Tuesday 2-26-19

Posted on: 02/27/2019

Author: Therese Kiernan

Jaqueline Toothbrush

At morning devotions, we learned about Albert E.N. Gray’s study of successful people, summarized in his book, “The New Common Denominator of Successful People.”  His study found two common denominators:  (1) Know yourself; (2) Know your priorities.

In the story of Haggai, God commanded His people to return to their homeland to rebuild the Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians. 18 years later, only the foundation and two walls were built.  Hag.1:5-7“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much but harvested little.’  ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’”

Pastor Dave concluded with challenging us to know our priorities and to place our hearts on God’s path. We were left with the question: “Where is your heart leading you?”

The Obras Hospital we work at is a public hospital and provides a variety of services, including surgeries. Every morning upon arrival at 7 a.m., the halls are already lined with people waiting for treatment.  As we go down the hall, we are greeted with smiles and “Buenos Dias, Buenos Dias.”  I feel like an athlete entering a stadium and suppress the urge to high-five everyone down the hall. The appreciation by the people here is so heartfelt and humbling.

We had a busy day Tuesday, completing 15 surgeries, and Patty saw another 14 dental patients.

Dr. Peters’ patients included a young man named Anderson who received a right-arm tendon repair.

Byron, a three-year-old boy, had a large (fist-sized) nonmalignant tumor removed from his thigh by Drs. Anderson and Harris.  Their second patient, Jaqueline, another three-year-old, had a hip reduction and may require another procedure.

Dr. Chhutani’s team operated on a patient named Maria. Following the surgery, Maria’s sister told Dr. Chhutani that “your hands are from God.”

Patty was passing out toothbrushes to people waiting for dental treatment. An elderly lady came up and asked for one also. Patty asked her for a photograph, and when the lady smiled, she realized that she did not have teeth!

Our day concluded with a delicious traditional Guatemalan dinner provided by Vilma, a local resident who assists our cooks.


In the next few days, I will be introducing you to all our team members.


Jim Gill, MD – Dr. Gill first came to Guatemala in 2002, and that commitment has continued for 18 years. He has served as an anesthesiologist at the Obras over the years, and this year has stepped up to lead our team.  He works at the Baylor Scott & White Frisco Hospital.

David Freeman, CRNA, DNP – Col. (Ret) Freeman is another veteran with the Guatemalan team and has provided anesthesia care to Faith In Practice patients for 11 years.


Terrence Anderson, MD – This is Dr. Anderson’s sixth trip with our team providing orthopedic surgery.  He also volunteers with other Faith In Practice teams later in the year. After serving as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Bethesda, Maryland, he moved to Houston and is practicing at UT Health.

Melissa Bailey, MD – Dr. Bailey joins us for her third medical mission trip. She has served in the missions field in several Caribbean islands as well as in Africa.  Her home hospital is Baylor Medical Center Frisco.

Sheila Chhutani, M.D. – Dr. Chhutani practices with Gynecological & Obstetrical Associates in Dallas and is the President of the Medical Staff at Presbyterian Dallas Hospital. She joins our team for the first time and is already looking forward to returning next year.

Quanita Crable, MD – A graduate of the University of Kansas, Dr. Crable is an OB/GYN who works at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She is a part of our gynecological team for the third year in a row.

Dennis Eisenberg, MD – A gynecologist in Frisco at North Texas OB/GYN, Dr. Eisenberg joins us for his third trip. We welcome him back after a hiatus of 10 years, during which time he was raising twin boys.

James Harris, MD – Dr. Harris has been serving our country for 33 years with the U.S. Navy. He is an orthopedic surgeon at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington. This is his second year providing orthopedic procedures for both children and adults.

Ted Peters, MD – Dr. Peters has been providing orthopedic solutions to Guatemalan patients for 18 years. He specializes in hand and arm surgery for both adult and pediatric patients.  He is also on the board of the Casa de Angeles orphanage that we will be visiting on Friday.


Melissa Dishman, CNM – Melissa joined our Faith In Practice team in the second year of her nursing career and is on her seventh trip. She serves this year in the role of OR Director.  She recently achieved her master’s degree and is now a Certified Nurse Midwife. When she returns to Texas, she will be joining MacArthur OB/GYN in Irving, assisting with women’s OB/GYN care.

Therese Casterline Kiernan, Photojournalist