Written by: Kristin Huffman, DMin
I am writing this on the plane from Guatemala City to Houston, which for me is home. Over half the team has another leg after that, making it a really long day to get all the way to their own beds tonight. So many images fill my mind as I reflect on the past week. If you’ve been reading along each day, you have heard about the crazy triage day, the days of surgery, the quite remarkable way the team has become family, the personal and spiritual insights we have had, and the miraculous work we have had the privilege to be part of.
God has given us grace upon grace, meeting us at the point of need every day. Felipa, and other employees of our hotel, quietly joined in with our amazing cook team to feed us with delicious and bountiful food and clean up after us. God provided surgeons with unsurpassed skill and the personal commitment to find the best possible outcome for the patients. There were some incredibly challenging surgical cases that these OB/Gyns, ENT’s, General Surgeon, Colon/Rectal Surgeon and our soon to be surgical resident met with creativity and precision. Oh, we can tell you the miracles we saw God do through them. And let’s just say we are all committed to adding much more bran into our diets!
Our anesthesiology team, made up of Docs and CRNA’s carefully calculated and administered the appropriate medicine to keep our patients asleep and pain free during surgery and yet wake up with minimal discomfort. Our pharmacist filled all the medication orders, using her training to adjust our supplies to the need. Our OR director kept her eye on the entire process, quick to change rooms, rearrange the schedule, help nurses all with unflappable grace and wisdom. The nurses in the OR, our circulators and scrubs, were faithful and flexible, serving the team with instant and insightful assistance in each surgery. They were flexible and responsive to the surgeons all week long. We experienced a depth of care and love flowing from the nurses in the recovery room, ministering to these patients who woke up from surgery bewildered and hurting. They gave the perfect touch of love and expertise and care to reassure these gentle Guatemalans and help them recover to the point of moving to the ward.
Our audiologists and dentist saw about a thousand patients (ok, so maybe not quite that many), more like around 150, and made their lives much better with a new hearing aid battery or a tooth extraction. None of this could have been done without the support team made up of cooks, the finance guy who kept the money straight, the team leaders, the team administrator, the translators (how do you say gall bladder??) and our Share The Mission and computer data expert. Our gifted photographer has provided a beautiful visual story of our week—check out the amazing pictures on the blog. Many thanks to our great Faith In Practice folks in-country, Jaime, Bekah, and Lidia as well as the staff of the hospital, all of whom continue to serve the Lord in this place, greeting a new team today.
I had the privilege of serving as the pastor for the week and I am unspeakably grateful to have had the view I did of how God was moving in and among our whole team. This group entered into the week with enthusiasm and grace, always looking for God at work in each day. I saw team members come alive in their roles, delighted to serve in their own unique way. The team came together in both the work and the play. Someone located a Ping-Pong table, got paddles and a ball and we had hilarious and competitive evening entertainment. God moved us beyond our comfort zones, challenged us in our faith, and brought us His joy.
Many thanks to our families and friends, our supporters, the staff of Faith In Practice, who have walked along with us from back home. We appreciate your love and prayers, and hope to share with you the story God is continuing to weave in our hearts from this week. Join us as we continue to pray for our sisters and brothers, God’s beautiful people of Guatemala.