The first day for the Dinwiddie Mission team was filled with hurdle after hurdle designed to test our spirit, resolve, and willingness to do God’s work. I am happy to report that we all weathered the storms and came through to the other side. (Even if not all at the same time.) The first hurdle we encountered was a last-minute change of flight at the airport. It was nothing we couldn’t handle. We just lost a few minutes. Well it turned out that those few minutes were crucial to ensuring we all arrived in Honduras on the same day. Due to some extreme TSA employees who took issue with Shirley trying to smuggle some in-flight snacks onto the plane, Jay and Courtney Harrison, Shirley Woodlief, Taylor Collins, Jason and Michelle Willis, and myself, Alex Wolf, arrived at the gate just as the attendant was shutting the door. We were definitely worried that our team members who made it on the plane would be concerned by our absence. We texted them and let them know our predicament and assured them that we would pursue an alternate route to Honduras. We were able to take a slightly later flight to Atlanta, GA and from there we would fly to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. However, another hurdle showed up in Atlanta. Since we had taken a flight that was later than the original we were unable to make our connecting flight to Honduras. We were all a little shaken by this outcome but confident that this was still part of God’s plan.
The next available flight to San Pedro Sula was the following morning so we had no choice but to find a hotel in Atlanta and stay overnight. I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining group of people with whom to be left behind. We all checked into the hotel and picnicked in the hotel lobby. This turned out to be a great way to get to know my team members even more.
November 5th 2017
We woke up this morning with a little extra energy determined that nothing would stop us from arriving in Honduras today. We made it to the airport with no problems of any kind. After we breezed through security we made our way to the gate and held our breath as we boarded the plane. The anticipation was felt by all of the team members and the captain announced we were beginning our descent into Honduras. It almost seemed too good to be true as we landed and began deplaning. Once we were off the plane we went through customs and collected our medical supplies. Thirteen 50lb. duffle bags worth! At last we were greeted by Carlos in the arrival terminal and we all were so excited to see his face. The bus ride to the Friends of Barnabas House was extraordinary. The topography and plant life were so drastically different from Virginia that I felt compelled to take pictures of everything.
At last we arrived at the Alfredo House and were welcomed by thunderous cheers from the other team members. We all were so happy to see each other. The night continued with an exquisite dinner at Las Glorias. The food was incredible. We returned to the Alfredo house shortly after dinner and discussed our plan for the next day.
November 6th 2017
Today our team visited the community of “El Obo,” Santa Cruz de Yojoa. This community has a population of 200 inhabitants, with approximately 42 families and 35 houses. It also has a potable water system as well as a water fountain located at about 5km. I was impressed to hear that “El Obo” has an elementary school with 22 students.
Our team started with a morning meal at 6:30 in the morning prepared by our wonderful staff at the Alfredo House. As we boarded the bus we were welcomed by the beautiful Honduran sun and God’s majesty became evident to all of us. The bus ride to El Obo was wonderful because we were all just buzzing with anticipation. We arrived and immediately assigned team positions and organized the different stations. Team member Beverly Smith was impressed with the willingness of all team members, especially the first timers. Jay Harrison worked in the dental clinic assisting Dr. Arita and was incredibly well prepared to provide comfort to children who were having teeth removed. We were all impressed with children of this village and their shining spirits. Jay’s wife Courtney Harrison also worked in the dental clinic which was impressive because it is one of the more intense and stressful jobs and it was literally her first day ever! She did exceptionally well. In total the dental clinic saw 21 patients and performed 28 extractions.
McKinsey Pyle and Michelle Willis worked in the general clinic which saw 143 patients today. Michelle was moved by the perseverance of a mother she saw taking care of her child who suffered from seizures. Also in the general clinic Dr. Reddy and Yolanda Mohammed became concerned with the high volume of patients who were hypertensive. It is definitely something that they will keep an eye on. Also working in the general clinic were Michelle’s husband Jason Willis and newcomer Will Hilton. Jason was in charge of counting out pills for all the patients that were seen today. Even though this wasn’t his first time, he too was amazed at how smoothly and quickly the Friends of Barnabas Mission team was able to set everything up and immediately get to work. Shirley Woodlief, our fearless leader, worked in the clinic as well. She met a wonderful mother named Miriam who showed incredible strength in her ability to care for her developmentally challenged child. The entire family unit pulled together to care for the child and it was truly a wonder to behold.
Carla Torres, one of our translators had a wonderful first experience at the clinic today. She was able to make a connection with a young local girl named Jennifer and the two became fast friends. Taylor Collins worked in the growth and development clinic along with Francene Green and McKinsey Pyle. They gave vitamins to 128 people, deworming to 113 and fluoride to 35 kids.
There were fifteen referrals and two were included into the Extended Care program.
The day could not have been a better example of God working through the hands and eyes of those of us who are guests in this beautiful country.