¡Hola from Guatemala! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our medical team. I am happy to report that for the most part everyone is healthy and in good spirits. We had several big challenges in the first few days, but thanks be to God, we have overcome them.
Thursday and Friday last week we were traveling. Saturday we were welcomed to San Pedro by Guatemalan family and friends. We then set up the clinic and prepared for this week. Sunday morning the dentists met with the dental technician to work out any last minute bugs with the 3 new dental chairs. Sunday afternoon the team was immensely impacted and blessed by our home visits. That night, the team sang “Happy Day” in church with Mike & Jenny Remillard as our worship leaders. After hearing a wonderful message from Pastor Jorge Ramirez on making disciples, we walked to a restaurant for a pizza dinner. After sitting down for dinner, it suddenly started pouring rain. We were thankful that we were not still out on the street and were under a roof–even if was a corrugated tin roof which made it very difficult to hear each other! 🙂 At dinner we got word from Pamela that the electricity for the entire school block was out. Apparently, an avocado tree across from the school was burdened with the weight of the rain and took out the transformer for the block. Needless to say, we were thankful to have a few flashlights amongst the team on the walk back to the school.
You can imagine that Monday morning brought some challenges as we were without power until lunchtime. Our docs and dentists were flexible and used a generator for most of the morning. In addition, the pump for the water burned up and we were without water for most of the day. Colton Perrins and Hermano Juan searched San Pedro for a compatible pump and were able to find one. After rewiring to fit the current 220 system to the new 110 pump, we had water!
Yesterday in the clinic, ENT Doctor, Bryan Wachter found 2 surgical cases including an adult with a fistula in the ear and a young 9 year old girl with a concerning sizeable tumor on her neck. Today, after a 2 1/2 hour late start due to Guatemala time, Bryan performed two operations in a donated surgical suite of Dr. Calderon. Assisted by nurse Heidi Wallis, Dr. Wachter excised the fistula cyst followed by an open excisional biopsy. Both patients did very well and woke up from surgery with minimal pain. We are very thankful to Dr. Calderon and his staff at the First Baptist Clinic.
Last night Chase Perrins had the opportunity to teach a class on CPR and newborn care to 3 midwives and 8 local nurses. He introduced them to some new cardiac medications and taught them the most recent changes in CPR and ventilation practices.
Dentists Mark Keller, Eugene Keller, Jim Singleton, Tony Oney, and Mike Remillard have stayed busy pulling abscessed teeth and restoring teeth with more minor caries. Hygienists Sarah McConnell and Julie Hughes as well as Dental Assistant Erika Majewsky have been such a huge help to the dentists and have been some of the busiest people on the team!
Several of us including Jackie Oney, Jenny Biederman, Austin Reed, and Austin & Kirsten McDaniel have been switching off in the sterilization room, making sure all the medical and dental equipment is properly sterilized.
Our audiologist, Alyson Mellish, has been busy with hearing tests for both kids and adults.
Pediatrician Ros Singleton and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Randy Twenhafel have seen many children with a variety of medical issues.
Nurse Heidi Wallis, Physician Assistant Emily Johnson, and Nursing student Sarah Johnson have been rotating between all the specialties including being the pharmacy rep.
Stephanie Musselman and Dr. Michael McNamara, “Dr. Mike”, have seen many aches and pains in backs, knees, and other body parts. Stephanie found an isolated ACL rupture in a 10yo boy who had fallen off a roof flying a kite. Most importantly, they have been praying with patients as have all of our dentists and other medical providers.
Maria Bell has been a godsend with her translation skills and we are so thankful the Bells joined our team.
Robin McClelland has been helping with numerous welding projects including fixing the refrigerator door, desks, and chairs.
Sonny Burnett, Joe LoMonaco, and Robert Bell are working on multiple construction projects, primarily in the missionary house.
Jenny Remillard has partnered up with Linda Battz and Pedro the music teacher to teach songs and dances to the children of Colegio Bethel. They each have beautiful voices and she loves to be with them.
Our scorpion hunters Chase & Colton, helped exterminate 2 scorpions outside of Emily & Sarah’s room last night!
Overall, everyone is having a wonderful time. It is such an immense blessing to have Dr. Luz Elena full-time in Guatemala. She and Pam have done a great job coordinating medical & dental appointments, our house visits with our sponsor kids, and our yummy food at each meal. We are so thrilled to have Jorge, Gaby, and little Jorge Marcos be with us each day at the clinic and for meals! Pastor Emilio and Ester have welcomed our team with open arms and we are thankful that they can be with us often.
Please continue to pray for our health, safety and especially our impact on the Guatemalan community that we love so much.
¡A Dios Sea La Gloria!
To God Be The Glory!
– Kirsten McDanieL