows us to see the whole life spectrum.  From pregnant moms, to their newborn babies, to the elderly and hospice patients.  It is a wholistic way of looking at and treating people.

We get the privilege of seeing little ones like almost two year old Vilma who came in today for patasite meds, children vitamins and Vitamin A.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Travel

The last week Mike and i traveled to the U.S. to speak at a conference with pur sending organization Mission to the World.  We were able to share how their prayers and finances have directly impacted our ministry in Honduras.

Mike stayed in the States to speak at a mssions conference in Arizona.  After that he will be headed to Georgia where he will teach some classes to missionaries headed to the field, and meet with new perspective missionaries.  A week after his return I will be headed to Peru to be an evaluator/assessor for upcoming team leaders with Mission to the World.  My travel takes me from Honduras to Peru which requires I get a Yellow Fever vaccine.  I would have thought between the military and mission work all around the world I would have had this vaccine, but that is not the case.  A quick trip to the public vaccine center I was able to get the vaccine free of charge and left with proof of vaccination.

With less than four months before we head back to the U.S. for home mission assignment (HMA - formerly known as furlough), we are putting things into place to be able to leave our ministry in good hands.

So...that has been our life for the last few weeks....never ones to be idol, we certainly keep ourselves busy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Transparency - the effect of the needy on a person...

Time for a little FYI -

A mission "unit" is either a single going on to the field, or a husband/wife/family going to the field.  We are each considered a unit.  For the first time since I was 15 1/2 I am not receiving a paycheck.  If a husband/wife comes to the field, the wife typically is a stay-at-home wife/mother or has minimal ministry activity, they receive the exact same pay as a husband/wife team in which both members are working full-time - as in our case.  My husband is the team leader for Team Honduras and works 40-60 hours a week.  I am a nurse, have my own clinic and work the same - 40-60 hours a week.  So in other words, both "units" receive the same pay regardless if both are working full time or if only one is working full time.  So - who cares?!  I certainly didn't become a missionary to make money.  God clearly called us to serve the people of Honduras.  But let's face it...ministry has a cost...

It has a cost on your soul.  Every time a desperate person looks at you with a plea in their face, in their voice...and you empty your pockets to find that they are indeed empty and you have nothing financial to give.  To look in the face of a person in a state of a medical crisis that only vast amount of money will fix, and you are not the person that can give it - it costs.  And the cost is high.  You couldn't be a missionary to stare into the face of desperation everyday and it NOT mean something.  This is when you MUST turn to Jesus.  You MUST show that Jesus is the ONLY answer for them.

Here is my time to be transparent.  I basically volunteer my time.  I make no money.  On a daily basis I probably get asked a minimum of 10-20 times a day for something.  For food, for money, for clothing, free medical care, free medicine, free speciality services, free glasses, free something.  It is quite exhausting, I have to admit.  The needs of the extreme poverty stricken people are overwhelming at times.  We run a High School, a clinic, a street-children program, a single mom's home.  Each has their own challenges, their own needs, but the bottom line - each are serving the extreme.  People who have no where else to turn.  Each of our ministries have people who are desperate, and if I were in a desperate situation, I probably would ask too.  But being the recipient of those desperate needs not once, but 10 to 20 times a day is completely exhausting.  To be asked for more than I am already giving - working for free, 10-12 hours a day, always looking for funding to keep my clinic running, food to feed the hungry, clothing to clothe those without, money to pay for things that otherwise wouldn't be paid for is tiring.  To the individual who is asking, it is the most important thing in their life at that time. For me, it is the same story of the 10 or 20 people who came before them on that same day.  Bottom line...I only have so much to give...so much money, so much energy, so much food, so much free care until I have no more to give.  I pray that on a daily basis I am filled by Him who CAN give it all - who CAN do all things that I can not.  It reminds me to be reliant to the master physician, the master farmer, the master healer.  My "real" job is to let everyone else know to rely upon HIM and NOT to rely upon me.  Because bottom line, I can only do what I can do.  I can only give what I have, and no more.  But there is He who can give all, and in Him I place my trust and reliance upon.

Transparent - I am tired...I am exhausted of being asked day in and day out for things I simply can not give.  Here is me trusting in Him who CAN give it all!  No matter how many times you look in your empty pockets, look in your wallet to find there are no funds, look in your pantry and there is no food to give, there is a source.. Jesus tells us in the book of John 4:13-14..."Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”