Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Our morning devotion was a time of reflection. We reflected on what had gotten us to this day, who helped us, who supported us, and how we prepared as a team and individually. It was important to do so in order to maintain focus and drive though out the week, to know how we got to where we are, why we are here, and how we are going to accomplish our goals. All of our preparation was going to be put into action for the first time today! With this would come excitement, chaos, joy, fear, tears, hope, and love. We were reminded that through all of the commotion, sometimes it is important to be still, and listen. It is not always about fixing every problem that comes our way, but often sitting with others, hearing their words, and patiently listening.
Dr. Nancy Glass shared a moving story as a gentle reminder to do this through out the week. She talked of a mother who’s child had fallen ill and was seeking hospice care. Rather than attempting to speak with the mother, console her or calm her emotions, she simply sat with her and listened. Listened to her thoughts, feelings, and stories of her young child. With out saying much, Dr. Glass was able to comfort her patient, as a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. We were recommended to practice this throughout the week here in Guatemala! At the end of the devotional we listened to a song called Rise Up by Andra day. The chorus reads “I'll rise up, I'll rise like the day, I'll rise up, I'll rise unafraid, I'll rise up, and I'll do it a thousand times again, and I'll rise up high like the waves, I'll rise up In spite of the ache, I'll rise up, and I'll do it a thousands times again.
Today was our day to rise up! After arriving to the hospital, our four surgeons and their teams quickly assembled in their ORs and the pre-op beds were filled with our first patients of the day. The wheelchair team began assembling and fitting patients to chairs and the dental team started seeing their first patients of the week. In the pre-op area every child was given a goody bag filled with toys, socks, soaps, and shoes. They were entertained by movies, coloring, games, and our team pharmacist Carlos coming by dressed in a variety of costumes including, but not limited to, a dinosaur, Raggedy Anne, and a shark! This brought smiles, laughs, and occasional terror, to the children’s faces. The children were accompanied by their families who were a grateful as they were nervous, asking questions and occasionally tearing up. Our team reassured the families that their children were being cared for as if they were our own, with the love, hope and trust the Lord has instructed us to use. While every family was full of gratitude one young boy named Geronimo went above and beyond to show us. Before his surgery, he presented our team and his surgeon with a small thank you note and coloring of Winnie the Pooh. In his very best handwriting, Geronimo wrote how thankful he was for our team, blessing us with intelligence and health so that we could continue to help others like him. This note will remain with us throughout the week, and long after, reminding us to continue to do good works that the Lord has prepared for us to do!
Our team completed 29 procedures on 24 patients, saw 26 patients in the wheelchair clinic, fitting 19 to wheelchairs, and had 26 patient visits in the dental clinic today.