Throughout the trip we've reminded ourselves that it's not about the numbers because, well, it's true. Numbers are a great metric for seeing what kind of success this weeks' clinic is producing, but in the end we would still run this clinic for 200 or 2,000. San Lucas Toliman is a poor community while Guatemala has an unreliable healthcare system at best for the middle and lower class citizens; anything we can do is worth it to enact change - albeit a slow change - in the way people are valued.
Though numbers aren't the sum of our goal, we are pleased to announce that our numbers thus far have blown away that of the previous year. Last year, heading into day 3, we had seen 297 people; this year, through two days, we've seen 390 people! That's a pretty massive increase, especially if you consider that each person walks through numerous stations within the clinic from general medicine, to pediatrics, to orthopedics, to ophthalmology, to gynecology, and to a spiritual clinic in which laypeople from our partner church (Mundial Extendido) share the Gospel.
Last night we had an incredible time debriefing as a team, singing worship songs, hearing testimonies from team members, encouraging one another, and challenging one another. Many of our doctors on the trip challenged the Guatemalan medical students that have joined us for the week to continue to return here and enact change that we hope to see; to change the current order of things in San Lucas Toliman.
This trip is an expressly spiritual venture; it is faith in action. God never intended the world He made to be plagued with sickness, debilitating injury, life-threatening disease, or death, but through the power of Jesus working in and through us God is seeking to eradicate those things. Whether through bilingual and multicultural worship or through partnership in a medical clinic, our heart and our hope is that we grant San Lucas Toliman a foretaste of the kingdom of God to come.
Day 3 begins in about two hours (Guatemalan time). Pray that, though we are broken and imperfect, God would work mightily through us for the sake of His name and His glory, bringing little tastes of His coming kingdom throughout the day today and tomorrow. We expect even more patients throughout the next two days as word gets out more and more in the community and surrounding area. Also pray for energy, patience, and joy in our work.
-- Matthew Wilhelm Pastor of Worship Arts/College Ministries Woodlands Church (715)341-0800 (715)216-4972 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com