Day 7 - Bittersweet

Posted on: 02/10/2017

Author: Bookhart, Wingard

As was the case all week, the devotion today included songs Pastor Edwin has taught us (he was taking requests). Prior to praying with every patient prior to their surgery, he would inquire if there were certain concerns or areas to be specifically addressed. This morning, Edwin mentioned a few to the team: pray for strength, pray for relative(s) who accompanied the patient, pray for the team (in some instances, more specifically the surgeon and to guide his hands) and joy/thanks for the team who came to the hospital to help those who needed medical attention. He concluded his devotional series (love, (in)justice, pride/arrogance/sin, forgiveness/cost) with everyone has a story. Are you living your story or someone else's? Who gave you your story and why are you living it? A woman named Ruth, who had been on the team last year and would have been on this team had it not been for deployment to Iraq, had sent a current team member a video which was played. We checked out of the resort and went to the hospital for the last time (this trip). Surgeons made there final rounds, then it was time to board the bus and head to Antigua. We arrived at the hotel, checked in, were told to stay in groups and then sent on our way. A few of us walked around the cobblestone streets seeing the sights, including the Parque Central (Central Park). We stopped at a favorite watering hole. Edwin and I continued to Casa de Fe which is where the patients and their families stay before/after surgeries conducted in the hospital in Antigua. We concluded the trip by having celebration at a nearby restaurant. The scenery, food and company were excellent. Personally, I can understand why team members have returned multiple times: seeing the joy in the patients' faces; knowing that you have helped contribute to relief from an ailment, that frequently, the person has suffered with much too long; and combatting the injustice that many people face daily. While it has only been a week, I am not coming home the same man I was when I left. Yes, part of my heart is being left behind in Guatemala. I told my wife after we had taken our first cruise, "this may have been my first cruise, but it will not be my last". This is my first time to Guatemala, but Lord willing, it will not my last. Finally, it has been an absolute blessing to be part of this team; thanks be to God!