Sunday, February 24 – Day 3
Sunday morning, following breakfast, we gathered for worship and prayer. We sang, “Here I Am to Worship,” which exemplifies our ultimate purpose here, worshiping our Lord through serving others. Linda McCarty, President/CEO of Faith In Practice, was present to lead us in devotions. She began with reading Hebrews 11-12, which talks about faith. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” This year Faith In Practice celebrates 25 years of people who said, “Yes, Lord,” having the faith to trust in God’s plan and purpose.
Most of the team then proceeded to the Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro Hospital, where the surgeries will be performed this week. This is the triage day, where all the patients are interviewed by the anesthesiologists and surgeons for presurgical checks and scheduling. Many patients come from great distances for their procedures. Faith In Practice Village Teams travel throughout Guatemala to perform checkups and provide treatment in remote areas. Patients needing surgical procedures are scheduled for surgery in Antigua, transportation is provided, and the patients and their families are provided housing at the Casa de Fe.
Our team will be performing orthopedic and gynecological procedures. The patients and their families met us in a central location, where we all prayed together before their interviews with the surgeons. Many team members unpacked instruments and supplies and set up the ORs for the week's surgeries. Other team members distributed crayons and pictures, stickers, hair bows and other toys for the children. It’s a delight to see the children’s excitement over these small gifts. Even though many of us speak little to no English, there is universal communication through smiles. We passed out cookies, bringing more smiles from everyone, children and adults! The word “smile” in Spanish is “sonrisa,” similar to our word sunrise.
We met a young boy Joshua, who will need a tendon release surgery on his foot. Even at his young age, he is already a ladies’ man, enjoying attention from everyone doting on him. In preparation for his surgery, he received a cast on his foot which will help stretch the tendon. He will return on Thursday to remove the cast and perform the needed procedure. Another little girl, Celeste, who is one year old, will have a similar tendon release procedure, which also required a presurgical cast. She was unhappy when Dr. Harris applied the cast.
Patty Litterer, aka The Dental Team, set up supplies in the Dental Clinic and saw 15 patients today. Patty shared this: “One of the stories I want to tell is about Thelma. She has been a dental assistant in the dental clinic for about 8/9 years. I love working with her even though we have a language barrier. Today, I heard the story of her struggle this last year. Many Guatemalans were touched by Fuego's eruption last year, but her story is different. "Not only did she lose several family members in the eruption, but upon returning home afterwards, she found that her home and everything she owned was gone! My heart is heavy for her and her family. The Obras is helping her get through this difficult time."
Our team cooks, Mark Kiernan and Katie Naugle, were busy shopping and preparing meals for the week ahead.
When we returned to the Quinta de las Flores, we enjoyed a dinner provided by Las Palmas, a local restaurant.
We look forward to our first day of surgery tomorrow. Please continue to be in prayer for these patients and their families.
Therese Kiernan, Photojournalist