Monday, January 22, 2018

The Tale of Two Cities

Yesterday, I posted the blog from the city of Guaimaca.  Cell phone coverage was good there, and we were able to upload pictures. Back in Cofradia the signal is usually too slow for pictures.  I didn’t get to finish yesterday’s story, so I’ll start there.

Guaimaca is a small city/large town.  I don’t know the population, but there was definitely a “downtown area”, full of stores, schools, government buildings and churches.  Our clinic was in one of those churches.  The building was new, and the second story was still under construction.  But, the first floor was nicely tiled and painted, the bathroom was functional, and there were working electrical outlets all around the walls of the large multi-purpose room.

I mentioned yesterday that when we arrived about 9:30, there were over 250 patients already in line.  We worked all day with just a 30-minute lunch break.  We finished about 6:00 p.m and saw a total of 549 patients.  During the day, a local television news station interviewed Brian Ponce, Dr. Ponce’s eldest son, who was helping in the medical area.  Brian was translating for Jodi.  As Brian’s interview concluded, the reporter turned the camera on Jodi and interviewed her!  That was a first for Luke 9:2 Ministries!

After an eventful, two-hour bus ride home (your prayers for safety continue to be answered) and a late supper, the team debriefed the day.  Everyone agreed that though we were exhausted, it was the good kind of tired.  Many needs were met and most of our medications held out.

This morning we traveled up into the mountains on a back-country dirt road for about an hour to a new site for us. The villiage of Piliguin is one of the 19 areas where Dr Ponce makes regular visits, but Luke 9:2 has never held a clinic in this location.  Piliguin is on the side of a mountain north of Tegucigalpa.  As I looked around, I saw many terraced farms, a small store, the church building, and a few houses.  We were definitely out of the city!  We were surrounded by sounds of children playing, barking dogs, and the occasional motorbike coming up the road.

We worked with a local church today.  The church meets in a small building that was not large enough to house a clinic before.  But this year, the church is constructing a brand-new building.  The roof is complete so that’s where we did today’s clinic!
There were about 150 people waiting for us when we arrived, including members of the church who did a wonderful job assisting with crowd control and patient registration.  The building was still very much under construction.  Only the medical/dental area had a concrete floor.

The other stations were set up in rooms with a dirt/rock combination for a floor. The building did have electricity, and the one windowless room had a light hanging from the ceiling.  The other rooms were lit by natural light streaming through the window openings.  There were very few chairs, so many of the providers sat on our medical crates or stood while treating patients.

Overall, the people in this area were healthy.  Maybe it’s the mountain air!  We still treated chronic illnesses, ear infections and the like.  Overall, we saw about 300 patients and were headed back to Cofradia by 4:30 p.m.

The health of the team remains good.  And the spirit remains strong!

“Lord, may we continue to shine your light as we serve your people.”

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