Last night, after attending worship, our team gathered to debrief the day. Debriefing provides a way for team members to share their thoughts about what they experienced during each day.
Since each clinic area spreads across a large compound, it is impossible for everyone to be aware of all that has gone on during the day beyond their individual work space.
Our team includes 3 pastors and 2 pastor’s wives in addition to the medical personnel. The unique gifts of these ministers to the help meet the spiritual and emotional needs of our clinic guests have been heavily used this week.
Every day we heard accounts that reinforced our “non-medical” reasons for being in Honduras this week. Early in the day yesterday, a woman fainted. James examined her to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong with her. Once he was confident there wasn’t, he called Deb Duty (pastor’s wife) and Jorge (interpreter and great guy) to talk with her. After listening to her, Deb easily diagnosed the woman was pregnant. Jorge, as interpreter, recognized there was more to her story. The woman was 43, already a grandmother, and a doctor had told her to go off her birth control pills for health reasons. As a result, she made a deal with God: she would go off the pills and He would protect her from getting pregnant. Now she felt like God had let her down.
This type of misguided theology is all too common in Honduras. Hearing this story reinforced the desire of Luke 9:2 Ministries to strengthen and continue the theology training for pastors that began last week. Education for the pastors is the very best way to bring Hondurans to a deeper understanding of God.
More stories of ministry were shared of opportunities to care for the spiritual and emotional health of clinic guests and the clinic hosts (usually pastors). Jerry and Janice (pastor and wife), had a long conversation with a local pastor’s wife (she spoke English). They were able to encourage her in her ministry and commiserate with the frustrations and challenges of working with people.
Today in La Branza, we heard more stories that reminded us that trials are universal. One mom shared that her sister had recently died and she is now raising her niece and nephew. The grief and financial burden are weighing heavily on her and she is suffering from stress. Other afflictions related to aging and poverty were prevalent over and over again among the clinic guests.
We started out on the now-familiar gravel road, continued on a main two-lane highway, wound our way through the crowded streets of Talanga, bumped down a wide dirt road into the country side, and finally squeezed along the “not much more than a bike path” road to the elementary school site in La Branza.
When we arrived, there were over 200 people already waiting for us. It seemed all day that the line would never end. By the end of the day, we had seen 435 patients.
Physically and emotionally we are tired. Spiritually, we are both drained and renewed. We are ready to go home, but we are glad we were here.
Tomorrow is our day of rest. For this and so many things, we are thankful.