Today we visited a beautiful little community called El Cielito. Situated at the highest altitude to date, El Cielito really was a village of the sky. After a picturesque and somewhat bumpy ride up the mountain, the team arrived at a clearing near the peak surrounded by lush trees and cool fog. Looking around, we all agreed that this unique and gorgeous village was the perfect place to end an amazing week of service.
By now, our team works like a well-oiled machine. Today, due to the smaller size of the village, I was able to walk around the clinics and observe everyone hard at work. As I watched our team, I felt incredibly proud of how far we’ve come. We’ve all come together in the hopes of showing Christ’s love to the Honduran people; we’ve all hoped and prayed that we would be able to make a difference in their lives, and I believe we have.
The effect we’ve had ranges from helpful to lifesaving. On a smaller scale, we educate about hygiene and health in the home. On a much larger scale, we catch illnesses that could have been life-threatening had we not been there to help. Today, for instance, Dr. Arjun decided to check a patient’s blood pressure after hearing her complaints. After calling for the assistance of Dr. Carlo in this serious case, both doctors found that the patient had an incredibly high blood pressure of 230/120. Without treatment, this patient would be at serious risk for stroke that could cause chronic damage or even death. But God’s plan placed us in her village, and our team was able to care for her and refer her to a medical clinic to treat her elevated blood pressure.
Cases like these remind us of why we are here in the first place. At the dinner table, Dane told us a story that perfectly captured our feelings about our service here. As the story goes, there once was a little boy who threw starfish back out to sea so they wouldn’t dry up and die in the sand. A man approached the little boy and told him that there were so many miles of coast and so many starfish that needed help that he could never truly make a difference. The little boy picked up a starfish, threw him out to sea, and said, “Well, I made a difference for that one.” We would be ecstatic if we could only make a difference in one person’s life here in Honduras; to our extreme joy we have been able to do this for many.
Later when we returned home, we had the unique opportunity to tour Barnabas House and meet some of the patients awaiting surgery there. Liz, who had not felt compelled to give away her cross yet, realized why when she met a baby boy who was staying at Barnabas House with his mom. He reached out to her and let her hold him, and it was evident to everyone in the room that these two shared a special connection. Liz finally felt the pull to give away her cross, and she told the baby’s mom that she would pray for his health in the days to come. Our tour of Barnabas House showed us the other dimension of the amazing work Friends of Barnabas does for the Honduran people. We met the cutest, most beautiful children and many of us were very emotional and touched by these children.
As our week draws to a close, I am filled with gratefulness for my experience here. I’m thankful for our incredible team members, who have become such a supportive family to me while I’ve been away from home. I’m thankful for the wonderful Friends of Barnabas staff who have made our experience so comfortable, educational, and productive. But most of all, I’m thankful for the Honduran people, who have showed us such kindness, gratitude, and joyfulness in its purest sense. Our whole team has been blessed by getting to know them better and living amongst them if only for a short time, and I know our hearts will forever hold the experiences we’ve made here and the relationships we’ve built.