Monday, August 8, 2022
Team En Sus Pasos began clinics today. The first visit of the week was to the Agua Blanquita, Santa Rita, Yoro community, home to approximately 720 residents and 90 families. As is usually the case, we set up the clinics in the community school – which has a kindergarten class of 20 and elementary classes for 60 children.
We cared for 131 residents today, and it was a joy for our entire team. New and veteran team members came together in virtually seamless fashion – it didn’t take long for everyone to get into a comfortable rhythm. In fact, co-leader Patti remarked that in all of the teams she has been able to join during her time working at Friends of Barnabas, this was one of the smoothest first days of a Mountain Medical Team that she’s ever seen.
There were so many touching observations and stories of the day. Our hearts are always warmed by the patience and deep appreciation that the families show. Some of them have walked quite a distance to get to clinic, yet they come in their Sunday best and always take time to express their thanks for the support they receive from our teams. It doesn’t matter that most of us don’t speak their language and they don’t speak ours – you don’t need words to share feelings of love and gratitude.
A couple of our most memorable cases were about two women who were very open with their struggles that were not strictly medical-related. Patti spoke with a woman who admitted to dealing with depression and anxiety. Thankfully, she is currently on medication, but she still feels troubled. She was so moved by the fact that Patti took the time to listen and show that she understood. It was a great example of how our teams truly do care for every aspect of these families’ lives.
Jo Ellen spent time with a lady who opened up about her terrible insomnia. She said that whenever she tries to sleep, worry about many things creeps in and causes her distress. After talking to Jo Ellen for a while, the woman seemed to be less stressed and let Jo Ellen pray for her.
Today was a significant milestone for this community. After five years in the Community Health Program, they have “graduated,” and this will be their last visit from a Mountain Medical team. It was incredibly rewarding to see how they have benefited from the education and support they’ve received.
Compared to the beginning of their participation in the program, families are more confident, and are taking ownership for managing their healthcare. They’re more knowledgeable about their conditions – such as hypertension – and are proactive about taking their meds. It’s obvious that they’ve taken the ongoing education they’ve received from Friends of Barnabas and learned how to apply it to their real-life situations. Their overall health has improved greatly. It is so satisfying to see how our mission has made such a difference in this community.
At the end of the day, our devotion came from Psalm 121. It couldn’t have been more fitting, because it reminds us that the God who made the very mountains we are serving in is our constant guardian. He will not let us stumble as long as we keep our eyes on Him and trust Him to provide all we need each day.