Our day began at 5:30. Instead of Pastor Jason opening with a new reading from the book of Psalms, he explained that one of our team members was going to share her story and how Psalm 23 has such a special meaning to her.
Johanna is one of our team’s pharmacists from Augusta, Georgia. Her story is one of graciousness, strength, humility and peace:
“On Tuesday, 9/24/19, I was diagnosed with a cerebellar mass. I had surgery on 9/26/19 and have been blessed with an incredibly fast-paced recovery so far (praise God!).
I was told I could wake up blind due to the nature of the procedure—I can see. I was told it would take 1-6 months to regain coordination—I could walk independently within 24 hours. I was so fortunate to be able to go home ~48 hours after my surgery. Only God.
On 10/3/19 I was diagnosed with cancer-medulloblastoma (apparently exceedingly rare in adults). I can now speak from experience—God’s peace surpasses all understanding. I’m sitting here in the valley of the shadow of death, and I truly fear nothing. Only God".
Johanna began a regimen of 48 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy in December 2019. She completed her most recent round of treatment on the Tuesday, 2/4, before leaving for Guatemala on Friday, 2/7. She laughed as she explained that she was “on a break”. She will start her next round of treatments in March. Johanna has a tattoo of Psalm 23 on her wrist. She told us she was living with an attitude of being Realistic without being Fatalistic. She ended by reading a poem by Martha Snell Nicholson, The Thorn. Johanna is an inspiration for all.
I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face
Today is our third day of clinic and our first day in the new location, Escuela Official Rural Mixta Aldea. Our team provides a clinic for two days in each location. This schedule allows the opportunity for more people to be seen without them having to travel quite as far.
The morning started out extremely busy and continued into the late afternoon. The audiology department was busier than normal due to the many patients who came from a mountainous community that is over 8 hours away. One of Faith In Practice’s other village teams visited this area in January, however they did not have an audiology department. The patients were told about our team’s dates and clinic locations. One of the community leaders transported several patients to our clinic. We fitted 8 of these patients with hearing aids.
We saw a 55-year-old lady in our General Medicine department with a small but unsightly growth on her cheek. She had lived with this growth for the past 15 years. After we removed the growth, she received 3 small stitches and left with a very big smile.
Our OBGYN department saw two ladies today who did not know they were pregnant. Both ladies received this news as a wonderful blessing. All indications show that both babies are healthy with expected due dates of early spring and the other one in mid-summer.
Each patient came into the clinic with a need, some were more challenging and serious than others. Our providers and team members worked together to meet as many of their needs as possible. We did our best to make sure that every patient left knowing that their health and wellbeing was important to us
519 patients -
General Medicine 112
VIA Cryo 44
Orthopedics 33 25 injections
Dental 36 63 Extraction
Audiology 31 21 Hearing aids