Saturday, August 31, 2013

What do you miss?

I am asked this question ALL the time!   I am asked by friends back home, I am asked by visiting missionaries, and I am asked by new people who have come to Honduras to live.  There is a list I could give, but quite honestly, most of the things are things I have chosen to give up, so to keep them on the forefront of my mind would not be a good idea.  We are surrounded by difficulties all the time - people dying, medical cares we can't take care of, extreme poverty, and an overwhelming need from everyone we see.  It honestly gets overwhelming at times...and we need time to just take a deep breath and remember why we are here.  To be the hands and feet of Christ, and to help those we can.

In the midst of all of this - it's hard to remember things that are "normal" back home.  Going to Home Depot and getting whatever kind of plant you want for your garden.  Pick up your plants, your fertilizer, a few gardening tools, and have a garden.  Here it's a whole other world.  Nothing eatable comes in plant form - everything must be grown from seed, then transplanted, then prayed upon to grow to fruition.  I've not had a lot of success.  

What grows...what doesn't.  Between the harsh sun and the torrential downpours, it's hard to figure out what will grow and what will perish.

I found two tomato plants the other day at a local nursery, and I couldn't have been more excited.  Now let's just see if I can keep them alive.  Yes, those are the kinds of things I miss.  Obviously friends, family, hanging out time, a sense of belonging...but in the midst of that - things that are "normal" - things like growing a garden...let's see where this takes me....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Health Fair In Honduras

On August 15, 2013 we hosted a health clinic for the kids attending the public elementary school in Armenia Bonito outside of La Ceiba, Honduras. The kids learned about teeth brushing, nutrition, exercise, abstinence, hand washing and more. Pastor Jesús gave a gospel message and prayed with the kids.

Watch this 2 minute, 25 second video to see the good health:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New House For Guevara Family

In the summer of 2013 we built a new home for the Guevara family. Their old home had dirt floors, rotten wooden walls and a rusty tin roof. Their new home has a raised concrete floor, block walls, electricity, running water and a flushing toilet. The Guevaras live in Armenia Bonito outside of La Ceiba, Honduras.

Watch this 2 minute video to see their new house:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Community and loneliness in the midst of many people

What does being in a community mean to you?  Is it your neighborhood, is it your church, is it your work?  It can be all of those things, or one of those things.  One thing that community has in common is things that are mutual to those involved.  A church community has God as the center.  A neighborhood has the safety and camaraderie in common.  Your work group has a common sense of stress, or success or failures.

On the mission field a community is typically twofold - the community you work in, and the team as a community.  The community you work in is filled with people you love, people you minister to, and people you have invested your life into.  The mission community team is filled with people who, mostly, have a common heritage - from the U.S., gringos, understand American Football, the idiosyncrasies of what it means to come from the U.S. and live in your host country.  These things bind a team together and create a community.  Within that community there are natural groups that form - people who are in the same stage of life, who have families, who don't, age, ministry objectives, etc.  The hard part can be when you find you don't fit in with any of the established groups.  When your child is the oldest, you are the oldest, the only medical provider on the team, not single, driven, and have different priorities.  It can be a lonely place.  It is when this realization comes that you come to that place in life where you have to be content with where you are, and who you are.  To find acceptance is others is not what is important, but to find acceptance with who you are as a Christian, and who you are in Christ is what is important.  To fill the lonely places with people always leads to disappointment and the failure of who we are as humans.  The only way to fill this lonely place is with Christ.

So although I may not be part of any particular community, the one community I am ALWAYS a part of is my community with Christ and my family.  In them I feel whole.  In them I am not lonely, and with Christ, He will never disappoint.  So the road outside may be lonely and isolating, the road with Christ can only be one that is full and filled with a sense of belonging.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Meadowview Reformed Presbyterian Church Serves In Honduras

August 10-17, 2013 we hosted a 19-person mission team in La Ceiba, Honduras. They held four days of medical clinics, put on a health fair, did construction work and so much more.

Watch this 2 minute, 20 second video:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

End of summer teams

Next week is our last short-term team of the summer.  It has been an incredible summer!  In Armenia Bonito we have hosted tons of teams and a whole lot of folks coming through to serve the people of Armenia Bonito.  During this time we had 11 Kids Club programs, 11 English classes, and 50 clinic days.  During the clinic days we served over 1351 patients.  We also hosted two education days for the local kindergarten and elementary school and taught 190 kids on dental hygiene, parasites, handwashing, nutrition, and for the 6th graders we had a class on abstinence.
Street Children clinic
The national police came for a visit
clinic in La Fe
Education day for the 1st - 6th graders

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Medical Mission Team Serves In Honduras

August 3-10, 2013 we hosted a 12-person medical team in La Ceiba, Honduras. They held four days of medical clinics in the communities of La Fe and Armenia Bonito. Over 270 patients received prayer, evangelism and treatment.

Watch this 2 minute and 30 second video to see their handiwork:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Medical Brigade

This week we had a full medical brigade this week.  We had four visiting docs, 2 RN's, a CNA, and some ancillary folks.  It was a full week indeed!

270 folks were cared for.  We did a combination of people coming to the clinic and us making home visits.  Having an opportunity to visit people in their homes is an incredible way to meet people truly where they are at.  There were several people we visited that were immobile and were able to bring great care to them directly in their homes.  We have seen pregnant mommies, newborn babies, the National Police even stopped by for a visit, and the elderly. Truly going through the whole gambit and all stages of life.

We started IV's, gave IV medications, took care of a gentleman who collapsed in our intake area, and so many more things it would take a whole blog to cover.  It was truly a great week and our team worked like crazy, and did an incredible service to those who came.

The week couldn't have gone without a hitch...the air conditioning in our truck gave out right before the team arrived.  As we are in the middle of two brigades, there is no time to even get the truck to the shop.  Also, day 2 of clinic the electricity went out for just over 3 hours.  With all those bodies in the clinic that left us sweating a whole lot more than normal!

We have definitely had an interesting week with lots of interesting patients.  Next week brings another medical week.  We are in the middle of three teams in a row, but at the tail end of our summer teams.  Then Madison and Mike head off to the States and Madison will be taking the GED.  No rest for the weary :-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Maddy's Mission Trip To Bogotá, Colombia

July 20 - August 3, 2013 our 17-year-old daughter Maddy took a mission trip to Bogotá, Colombia. She served with MTW's missionaries in Colombia, the Luptons.

Watch this 4 minute video to see Maddy's work in Colombia: