Today we were in the village of La Cuchella, and it was our busiest day yet. Immediately upon arrival we were greeted by a line of villagers ready to be seen by our volunteers. It was quickly apparent that this would be our poorest population this week, and throughout the day we saw a large number of vacant expressions, malnourished and special needs children and adults.
Our unofficial mission today was to find a recipient for a very special Emmaus Cross donated by Trinity Member Jon Tracy. Don Boyd, who was running the weighing and measuring station today, noticed a particular child having difficulty standing. He immediately scooped her up in his arms, stepped on the scale and took their combined weight… eventually subtracting his significant amount to determine the weight of the child. He then directed the family and carried the child to the medical clinic as a referral with our Honduran physician on staff, Dr. Moncada. We decided as a group to give Mr. Tracy’s cross to the mother who had two other children to take care of.
Cheryl had a particularly “active” child in her station today, who couldn’t seem to sit still nor would he stick out his tongue for her to view his tonsils. While taking care of the rest of family, he couldn’t keep his hands off everything; however, by the end of the consultation Cheryl looked over at this boy right as he decided to stick his tongue out at her.
The dental clinic was especially busy today with 102 extractions and barely time to take lunch. Drew had a interesting conversation with a Honduran woman nervous to be seen by our Honduran dentist Dr. Arita. With his limited Spanish, Drew managed to make her laugh—“How many teeth do we need to take out? Ten?”—and help her relax by saying “Respiré profundo.”
We were blessed to have handmade baby slings donated by our own Trinity Stitchers. Today in particular we handed out a number of these, of which Larry was more than willing to model for the mothers.
After packing up and returning down the mountain, we had the nice surprise of stopping off at Hotel La Naturalesa for a bit of ice cream… a pleasant end to a difficult day.
-David Skillman & Virginia Rhines
Friday, January 27, 2017
Our last day in the community was spent in El Cielito, Santa Barbara. This community is one of our Advanced Learning Communities, and is home to 60 families who also actively participate in the Early Childhood Development Program with 14 children in the community being routinely screened.
It was a typical day of giving away tylenol, cough medicine, tums, and fungus creams, in addition to several cases of high blood pressure. All medical stations utilized Dr. Bill Curry's pediatric expertise.
He thoroughly enjoys his variety of problems presented and helping at any given moment when needed. He visited with Christina's patient, a healthy 26 pound six month old baby.
Everyone took pleasure in handing out the crosses provided by Larry to children and adults. Jeffrey, the son of Virginia our cook, made meaningful connections with the team. He took a liking to one member in particular, Cheryl, calling her his grandmother. His help translating and skills were much appreciated throughout the week in the measurement station and the deworming station.
Linda enjoyed watching the new nurses grow, gain confidence, and show their training and intelligence. She also helped mentor Courtney in the clinic, allowing her to use her nursing skills to care for families.
While working in the dental clinic, Bert was supportive to a lady in severe pain, grabbing her hand and reassuring her to provide comfort during a difficult extraction. Don Boyd was humbled by Jamie's gentleness and compassion throughout the week. Jamie has always felt changed by her trips, the people making a lasting impact.
Virginia mentioned her 16 annual visits to Honduras with Friends of Barnabas throughout the years and feels it is home away from home. Her thankfulness for the opportunity to serve runs deep within her and she looks forward to returning again next year.
We welcomed the 100,000th patient served by Friends of Barnabas! Trinity has been coming to Honduras with the FOB organization since 2003. Celebrations consisted of a banner, balloons, and a group photo with our infant patient and her mother. It was an honor to gift them with clothes and food.
In the afternoon, Roger, Bert, and Don Pierce spent time at the hardware store and then at the university next door trying to find solutions to the periodic water shortage problem. Information was gathered to work out a plan with the folks from Danville after our return. Other team members visited the Pulhapanzak Waterfalls, taking in nature's beauty presented by the Lord.
Each night we ended our dinner with Dr. Bill's humorous historical trivia, belly laughter filling the air. Tonight Drew lead us in a candlelight communion service filled with songs, prayers, and confessions of faith. Each team member found it to be an incredibly moving service, bringing us closer to the Lord and each other. Drew has provided laughter and joy with constant singing and songs strummed on the guitar, as well as spiritual leadership among the group and communities.
Overall, it was a great week being the hands and feet of Jesus. Don Boyd boasted to this being the 'best team ever' and the week proved to be successful in many ways. We are appreciative of our staff this week who have been professional, helpful, and supportive of our efforts to serve here in Honduras. Every individual plays an important role in the success of the Friends of Barnabas Foundation, serving where called. It has been a life-changing experience for our team and we have been abundantly blessed during our visit. Thank you to all who have supported us in this mission, whether financially or in prayer.