Saturday, January 20, 2018

Clinics - More than Medicine - Day 1 Clinic

Cofradia is a small town located about an hour’s drive from the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  It is up in the mountains and has a distinctly rural feel to it.  Our team stays at a retreat center in Cofradia that is operated by Iglesia Amistad Christiana (Friendship Christian Church).  This church serves as our host for the week during our stay.  The pastor’s wife, Letsbi, is “chief cook and bottle washer” and oversees the preparation of our breakfasts and suppers.  And, her cooking is amazing!

The members of the satellite congregation of Iglesia Amistad Christiana here in Cofradia hosted our clinic today.  Many church members arrived at the retreat center (the site of today’s clinic), to help with set up, registration, crowd control, translation and evangelism.  Church members went door to door in the community today to make certain the towns-people knew about the clinic and used the opportunity to also share their faith.  As a result, one resident accepted Christ as their Savior!

Having our first clinic located here in Cofradia is a blessing.  For one thing, we don’t have to ride the bus to get to the clinic site.  We simply setup everything right here on the grounds of the retreat center, meaning we can sleep a little later and start the day fresh. 

On this same compound is a small nursing home also operated by the church.  They take care of the elderly who have no one else to care for them.  Here in Honduras, it is tradition (and the law!) that anyone over 60 automatically goes to the front of any line - for doctors, banks and other services.  So, as is customary, our day starts with quite a few senior adult patients.

Many of these “jovenes de ayer” (youth of yesterday) came to our eye glasses station.  We always bring reading glasses and try our best to find a good match for each patient.  This morning, one of the sweet old ladies said to us, “I need glasses to read my bible.”  “That’s the only book I read. I learned how to read by reading my bible.”  What a joy to see her face light up when she could once again read the words on the page!

This year, we have twelve “first-time” Luke 9:2 Ministries team members – two of whom also happen to be dentists.  Rick traveled with us from Tennessee.  After every extraction, he prays with each patient. He prays for them by name. He asks God to help them remember that today they were helped by friends of Jesus, and that they, too, will come to know Jesus as their friend.  Elias is a Honduran dentist who was looking for a way to use his skills to help his people.  He has his own portable dental equipment, and is able to do cleanings and fill cavities - something we’ve never been able to offer before.  Elias, too, prays with every patient and shares the love of Christ with them.

Patients shared their physical symptoms with the medical providers.  But, when providers asked questions, many of the symptoms were those caused by problems in the home.  Doctors and nursed prayed with their patients for wayward husbands, for an struggling finances, and better employment opportunities.

Kayla, another first-time team member, began the day by packing beans, corns and rice into plastic bags for distribution to the communities neediest families.  She ended the day painting little girls’ fingernails and giving oodles of hugs.

Today, we served 286 patients.  This was a light clinic day.  We expect twice that many patients tomorrow.  Thank you so much for your prayers for us that we might continue to share God’s love. 
And, oh yes, thanks for praying for Karina’s luggage.  It arrived today!

“Father, use us for your honor and glory.  May others see Jesus in us.”


Bob Morford said...

For those of us who qualify as a Youth of Yesterday, bless all of you for your extra effort on their behalf. All of us following your mission pray for your continued strength of purpose and rejoice in your sharing of the Word. How very wonderful are your efforts to help those in need!

David Sullivan said...