Bittersweet...

Farewell from Tara:

Tomorrow we start our journey back home. As we are excited to get back to our loved ones (and pizza) we are sad to see this week come to an end. We have learned so many valuable lessons that we will carry with us forever. Thank you again for your support and following along on our journey.

God bless.

~Tara

 

Reflections from Sue:

We completed one more year of a successful Medical Mission in Sumpango. Even though we had to change our location of the clinic this year, we were able to serve hundreds of loving, kind people. Our team was made up of many new people who fit in as if they had been doing this mission for years. As we end our week I have a full heart. The people of Sumpango show Americans so much kindness. I feel very inspired to do likewise.

Sue Ecklund


Reflections from Tswvyim

1/14/16

As Woodlands time in the clinic come to a closure, and my time in Los Olivos Chruch come to an end, the memories made, friendships made, laughters shared, and experience acquired will never be forgotten .

When the woodlands team first arrived in Guatemala City on Saturday (11/9/16), I had no idea what to expect, to be honest I was so nervous/scared I wanted to go home. I knew no one; I felt like I didn't deserve to be on the trip. My knowledge in the medical field was limited and I had no medical experience whatsoever. I don't know what it was, but as negative as I was, something in me told me to keep my head up and that this trip was meant for me.

So as the weekend ended and the week passed by, my life changed for the better. The voice in my head that kept talking to me was absolutely right, this trip was for me! I was fortunate enough to take part in experiences I thought I'd never be able to take part in. I got to use an opthalmoscope to look at healthy optic discs, an otoscope to check for healthy eardrums, administer cortisone shots to the knees to reduce inflammation in the knees to alleviate pain, look for the Human Papilloma Virus through various slides under a microscope, administer anesthetic shots to the mouth, do a tooth extraction, assist with tooth fillings, check glucose levels, find blood pressure, brush up on my Spanish, and so much more. I could go on and on about the amount of knowledge I've learned during my short stay in Guatemala, but if there's one thing I learned that stood out to me the most, it would be the meaning of appreciation.

The locals here are so appreciative of anything and everything they have and it's so contagious. The Sumpango team treated over 749+ patients and not one of them were ungrateful or rude about their experience. There were patients who waited outside the clinic at 5:00 am and the clinic wouldn't open until 9 am. We had patients who walked hours to be treated, we even have patients who walked hours just be told their needs are out of our the Sumpango team's hands. In addition we even had patients who waited HOURS in line to be treated for accidents that occurred years ago and not one of them complained. After everything was said and done, they would smile and genuinely say "gracias" (thank you).

Although it's sad that we couldn't help everyone, it brings joy to me knowing that the Sumpango team was able to make a difference on the lives of so many. Through the language of love and a big smile, we (the sumpango team and locals) learned so much from each other. 

 

Friends

Alejandra's twin sister took out picture. Such sweethearts! And incredibly smart! Three years old and a pro at the camera.

Sent from my iPhone

Day Four - January 14

Enjoy some of the photos from day 4 in clinic.

Whatever It Takes

Ephesians 2:10...we heard from Dianne this morning about how God has prepared works of service for each of us in advance of us being here. What a blast to see so many people using their gifts for those works of service. Each day the students are experiencing different aspects of medicine, but their people gifts and servant hearts transcend the various practices. Even those of us serving with no medical ability have been able to jump in using our ingenuity and resourcefulness gifts to repair an instrument sterilizer and modify dental chairs. Feels a little like a MASH unit getting the job done however possible. Praise God that we can indeed use whatever we have we offer to Him. Doug Schneider

A Student's Perspective

This experience has been truly incredible for me, and we've only had two days in the clinic! In two days I've seen heart wrenching poverty, malnutrition, and disease. I have also personally seen God's hand in it all as we have been able to send off hundreds of Guatemalans with smiles and hope for recovery with what they are facing: not just physically, but also spiritually. The last station of the clinic is the spiritual portion where the patients have been able to hear about Jesus: the ultimate healer of all things. It has been incredible working with such a team. Everyone works together bringing a crucial piece to the clinic: no matter how big or small they may seem. As an individual I have been provided countless new opportunities: traveling to a new country, tasting a foreign cuisine, experiencing a new beautiful culture, provide support for physicians in a clinic, deliver cortisone shots, utilize my Spanish, and walk amongst a people group that is nothing but hospitable, grateful, and tender hearted. I hate to say it, but, I don't really want to leave (no hard feelings, mom ;) ). This experience is a highlight of my life that I will never forget. I am truly humbled and thankful for all the support of those that helped make this happen for me. I eagerly anticipate what new adventures tomorrow will bring!! -Tyler Stokka (currently one of the tallest humans in Guatemala)

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