Sunday, July 24, 2011

round two... honduras

clinic 2... the village of el triunfo
another rainy, muddy, stressful, dangerous, yet BEAUTIFUL journey

the clinic was at a very small school... the doctors and the pharmacy was set up in one room, while the dentists were in another school room, way up on a muddy hill. 
hence why i didn't go up there! or take pics :)

 we saw around 250 patients this day.
and the one that got me the most was a 40 day old baby.
he was so so so sick. we hardly had any medicines to help him.
the doctors told the mom he was so sick he needed to go to the hospital. 
the mom was scared. alone. overwhelmed. 
she had to be convinced by most every spanish speaking person with us to come to our clinic at the compound. finally, by the grace of god, she gave in. it was a very scary truck ride home. chris was driving the truck with the mom and the baby... more than once they had to stop b/c the baby was having trouble breathing. he had a very very bad case of pneumonia, with a very high fever.

i could talk all day and nite about this poor baby. how it broke my heart that his mom didn't want to bring him to the clinic. how he was so sick and pitiful. how all i could think of was my 2 sweet boys back home. after many prayers, we got them to the compound safely. the doctors spent countless hours helping the baby. dr emmanuel, dr carlos, and dr roque, thank you for your sacrifice, and your love for your people. i am praying that god draws you close to him and continues to use your talents for his glory! thankfully the doctors were able to get sweet baby gerson stabilized. after a very long nite of power outages, he was actually doing better the next morning. i was able to see him and pray for him again before they left for the nearest hospital in santa rosa. chris drove, and took german to translate. dr. roque went too, in case there were any problems with the baby on the way.

please pray for this sweet baby. last we heard, he was still in the hospital.

the next morning, i was able to use carlos' phone and call home. i talked to the boys, and absolutely lost it. i could barely talk to them, i was crying so hard. i just kept saying i love you babies. i miss you angels.
mommy will be home soon.
all i could think about was the sick babies we had been seeing, especially herson.
my heart was breaking.
the trip was so emotional for me...

clinic 3: the village of el limon
i think we saw more than 350 patients at this clinic.
we ran out of brown paper bags, and actually had to use gallon sized ziploc bags, one per family.
now that was crazy when filling meds.
prescriptions waiting to be filled

love these awesome friends! dr carlos, me, maria jose, and dr santos
the set up... another tiny school room... 
doctors and the pharmacists (7 people) in a very cramped space. but, ya do what ya gotta do!
the top pic is the drs seeing patients. then this is our pharmacy set up. liquid meds on one side... and pills/other meds in giant sized ziplock bags, huge crates, and anything else we could find to keep them semi-sorted and organized.
we were crazy busy at this clinic... i think the biggest one. the line of people never seemed to end. but, that's what we were there to do! help as many people as we could. also, dr cruz and his wife went with us to this clinic. he was very very appreciative of all that we were doing to help his people.

the CUTEST little boy ever!! look at him, so happy...even after just having a tooth pulled. i told him he was SO brave!! also, i LOVED abdi's artwork :)

iiitttsssshhhh! so while i'm being honest... i should say that i've never been a fan of going to the dentist! but these dentists were awesome! seriously... they were so kind and compassionate. so many patients came in with horrible toothaches and crazy problems. the dentists must have been super good, b/c the people didn't even make a noise or flench. even the kids... like ya'll, back home, i HATE even having my teeth cleaned. i lay there with my hands clenched and eyes closed, praying it will be over soon. and i've been known to cry while getting dental work done. just sayin. :)
anyways... obviously, these 3 guys have an amazing god-given talent. it was great to see them serving their own people. god has laid the dentists on my heart... so abdi, carlos, and santos, if ya'll are reading this, i'm praying for you! :))
dr carlos numbing up the patient.
awwww. sweet girl!
when you go to honduras, you do what you are asked to do. whether it's coral the people, give out worm medicine, translate medicine, work in the pharmacy, etc... you do it. even if you aren't "qualified." ha!
i felt privileged to work with these amazing ladies in the pharmacy. holli and i were kinda in the same boat, not very familiar with medicines! but we jumped right in and learned the system. janet has a nursing background so was more comfortable than me and holli. and of course kristy was the bomb! such a professional, even when circumstances were less than desirable. :)) i could not have picked a better group of girls to work with all week. oh, and not pictured was lisa... she took care of the liquid medicines and was under so much pressure. but she did an amazing job, and just kept on smiling! :)
 stayed tuned for part three!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

