Thursday, March 7th, 2019
"In Honduras, many believe that there is 'magic'...well not 'magic,' but the almost magical power of God present when we gather in a circle to pray. The bigger the circle, the more powerful the presence of God. In fact, they say that if your prayers aren't answered, your circle just isn't big enough."
Today, our team faced many challenges. From various personal challenges experienced by several different team members, to logistical challenges presented by the community we were serving today, many of us started off the morning feeling like everything was against us. However, we knew that if the devil was fighting this hard against us today, he must be trying to stop something really amazing from happening. This morning, before heading off to the community, we took some time to gather in a circle of prayer and raise these challenges up to God before starting our day. As we gathered our 14 team members, nurses, doctors, and Honduran staff members to join hands in prayer, the presence of God was so clearly surrounding us. We all went into the day after that experience with a feeling that despite the challenges we were facing, God was going to do something great.
That feeling turned out to be so very accurate, as today was by far our biggest day in the communities. We arrived to find community members lined up all the way down the road and around the corner, and we ended up seeing almost 250 patients in the clinic. Over 100 people received de-worming treatments, 89 tooth extractions and 100 vision evaluations were performed, and one child was provided with transportation to the nearest emergency room for treatment of his pneumonia, likely saving his life. Our eyes were also opened to life in a very poor community. This was really our first community where a significant portion of the population truly struggled to make ends meet each day. Some struggled with having enough to eat and many families were very sick. There were also a few women who had their first children at the age of 13 or 14. Despite these challenges, we saw many examples of hope in this community as well. We realized that many of the community members were truly learning from the Advanced Learning Program and actively working to improve the health of themselves, their children, and the community.
One of the greatest examples of hope today occurred during our first few minutes in the community. One of our team members, Louisa, had visited this same community on a trip last year and met a woman who struggled to see. After she went home, Louisa could not stop thinking about this woman for months and wished that she had given her a cross necklace. One day, during a conversation with Patti, one of the Friends of Barnabas staff members, Louisa asked her to please take a cross necklace for this woman the next time a team returned to her community. Patti replied, "Come with us in March and you can give it to her yourself." Since we arrived in Honduras, Louisa has been telling us about this woman and showing us her picture in hopes that one of us would recognize her in the community today. We were all praying that she would be the first person we would see when we arrived today, and sure enough, as our bus pulled up to clinic site, this woman went sprinting right in front of the bus to be first in line, cane and all. This was definitely a moment of celebration for our team, and especially for Louisa. We were all celebrating right along with her as she got to give her a cross, provide her with the correct pair of glasses, and listen to her read her Bible out loud.
I think we'll all go to bed tonight remembering that when life seems impossible, we just have to put our faith in God, keep fighting, and maybe just make our circle of prayer a little bit bigger.