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A Visit to Ocotal

Journal 2

Today my heart was truly blessed beyond what words can possibly describe! I travelled deep in the mountains to a small rural Honduras Village called Ocotal with a team from a church located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The members of the team are originally from either Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic with the exception of Hernan who is from Ecuador.

Hernan and I spent the day working together giving fluoride treatments to children in the morning, and then passing out toiletry supplies and toothbrushes in the afternoon. Everyone had a job and the Hondurans who lived in this rural mountain community were so excited about our visit. Parents were educated about health care for their children and vitamins were dispensed for expectant mothers as well as children. Major medical conditions of children were evaluated to make the decision with their parents for a visit to the Barnabas House Health Clinic where further tests will be performed and then a decision about possible surgeries, all at no expense to the family. Transportation is even provided. I was the only team member who didn't speak Spanish, but communication was more through the sharing of smiles as a way of expressing their gratitude as well as my own.

Everyone in the village wore the very finest clothes they owned as this was truly a day of celebration! This was a huge day for this tiny mountain community as many of these children were experiencing health care for the first time in their lives. It was a community of poverty beyond the wildest imagination. Some homes were built out of cardboard with a tarp for their roof, no doors or windows, nothing to keep critters or the elements out. It was heart wrenching knowing families spent their entire life in these type of living conditions. It was a day to be grateful for the conditions we live in back home. And at the same time to realize how many times materialistic things get in the way of the important things in life. It was a day of God's miracles in their greatest form in a small rural community in the mountains of Central Honduras, a day I will never forget!!!

-Steve Claxton

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