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From Head to Heart

Today was the fourth and busiest medical clinic to date. We visited the quaint little town of El Cipres, Jesus de Otoro, about a two-hour drive from the Barnabas House.

The day started with a prayer, a song, and a wonderful breakfast prepared by our amazing Friends of Barnabas staff. As the week has progressed, we have become more connected with the staff, the Honduran people, and each other.

The bus arrived at today’s village later than usual because we asked Nury to purchase IV fluids in case we would need it today. We set up seven medical stations in a room that was smaller than any of the other treatment rooms we have experienced, but luckily we made it work. The day was very busy, and extremely rewarding.

In between patients, I often observed my medical team at work. The compassion and dedication everyone has demonstrated is unparalleled. Dr. Ed demonstrated extreme diligence in obtaining the most accurate patient history to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is done. Dr. Carlo functioned as a consultant for all of us to make sure that all the patients receive the best care. Gabie displayed an amazingly positive energy that continually lifted the spirits of the other team members, and the villagers. Debbie, Debra and Sue provided the villagers so much caring and compassion. Tammy affectionately comforted her patients in the vision clinic, and experienced such joy at the revelation of clear sight for the first time in years! Dane, Shane, Nolan, Annabelle, Charlotte, and Gunner maintained the highest level of caring and support for the villagers. I was in awe witnessing a true medical mission “dream team.”

As our clinic day came to a close, I allowed myself a few minutes of self-reflection. As I sat and observed the patients, staff, and team members, all I could think of was how blessed I am to be around such a caring group of people, and how truly connected we all are.

As soon as we got back to Barnabas House, we had a quick, but fulfilling dinner, followed by the end-of-day debriefing and devotion. Today six of us gave away our cross. Gunner gave his cross to a child who was getting his teeth extracted. Debbie gave her cross to a special needs patient that needs so much support and the power of prayer. Nolan gave his cross to tough little guy who didn’t cry while getting his teeth extracted. Tammy gave her cross to a kind older gentlemanly fellow whose demonstration of grace and gratitude touched her heart. Dane gave his cross to kind soul who reminded him of his grandmother. I gave my cross to a depressed, scared 12 year-old girl whose hardship seemed to have muted her inner strength. I told her I would pray for her to find her strength. Each of these stories taught me how just a small amount of effort can impact the lives of the suffering.

Dr. Carlo gave the devotion presentation and the topic was on the gift of giving. In order to truly give, one must give generously. That is, there must be significant sacrifice in order for spiritual growth to occur. These words of wisdom resonated well with everyone.

As the day ends, I’m reminded of a conference I went to last year in which the lecturer made a very profound statement, “the most difficult journey one will ever make in their life is the journey from your head to your heart.” This experience makes that journey very easy.

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