Blessed are the flexible. FOB teaches that phrase to all team members and we know it is the gospel truth. Things in the mission field often have to be readjusted as you become aware of cultural norms, or have to change the way you do the same activity in your job at home. Today was that day for us.
The vision screening team (Tim, Corrine, Patti, Marco, Cardy and Lidia) traveled to the community of Cerro Azul. Marco learned how to use the new Plusoptix pediatric eye screening device very quickly. At the end of the day we had screened 104 children and found 15 children who needed referral to the eye doctor. The process of screening happens within seconds, but adding each individual name and birthdate into the machine takes longer. In the US, our Conexus friends would typically receive a school roster before the planned screening day, have all the names entered into the device, and just have to pull the name up on the screen. In the communities FOB sees, it can’t happen that way. But…we plan the processes and procedures to fit the situation, and move forward. No problema!
Thesa also traveled to Cerro Azul. She had a wonderful day of talking with the teachers, community leaders, and parents about their perceived needs in assisting their children’s learning processes. Most parents stated they would be interested in group classes. We will continue to ask questions and develop this idea. Thesa also got a tour of several homes in the community. This will allow her to develop some teaching modules that are culturally appropriate.
Our therapy group of Tracy, Kelly, Linda and Corrine worked with Jairo, Lia, Felix, Joseph and Alexander. Lia was a ray of sunshine who loved to sing and mimic sounds and phrases spoken to her. Felix made great efforts toward learning some signs to use when communicating. All five children stole the heart of our therapy team members. Testing methods that were used today will be readjusted and simplified for tomorrow’s sessions, so that more time is allowed to teach parents how best to support their child’s speech development.
The book “Cross-Cultural Servanthood” talks about serving with either a robe or a towel. Do we come into a situation with the attitude that we know what is best, or do we come into a situation with the attitude of a humble servant ready to meet people where they are? This team showed that they have chosen the towel. We are ready to see what the next day places in front of us.