Thursday 2-28-19

Posted on: 03/01/2019

Author: Therese Kiernan

Delmi Cast Luis

Today is our last day of surgery. This morning Team 606 members were invited to share their experiences and thoughts from the week.

Mark – I felt such positive energy with the team.  Seeing the magic that you do, I realized how God’s hands were surrounding you. 

T-Ann – We had an orthopedic surgery that was very involved. I was focused on the case and the procedure, but at the end, I saw the patient’s face glowing and smiling.

Sheila – We had a patient who was wailing and shaking in the OR. She said she was crying because she was so happy. It was unexpected to see tears of joy in the midst of an operation.

Carmen – One of our patients said they always pray for this team, that they believe we are missionaries sent from God.

Ted – I operated on a young man who had not been able to bend his middle finger since he was a young child. After his surgery, I encouraged him to try to gently bend the finger.  When it bent, I said, “Did you see that?”  He replied with a big smile!

Tammie – One of my best experiences was passing out cookies in the triage area on our first day. The patients and their families were so grateful for just one cookie.

Heng – I want to thank everyone for such a wonderful experience. I can’t imagine where else I could experience this.

Patty – I shared earlier about the dental assistant here who lost her home and many family members in the Fuego explosion, which occurred on a Sunday. She was usually off work on Sunday.  However, her son was having surgery Monday, so both she and her son were here in Antigua when the volcano erupted. Because she lost everything, the Obras Hospital is providing her an apartment in Antigua.

Quanita – Felecia and I attended a bible study prior to this trip, the focus of which was God’s purpose for our lives.   The question is not, “What is my purpose?” but “God, what is your purpose?”  See where God is working and join in.

Felecia – This is my first trip, and I am appreciative of the way I have been integrated with the team and not treated as an outsider. The patient’s smiles and expressions of “Gracias, gracias” has been monumental.  I’ve realized it’s not about me but you, God.

Melissa Bailey – I am amazed at how the people here love life and love God. I look forward to bringing their appreciation home with me and sharing it with my patients. “Guess what I got to do!”  This helps me to experience this trip all year.

Stephanie – I was humbled by the local OR staff. They may not have the same certifications or qualifications we do, but they know everything.  They work so hard.

Debbie – I was struck by the head of the OR mopping floors. The local people all work together. 

Jim – I am honored to serve with such great professionals and people of faith

Dave – Yesterday Sandy (interpreter) and I were talking to a patient who waited all day for her surgery. She was the last patient in, but then was beaming when she was the first patient released to return home.  I see more smiles here in a week than I see at home the other 51 weeks.



Drs. Anderson and Harris operated on little Delmi, four years old, who required hip correction surgery.  She was very apprehensive this morning, matched by her concerned papa that was by her side.

A gynecological patient, Maria, had a severe prolapse condition that required a hysterectomy as well as bladder and rectal wall repair.  

Yesenia, the patient that was turned away earlier this week because she didn’t have a family member present, returned for her gynecological repair.

One of Dr. Crable’s patients from two years ago has a sister that works here at the Obras. She told Dr. Crable that the 16-pound mass removed from her sister turned out to be cancerous and required chemotherapy.  Today the former patient is cancer-free after a year.



Amy Carlson, CST – Amy has assisted as a scrub tech in the Obras operating rooms for seven years.  She will be coming back with another team this May.  Back home, she has a new position working as a scrub tech at Live Oak Surgery Center in Plano.

Jay Goucher, CST – This is Jay’s 5th year with our team, and he is assisting Drs. Anderson and Harris in orthopedic surgeries.  He will be returning in May with another team.  He is a scrub tech at Baylor Scott & White Frisco.

Carmen Mendez, CST – Carmen is a scrub tech who works at Medical City Plano. This is her seventh Faith In Practice trip.  She speaks fluent Spanish and is also helping out as an interpreter when she’s not in the operating room.

T’Ann Naugle, CST  - T’Ann has been on seven Faith In Practice trips. She is assisting Dr. Peters with upper extremity surgeries. She is a scrub tech at Methodist Southlake Hospital.


Kathy Batcha, MSRPh – With a career as a pharmacist spanning over 32 years, Kathy has come to Guatemala for her fourth year to assist with the dispensing of medications to our surgical patients. She serves in this role at home at the Baylor Heart & Vascular Hospital.


Patty Litterer – Also known as our “Dental Team,” Patty has been providing dental care and educating patients in correct oral hygiene for the past 13 years. She works for Dr. Gililland, DDS.


Debbie Jobe – For 10 years, Debbie has served as Team Administrator, helping plan the trip, scheduling day-to-day activities, checking in patients, keeping up with the surgery schedule, and, last, but not least, keeping track of all team members.   She has kept our teams running smoothly for nine years.  She is the Executive VP of training for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Dave Jobe – For 12 years, Pastor Dave has ministered to the needs of our patients and their families, as well as leading worship during our morning devotions.  He is now a retired pastor, enjoying his grandkids, fishing and golf.


Therese Casterline – This is my eigth trip as the team photojournalist, and each opportunity to travel with all these amazing caregivers and document the stories of the patients is as special as the last.  I am a freelance court reporter in DFW.


Mark Kiernan - Back home in Dallas/Fort Worth, Mark works in the maintenance control center for American Airlines.  One of his hobbies is cooking, and he has volunteered for a third year to help provide meals for our team.

Katie Naugle – Katie is up at the crack of dawn preparing coffee and assisting with breakfast for the team. Back home, she is a barista at Starbucks in Grapevine.   She is here for the first time and is assisting Mark with shopping and meal preparation.


Our day was concluded with a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant to honor all team members.

Therese Casterline Kiernan, Photojournalist