Today our cultures came together, when fifty people from Honduras, USA, and Colombia gathered under the carport and the breezeways of Barnabas House. Dr. Pablo pitched the importance of good nutrition and brain stimulation, asking each village leader to bring our screening tools and techniques back to their communities, and to be the first developmental program of its kind.
The storm clouds gathered around us as we discussed the difficult and sometimes painful issues of the mountain people. The underlying themes were: Why should we worry about developmental delay when we have bigger problems, like survival, and How can you really understand our lives here.
Dr. Pablo treaded lightly at first and gained momentum as he proposed that FOBF would continue to provide medical support to these communities, but that it was important to understand that the long-term investment meant educating and raising up the minds of future generations.
"We want to learn. We want the knowledge," came the overwhelming response. The people we had come to serve brought their reality into our workshop. They reminded us of the big picture, and then we were all ready to begin the learning experience. FOB’s extended care patients provided a hands-on opportunity for learning. Parents were instructed on how to improve their children's strength, coordination and speech.
The heavens opened and the rain poured down all afternoon. The faces of the people tell the rest of the story. Enthralled - soaking up the information like sponges. Hopeful - wanting to do whatever it took to make a better life for their children and their communities.