Today was Ray and my last day of clinic, which was very bittersweet. Thinking back to one week ago when the team all met each other in Atlanta seems like a different lifetime. We all arrived as strangers, but came together as a strong team serving God and the people of Guatemala. We were happy to have had such an amazing first trip, and being the newbie travel nurses from Michigan, we were so thankful for such a supportive and welcoming group. Ray and I  found out about Healing Nations while in college nearly 6 six years, after only dating each other one week. We both had a heart for serving others and God, and after six years of finishing nursing school, getting married, and finally responding to an email from Jenni, we said yes to God. We feel like we took this leap of faith, trusting that God would put us in the right place. Saying “yes” to His call to this trip and trusting His plan was such an amazing feeling. It led us to learn about ourselves, our God, and about serving others. We couldn’t be more thankful to the team members we met who helped us each day of our trip, and also helped us grow stronger in our faith.

Ray and I started our day in triage, which allowed us to welcome each member of the community and hear their stories. We quickly discovered the children loved playing with our stethoscopes; listening to the “thud thud” of our hearts, searching for what a brain sounds like, or just yelling “HOLA” into the other end. We also were able to walk to a family’s home during a community visit in the morning, led by Edras the pastor. When we walked into the home, we immediately noticed the beautiful garden in the front of the house. They say Guatemala has an “eternal spring”, which we were able to see many times while  traveling around. The man we met was 95 and his health had been declining for 15 years since the love of his life passed away. In the moment, he said he was feeling well, but lacked motivation to eat and drink. As a team, we gave him encouragement and Shannon, one of our team leaders, said a prayer over him. He began to weep and thanked us for our time and love. God is everywhere and at the center of it all. We came into this trip not knowing what to expect, but saw many examples of God’s love in the people of Guatemala and our team here. We learned this week that by putting your trust in God, amazing things will happen. For example, when we counted every piece
of medical equipment, medication, and medical supply, we trusted that God (and Jenni) had a plan. We are so thankful for our whole team, including those who were able to travel here with us, and the Guatemalan teachers, pastors, translators, and medical professionals. We are also extremely thankful for all those who have continued to pray for our team and our mission here, for as we have learned many times this week, sometimes it feels like all we can do is pray, but really, prayer is all we need.

Katie and Ray