Reveille Journal 6
The Reveille Mountain Medical Team made it home safe and had a wonderful week. Here is their final journal, by their journalist for the week, Mary Evans:
"You come to help my people," said an elderly man, pointing to the Friends of Barnabas T-shirt I wore to the airport in San Pedro Sula. "Thank you."
Earlier that morning, we had arranged plastic chairs in a circle on the fourth floor of our San Pedro Sula hotel and administered Holy Communion to each other in the final devotion of our trip. We read the Prayer for Honduran Children and wept out of love and exhaustion. We have been transformed and our worldview has been expanded. Christ has broken down the wall.
The original idea for Barnabas House was a hospital but the founders saw a greater need--a place for healing, a place for education, a place where people know that they matter.
There are hospitals here, but medications are expensive, and many are hard to find in Honduras. FOB mission teams bring huge duffels filled with medications which will be dispensed in the mountains by upcoming teams and also to the 370 active patients who come to Barnabas House each month to receive medications through the Extended Care Program.
Accommodations for volunteers and patients are simple but comfortable. "We believe we need to take good care of you so you can take care of our people," Nury says. The freshly prepared Honduran food made for us by Virginia and Albeta fortifies us for the days ahead. A newly installed water purification system ensures that water is safe to drink at Barnabas House.
Berta cooks for the patients in Extended Care, and cleans until everything shines. Mennonite churches donated quilts for all of the beds. A team from Mechanicsville painted cheerful murals on patient room walls. Children can sleep in the ark with Noah and the animals, in the jungle, or in orbit with the planets. There is even an outdoor wood fired griddle on a covered veranda so that families used to cooking outside can make their own tortillas. People from all walks of life stay at Barnabas House.
Staff uses the gardens and agricultural area as training for community leaders in proper planting, fertilizing and harvesting techniques. Jaime, the gardener at Barnabas House, grows beans and corn which are fed to residents. "It is a blessing for me as a director to say I don't worry about food," Nury says. "In a year, we give 15,000 meals. We sell our extra produce and we sell our clean water to the staff. We do much fundraising. We receive donations of money and of food – tilapia, eggs, and milk."
In addition to education initiatives in the mountain villages, Pascuala holds health education clinics at Barnabas House for community leaders. "We are trying to break the cycle of poverty through education," says Nury. Just this month, 30 village midwives attended a clinic.
The extended care wing for pre- and post-op care at Barnabas House was built in response to the heartbreaking occurrences of death after surgery. Some children who were referred for surgery in the hospital returned to their villages, where their families did not know how to care for them. Their wounds were infected and they passed away. Sometimes patients who are referred for surgery aren't nourished or clothed properly before going to surgery. Staff washes and nourishes them and gives them clean clothes if needed. A referral from Friends of Barnabas can greatly speed the process to receive life changing surgeries for serious conditions.
On Saturday, we experienced some of the abundant natural attractions near Barnabas House. We kayaked on a nearby lake and visited the breathtaking waterfalls at Pulhapanzak. Many of our group enjoyed zip lining over the falls. Then we visited caves with gorgeous rock formations with names like "the dress" and "angel wings."
It takes a legion of angels to bring health and hope to the mountain villages in Honduras. Barnabas House becomes like home to every angel who walks through the door.
The evening before our return flight, we stayed over in San Pedro Sula and enjoyed dinner at El Arboral restaurant. In the morning, we shopped for souvenirs and locally made crafts, including some fine woodworking and Lenca pottery.
Thank you for being with the Reveille team this week – in spirit and in prayer - in Honduras.