Last night we returned to Cofradía from Guiamaca at about 8:15 p.m. It was a LONG day. Our final count was 403 patients. They trickled in all day, and so we didn’t leave Guiamaca until after dark. We also learned that that there were at least four new professions of faith yesterday! When we got back to Cofradía, Letsbi had prepared a delicious dinner for us of barbeque porkchops, rice, steamed squash and salad. Even though we were eating a late dinner, it didn’t slow us down very much!
This morning after a breakfast of pancakes and watermelon, we boarded the bus for Rio Dulce. Today was the first time our January medical team held a clinic in this particular community so we weren’t sure what to expect.
The bus ride took about an hour. When we arrived, we saw about 150 people waiting for us. But unlike yesterday, where the church volunteers had already organized the space and put people in orderly lines, today’s gathering was just a crowd of swarming people. However, there was a sense of happiness which was visible on people’s faces.
As I walked to the food distribution area, three children ran up to me, waving, smiling, and saying “Hello!”. My new friends Kelly, Latricia, and Tony, told me they were 7, 5 and 5 years old. Actually, they told me a lot more, but that’s all that I could understand! What struck me about them, and the other children playing in the church yard, was their lively spirit. They seemed happy and healthy, just the way you hope to see children!
Biblica Bautista Salem (Salem Bible Baptist Church) hosted our clinic today. The church building is lovely. We set up the medical providers in the main sanctuary, and the rest of us took over the rooms where they hold Sunday School classes. We had plenty of light, space, and seating – 3 most precious commodities when doing a medical clinic!
The medical team reports that this area has a huge concentration of people with dangerously high blood sugar levels. Some folks have medication but choose not to take it regularly. Others can’t afford the medication. We are helping all we can.
Todd, our orthopedic specialist, had an especially busy day. A good many of the senior adults had arthritis and other joint pain. Todd also saw many patients who had been in motorcycle or car accidents in the past. Many of them were also experiencing joint pain. Todd was also able to teach them exercises to help them regain mobility in the previously broken legs and arms.
As of this writing it looks like we will see about 425 patients. A good day, full of smiles!
UPDATE: The wayward luggage arrived today! Will and Lorretta are particularly grateful for your prayers in that department :-)
|The Eye Glasses Team pitches in to fill food bags|
|Michelle assists Dr. Rick in dental|
|Brenda taking blood pressures|
|Debie, a young adult member of the church in Rio Dulce|
|Dr. Jorge with a patient|
|Medical stations setup in the church sanctuary|
|Elizabeth measuring eyes with the auto refractometer|
|Salem Baptist Church, Kiandy, Arleni, and Jesler waiting to see a doctor|
|Stephen helped out in pharmacy today|
|Boys playing soccer beside the church (yes, that's a concrete slab)|
|"Grandpa Stephen" creating smiles!|