This is my first experience here in Guatemala. I didn’t know what to expect. What I didn’t expect is the conditions the people here live in…and despite that they are a happy people. My first day I found a baby, of course. We have had long days, but they are very rewarding to be able to help these precious people. I am so impressed by our amazing team, they are all so amazing and we all get along so well. I feel like we have the best of the best in the dental area. We have Albita, a dentist here in Guatemala who is such a sweetheart. Paty our translator is definitely key to our days. She is so kind and helpful. We have had Alex and Zac, two awesome young met that have jumped right in to help. God has blessed each of us with different talents, and I am grateful that I have been able to use mine to help these people. I am definitely coming back and can’t wait. I’m so grateful that Dan invited me to be here. He is so giving, caring and kind. He truly loves God and because of that he wants to serve and bless others.- Jennie
This trip has been so very different than the last time I was here. Everything feels familiar however. Familiar faces, places, snoring roommates, extreme exhaustion, and beautiful views come to mind first.
This team is so much fun to be around. I feel like we all get along really well, which makes it easy and fun to work and play together. Some highlights include eating delicious Guatemalan food for lunch during clinic, chatting with the local team members, chasing Vicki around the locals market in Antigua, watching Dr. Randy comfort and care for patients on our home visit, laughing at Plain Dan’s jokes, and most importantly, worshiping God together as one church. The Sunday church service was my favorite part of my last trip here and it certainly is high on my list for this trip. God’s love has no borders and hears all languages. His word is universal and it is on full display here in Guatemala.
Today was our fourth day in clinic. Just a few weeks ago, a new dental chair arrived, so now we have two fully functioning chairs in the clinic. This has helped eliminate much of the frustration from my previous experience and has allowed us to provide a higher level of care to the patients in Mebrillal. The other big change was having one of my assistants join us on the trip. Jennie has been such a huge help in managing the dental clinic. She has been able to instruct our other assistants which has greatly increased our efficiency. I’m so thankful that she is here. Our translator, Paty, has been invaluable as well. I think we may have convinced her to make a career change into the dental field. She has stepped up with managing the patients and has spent considerable time teaching and correcting my terrible Spanish. Whenever I say a phrase correctly I look up to her with a big grin and she predictably shakes her head in embarrassment. I don’t know where to start with Albita. Her faith has been an inspiration to me. Her faith is bold. The kind that can move mountains. My favorite part of the day today was starting and ending the day in prayer. She prayed after our last patient for about five minutes.
I couldn’t understand a lot of what she was praying for but it still stirred in my heart.
God is here and he is doing big things. I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Not to us, but to Him be all the glory and praise. -Dan