pics and memories... round one: honduras

july 3, 2011, began my 8th trip to honduras. but it was my first trip in 5 years, so in many ways, it felt like my first trip ever. it was the first time for me to leave my husband and two small boys for more than 3 nites. and can i just say, 7 nites is a LOT longer than 3! {obviously...} it was the first time for me to fly in several years. the first time for me to go on this trip without dr. edwin leon and his family leading us. the first time for me to experience honduras through the eyes of a mother. but i can assure you, although the trip was full of firsts, it will not be my last trip! :-) 

and just like i knew HE would, god took care of us... he took care of us in honduras, as well as our families back home. each.and.every.step.of.the.way. he provided for us in more ways than i can describe. his timing was perfect. each day we experienced countless blessings and many miracles. 

i've been home a week and half... and tried to write this blog post several times. words just don't seem adequate. but i will try to share some of my pics and memories from honduras, 2011.
the beginning of our journey... going through immigration at the airport... interesting! 4 women + 8 HUGE checked bags + 4 carry-ons + 1 little honduran man with a cart = $5 well spent! :-)  the other pictures are us, going through the toll checkpoint, and other sights among the city. young children are very common at intersections, trying to sell things. and houses like the last one are sadly, everywhere you look.
crazy hyper me :-) upon arriving in honduras!
{ i should apologize here for any words/names/villages i misspell. } 
i am just a gringa, who is not very fluent in spanish. although my southern accent makes my spanglish funny, it is very limited, at best! ;o)

sunday we arrived in san pedro sula. a 15 passenger van and 4 trucks met us at the airport. we had 3 amazing honduran doctors who went with us- dr rockae, dr emmanuel, and dr carlos. we took 3 awesome dentists with us- abdi, carlos, and santos! :))) we had 4 incredible translators- german, rocio, karla, and my maria jose! :-) sweet norma led the trip, with her cute sons fares and estras. (that was totally a blessing from god... even though i left my 2 little boys at home, there were always 2 crazy sweet precious boys with us in honduras!) i can not begin to describe the close friendships i made on this trip. oh, and as always, sister ortilia and her daughter carla went with us to cook. *sidenote. oh my word... they are the best cooks EVER!! we even had HOMEMADE chocolate covered donuts one nite for dessert. true story! :) and along with all these amazing new honduran friends, we had 13 people from argo christian fellowship (k- you are included!) on our trip... 9 women and only 4 men! but no worries, the men pulled their weight no doubt!*another sidenote... if i forget to mention someone, i am SO SO sorry... i have no brain. and i still have not caught up on my sleep! :)

we drove about 2.5 hours into el parisio, where we always stay at the same place... it's called the compound. there's a bunkhouse for the guys, and a separate house for the women. then the newest addition is a kitchen. also the clinic that we started building in 2001 is located there. it's in use daily, and that is an amazing thing to see. sometimes we go to honduras thinking "i am only there a week, what good can i do?" but god is good and has allowed us to see so many projects completed and lives being changed.

~not to us, lord, but to your name be the glory!!~

as i said before, it was my first trip in 5 years. i forgot how bumpy the dirt roads were.. how HOT it gets in that tiny bedroom with no air, 3 sets of bunkbeds, and 6 crazy women... how hard it is to function with out a cell phone or internet (just being honest friends!) how stinky the bathroom is with no fans or circulation when you can't flush the tp (sorry for the details, just sayin..) how COLD the cold showers really are! ;-) but, for the few "negative" aspects of the trip, there are a million more awesome ones!! and really, it's not that i'm being negative. it's just a different world over there. culture shock, if you will. but, it's all part of the experience... and i wouldn't change a thing. ok, maybe i'd prefer hot showers... ;o)

anyways, sunday nite we got settled in, and tried to prepare for the first clinic we would hold on monday. that meant sorting, counting, labeling, and packing LOTS of medicines for the pharmacy. also filling backpacks with water bottles, bug spray, and go-girls (if ya dont know, it's probably best! haha) and "fixing" (a good ol southern word for ya!) sack lunches and snacks! we also had nightly devos, led by ken and john. great job guys... it's still a good thing to think about the question "how did you see jesus today?"

