Our third clinic day has come to an end. Thank you for reading the blogs and for praying for the team and community! Here are a couple of stories from today…
Coming here is such a blessing and joy. I love having the opportunity to come and serve. I’ve missed this so much and am so glad that we are finally here. I’m working with the most extraordinary people. The flexibility and ability to adapt to change and difficult work conditions has amazed me. Our focus has been on the people here. They have kept that focus no matter what has been thrown at them. Thank you all for working to make this possible.
Today had both highs and lows. The day we care for the Galilea staff and our translators is always one of my favorites. The people who we work with here have become friends and it’s an honor to help them. Seeing the suffering of those in this community is sobering. They have so little and now it’s even worse. I hope that we were able to offer something that will ease the pain of the family we went to visit. We can’t do much but offer a few meds and let them know someone cares.
From Ray and Katie:
Ray and Katie here! We are so excited to be a part of the Healing Nations team for the second time. Ray has only had to take one cold shower so far, so we call that a win! We were lucky enough to join the last trip before Covid, and we’re so blessed to be here volunteering in this time that has been difficult on everyone. After two long days of clinic, we were excited to be able to serve the volunteers and staff members in our clinic this morning. We always love seeing the familiar faces come through triage and hear about how they have been this last year. One of our favorite parts of this trip is getting to know our translators and fellow volunteers from Guatemala and hear their stories about their lives here.
We also were able to go on a community visit this afternoon. A group of us traveled a few miles away to visit a family in their home because they were unable to come to clinic. We walked into the family’s home to find three adults and two children living in very close quarters. We were hit with the reality of how many Guatemalans live on a daily basis. We met a man who struggled with cirrhosis, an elderly woman who was wheelchair bound and severely depressed for 20 years since her husband died, and two children who were stuck at home due to covid. The one who really surprised us both was the woman who was keeping it all together. The man’s wife was the entire support for her family, selling tortillas and doing laundry, as well as raising the children and taking care of her mother and husband. She worked endlessly for her family and it seemed she never had a day for herself. When our team walked in, she immediately gathered chairs and welcomed us into her home. She was strong and held it together for her family. After mentioning this to the Guatemalan volunteers, we learned this is traditional for women in this community. Once the doctors evaluated the family, we prayed with them. We prayed that they may know God, but also that they know He loves them and knows them. We were reminded that our physical healing is important, but that spiritual healing from God is what will really give them happiness and love.
When we returned to the clinic, we were met with many members of the community waiting to be seen for the afternoon! We returned to triage to find Annie assessing a 28 year old patient who seemed to have severe diabetic ketoacidosis. His blood sugar was too high to be measured, but his blood pressure was much too low to go home. He felt poorly for months and was desperate for help. His mother was there and we explained that we could give him IV fluids, but afterward he would need to go to the emergency room. Instantly her face dropped. She expressed her fear that her and her son would go to the hospital, contract Covid and die. Her fear lead her to tears and she initially refused to go. We knew that we would not be able to convince him to go, but we gathered our pastor, Esdras, Rudy, and our nurse, Lisa from Guatemala, and they were able to talk and pray with him. They spoke with him candidly and were able to convince him. Rudy called the ambulance and he went on his way. We were able to work as an entire team, but we owe all our strength and compassion to God. It was a stark reminder that no matter where you are in the world, this pandemic has been scary, emotional, and isolating. Ray and I have been so blessed to serve in this community. We learn more each day from our patients, community members, and fellow team members. We have felt God working in this community this week and we are so thankful that he chose us to serve in this clinic. Love, Katie and Ray