Day 4, Mountain Medical Clinic, La Venada Village, Honduras
Our day began with breakfast outside with our staff. Pastor Larry House asked for blessings over our meal and team. He thanked God for our glorious day, and said that our gift to God would be the way we would use it. Then we sat down and shared a meal together of tortillas, beans, fried eggs, cheese, salsa, yogurt, cantaloupe, papaya, and freshly squeezed juice, while overlooking the Honduran mountains in the distance. Our team leader Scott Williams introduced our team, and Lydia, the assistant program director, introduced the staff, translators, and local doctors we are working alongside this week.
Our second day of clinics was held in the remote village of La Venada, Zacapa. La Venada is a village sponsored by Howard Chapel in Mount Airy, Maryland. The village has a potable water source. There is a kindergarten and an elementary school. All bathroom facilities are located outside the homes, there is no electricity, and all houses cook on a wood fire stove, which results in a higher number of respiratory problems. There is a 70% teenage pregnancy rate, and no midwives, nor doctors for medical care and deliveries.
We packed our medical supplies and generator into the back of the bus, and settled in for the 1 hour and 45 minute ride. The very rocky bus ride up the steep and winding road toward the village was an adventure in itself. When we arrived, children and their families were waiting for us, cheering for us as we entered the village. Clinics were set up in the kindergarten and elementary classrooms. The generator provided electricity for fans. The general clinic treated 212 patients. Vitamins were given to 215 people. 134 children were given anti-parasitic (deworming) shots. Fluoride treatments were given to 43 children. The eye clinic served 36 people. The dental clinic served 26 people, for a total of 39 extractions completed. There were 8 children referred for ongoing treatment, and another 2 children referred to the Friends of Barnabas Extended Care Program. Like the children we saw yesterday in Miraflores, they appeared to be a happy group. The experienced volunteers who have visited this village before have noticed an improvement in their health since the group started serving this community.
Our day was full of meaningful connections made with the people we serve. Emily Wright was befriended by a child named Alan who wanted to have her ball cap. She decided that she wanted him to have it, and he cried as she gave it to him. Dr. Paul Settle gave his cross away today to the school teacher in La Venada. He was moved by her dedication to teaching the children in her village. She does not live in the village, but comes each day to teach her 57 students. Lisa Knick gave her cross today to William. William is a young man with physical and mental challenges. He was referred for ongoing treatment by a specialist in San Pedro Sula. Lisa and Ashleigh Moody, an employee of Friends of Barnabas who has joined the team for the week, walked with Pasquala to William’s home near the school. They were able to meet with the family and discuss his ongoing treatment options. We remained in the village for five hours, before heading back to the Friends of Barnabas house for dinner and devotions.
Susan Crews led the nightly devotions. She led a lesson in forgiveness, and the shackles that bind us, and the freedom that only Jesus can provide. Each night after dinner, the team received our daily mail. This daily mail has been a wonderful surprise each night. Before the trip, friends and family wrote notes of encouragement to the team members. April Barber collected the cards and distributes several of them each night. We are so grateful for the encouragement and love from home. We remain grateful to God for this glorious day, and pray that we have been a blessing to others, as we sought to use our day to glorify God by serving those in need.