In today’s devotional, we learned why a pigeon walks “funny.” A pigeon cannot focus its eyes and walk simultaneously, so they must stop, look, walk, stop, look, walk, etc. In our spiritual walk, we can have the same problem as the bird. We need to stop between steps, to pause and refocus on the Word and the will of God. The moral is that “looking good” is not nearly as important as “seeing well.”
We traveled to the community of La Fe Santa Cruz de Yojoa which was only fifteen minutes from Alfredo House. This community has 165 families living in 160 houses. Kindergarten through high school is available with 175 students enrolled. The main agriculture in this community is coffee, plantains and bananas.
The clinic was held at Granja Mansilla which is an egg farm. This egg farm supports FOB by providing eggs to feed the children who stay at Barnabas House and the chicken manure is used in the gardens here. The team was able to have a guided tour of the facilities between groups, an interesting and fascinating operation.
We had a total of 677 patient encounters today. The general clinic treated 331 people. Michelle commented on the cleanliness of the community. Carlos, her interpreter, said that when he woke up he prayed for humility and compassion. Throughout the day when he looked at everyone working, he saw the humility. He found compassion in all of the team members when the last two truckloads of people arrived to be treated. The team had already packed up the supplies to be loaded and promptly unpacked everything to accommodate newcomers…twice.
Nilia, Yolanda’s interpreter, said that it was a very busy day. They started the day with an 80 year old man. Yolanda took a picture of him and he blessed them. Yolanda stated that when she showed the man the picture of them together, he stated “I will always remember this moment. There were many patients with fungal infections and Nilia said that she will be dreaming about fungus tonight.
Jessica treated many elderly patients which made her feel right at home as she is more familiar with that population. Mario, her medical student/interpreter, stood up during the roundtable and gave a very emotional speech about how thankful he is that we have come to help his people and that he has had the opportunity to help.
Dale met a woman and her young daughter. The mother said that she and her daughter had trouble sleeping, sometimes she was happy and sometimes she was sad. After some questioning we discovered that her husband had been killed by a machete in front of them both. It was a very traumatic experience for them both. The young girl was crying when she first walked in the clinic but when Dale gave her a little plastic cross necklace, she ran up and gave her a huge hug.
Carlos, medical student/interpreter, was attempting to listen to a child’s breath sounds. When trying to explain to the child what to do, the child was constantly looking at Dale. Dale would make a funny face at the child who would in turn make that face at Carlos. After a few minutes Carlos was finally able to listen to his lungs.
Dr. Reddy said that she mostly treated adults. A few had high blood pressure or diabetes that had previously been addressed with prescriptions. She educated them on the importance of taking care of themselves. Juan, medical student/interpreter, said he enjoyed the day as the families were not as large. He felt that he was able to focus on each individual better.
Dr. Roberto felt that in the previous days he had interacted with everyone on a personal level, but today he was able to work with everyone on a more professional level. He worked with Dr. Reddy, Shirley and Yolanda, discussing patients with each.
Donnie did a great job giving the welcoming speech to the community. He was surprised to hear the total number of people treated in the clinic, as the people were spaced throughout the day. He commended everyone on the way they pulled together and worked to take care of the last truckloads of people came in.
Tariq and Linda worked in the pharmacy with Pedro today. Tariq said that from the pharmacy aspect, this was a healthier community. It is a very neat and humbling experience for him, he said, to be able to kneel at the feet of a child, dust the dirt off his/her feet and put on the new pair of shoes . As Tariq is a chicken farmer, he was very interested in touring the chicken/egg farm. Linda said again today that God does everything in His time. We received a huge rainstorm overnight. Had that occurred during the day, we would not have been able to come down the mountain.
Lee, Peggy and Chanel treated 167 patients with deworming, 26 with Vitamin A and 19 with Fluoride. Lee found it very touching to see how Tariq was working with the children to outfit them with shoes. He also said he admired Peggy as she took off her own socks during clinic and gave them to a child. Chanel paid Peggy the best compliment by telling Lee that she hoped to be just like Peggy when she grows up. Peggy loved having their station in the medical clinic as it gave her an opportunity to visit the other stations.
Susan, Katie and Dr. Arita treated 29 patients with 52 extractions. Katie said today was the toughest as they had a lot of gum stitches to do. They extracted 15 teeth from the first 4 patients. Susan said that the condition of the children’s teeth reflected the dental health of the community. The parents were educated about proper dental hygiene.
Evelyn, Elmer and Marco had a high census of 53 people. Evelyn stated that she has never been that busy in the two years she has come to Honduras. They handed out 52 reading and 32 prescription glasses. There were a few patients with problems such as cataracts and were given referrals.
Evelyn also commented that the owner of the egg farm supported the community, cares about what happens in the community and her workers by hosting this clinic. She was amazed to see her at the forefront of the clinic, personally thanking each team member for coming as she served coffee.
Nury thanked everyone for their support and patience in packing and unpacking so many times today. This clinic meant a lot to FOB as it continues to builds its relationship with the egg company. Blanca, owner of the egg company, worked hard to have transportation available for her workers to get to the clinic.
Shirley said that it is so great to have the medical students, Dr. Roberto and Dr. Arita with the team. She explained that asking for the names of the patients, as she had been doing throughout the day, is to help us remember each patient as a person rather than a condition. When we remember the names we can lift them up in prayer.
We ended the night with a birthday celebration for Nury and a devotional. The devotional was about a child who threw a brick at a car to get the driver to stop. The man driving the car was very upset with the boy, as the car was a brand new Jaguar. After explaining that his brother had fallen out of his wheelchair, and needed help to get him back in the chair, the man was very remorseful. He assisted the boy in getting his brother back in the wheelchair and wiped his scrapes and scratches with his handkerchief. He kept the dent in the car to remind him of this message- “Do not go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.”