the road less traveled... seriously. lots of rain meant muddy roads. including a van that got stuck. and let me remind ya'll... before we left the compound early monday morning i said "i hope you guys are strong... and can push the van when it gets stuck!" jajaja. and get stuck it did!! it's ok, we parked it on the side of the mountain and hiked up the hill, then hopped in the back of the pick up trucks! def some scary rides on the way to the villages... but always good times in the "AWESOME" truck! ;o)

grandaddy and nick... riding in the back of the truck.. in the rain. what troopers!
monday, july 4.
our first clinic.
the village of santa cruz.
our lovely doctors, getting ready to see the patients.
i can not imagine how hard it was to see patients in the crowded little church. we had 3 doctors on one side, evangalism going on across from them, and the makeshift pharmacy set up on the stage. and more hondurans than you could count weaving in and out, being herded like cows! but the doctors were great. despite a few language barriers and messy handwriting (DR EMMANUEL) things went pretty smooth! :-)
as i said in the earlier post, we saw close to 1200 patients at 4 clinics. AMAZING!!
some of the precious people would walk for miles, then stand in line for hours at our clinic. first they would get worm medicine and a paper bag with their name and age. then they would sit and hear the gospel being shared. german and john did an incredible job... god used them each and every day... and we saw several accept christ as their savior, and some rededicate their lives to christ as well. i know the medicines that we give the people are important, but even more important is sharing the word of god. i feel like if we did not share god's word and love with the people, we would not be fulfilling our purpose of the trip. so after the patients hear the gospel, they see the doctor by family. the dr writes their prescriptions on their bag, then they give it to the pharmacy. we, the pharmacy techs, (me, janet, holli, kristy) would fill the prescriptions. then the REAL pharmacist, kristy, would check each and every bag to make sure everything was correct. ya'll... that is a HARD job. let me tell you!!! i don't think kristy ever took a break until the last patient had his/her medicine. that girl is a SAINT! after each bag was filled and checked, the translators would explain to each patient how to take their meds. above, rocio is explaining the meds to the people. that is also not a very easy job! but again, everyone did their job, with smiling faces! we had an amazing team, and def could not have done it without our translators!
fat babies are better! :-)  *pic courtesy of kristen bruce willis*

the kids are beautiful. their eyes, their smiles, their hearts. i love everything about them.

and the scenery is unbelievable as well.
i love to sit back and think about how AWESOME my god is... he spoke the world into existence in just 6 days. look at his beauty. 
it is amazing. matchless. glorious.


the dentists hard at work!! these guys were awesome. they were totally out of their element, as far as not being in a dentist office... but they made do with what they had. abdi (in green scrubs) and carlos (in blue) were extracting teeth in the top pic. and santos (in maroon) was giving a shot to numb this lady before he extracted her tooth. nick watwood was their assistant... and i have to say, he did a great job. :) they all did... honestly, i could barely stand to take pics of the dentists while they were pulling teeth. that is just so not my calling! ;o) OBVIOUSLY. actually, i'm pretty sure they would say i eat too much candy to be a dentist. jajajaja! again, these guys were amazing. their working conditions were crazy. as you can see, they are OUTSIDE pulling teeth. i mean... seriously! bending over, standing up all day, each day, to help these people in need. but i never heard them complain... and they were always happy. :))

clinic one = success.

  “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.' " matthew 25:40

Saturday, July 16, 2011

honduras... 2011

honduras 2011.
huge success.
good times.
4 medical clinics.
3 doctors. 
saw close to 1200 patients.
3 dentists.
saw close to 200 patients.
extracted 300ish teeth.
god is good.

more to come...