Fwd: Meet our new teammate, Monica!

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: twinky.satterthwaite@gmail.com Date: Jan 19, 2014 7:42 PM Subject: Meet our new teammate, Monica! To: Cc:

As you know, we were left one person short when Dr Waldo Arteaga had to back out for health reasons. God already had a plan! MONICA HERNANDEZ, medical school graduate from Guatemala doing rotations in the USA, and previous participant in Woodlands Medical Missions clinics in Guatemala, just happened to be in Steves Point! Praise God for His provision! Monica, on left, with Megan, pharmacist.

Dr. Esteban's blog

Cartagena 2014https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ATEPl_bANMuC_Az9vPMoWyju1QOBhC7t56XyAwdVPv0/edit?usp=drive_web

Dr. Esteban’s blog

This has been a wonderful week . . . crazy busy and some internet/computer issues, so this blog entry will try to hit some highlights on the week.

On day one Michael Caldwell, our fearless Clinic Director, made the usual observation regarding how amazing it is that a group of individuals who hardly know one another, come from diverse backgrounds, have completely different skill sets, and virtually no team training can within hours set up an amazingly smooth running and effective field hospital - - a usual observation but still no less remarkable. Reasons for that really center around two things that make it possible: Egos get checked at the door, and there is a palpable sense that God is in charge. From moving smoothly through customs (Thanks, Anna-Cheri), to folding the team together with Colombian interpreters/students/church workers, to serving individual patients for which we were perfectly prepared (Dr. Jeff Menn removed a tooth from a young boy”s ear yesterday) . . . it is truly amazing.

Twinky, our Trip Director, with her husband, Rick, continue to demonstrate their unique gifts. Twinky’s energy and organizational skills keep us all on track and Rick’s problem solving abilities and sensitivity to cultural issues are invaluable. Twenty years in Spain as missionaries enables them to do so many things so well in this ministry that it would be almost inconceivable to pull off Cartagena without them.

Optical did fantastic all week. I don’t have a count, but based upon the number of glasses we distributed, the number will likely be between five and six hundred. We saw approximately 1300 patients through the clinic so that gives you the sense that optical was a hopping place. MaryBeth, Vickie, Ross, Anita and all our interpreters were able to help lots of people with their vision. Anita assisted on a number of surgeries and did a fantastic job. Vickie and MaryBeth were cheerfully compassionate all week. We began calling Ross, Dr. Ross, because he picked up so well and would take charge whenever I was tied up in surgery which was most of the time. But best of all, by the end of the week we had three interpreters running their own eye lanes and distributing glasses. They did a more efficient job than we gringos and had a great time. Fairwells for the interpreters this year were especially touching.

Pharmacy functioned amazingly well. Megan developed preprinted labels for common prescriptions that frees pharm staff up to focus on other very important issues. Tom Robinson was his usual rock solid self. There were also a couple exceptional interpreters in Pharm. Tom, who has led many med missions pharmacies said that this is by far the smoothest he has ever run. Even though they served all week in one of the few unairconditioned spaces, there were a lot of smiles and good times in pharmacy.

We also purchased all our pharmaceuticals in country. It couldn’t have been easier. The owner of the pharmaceutical supply company is a Christian and came out to the clinic to see what he could do to

meet our needs for the future.

Louis, Juan Mesa’s cousin from Colombia and an orthopedic hand specialist, worked with the team. His knowledge of local challenges for his people and compassion for them has been a wonderful blessing.

Monica, our Guatemalan medical student, assisted Andy Weiss, our ob/gyn M.D.

They have been working over at the new medical clinic seeing patients in a more controlled setting. She has been hardworking, cheerful, a great help per Andy, and very much enjoying her opportunity to learn. She was added to the team as a last minute replacement. She also worked one day assisting me in surgery. She is waffling between OB/GYN and OPHTHO for her specialty. It will be a difficult choice but one she knows will not be made simply by herself. She has been a blessing.

John and Jeff, our pediatricians, have been indispensible. I marvel at how they handled the swarms of families with kids coming through the clinic. The assurance that these mothers receive from these docs that their children are healthy and doing well certainly means a lot. Also having this level of expertise (over 60 years of practice between them) means that nothing slips past them that could be potentially dangerous. Their contribution to the team has been immeasurable.

We did have a lady have a heart attack in the clnic one day. We had a heart monitor with medications/IV in our emergency pack that stabilized her as we took her to the hospital. She was admitted and doing well when we checked on her yesterday. That could have been a terrible tragedy. It was good that we had what we needed to address the situation.

Angie, Dr. Caldwell’s Hyper-baric nurse, did a fantastic job in triage. With an interpreter, she did the job that typically takes 2-5 people to do. The clinic ran very smoothly as a result.

Blanca, Veronica, Diane, and Rosa were a great team helping in peds/med. There were lots of smiles, laughter and just great medical care going on in that department.

Dr. Milan, our oral surgeon, was his usual workhorse self. This year instead of birds, bugs, and dust flying through the clinic he moved up to a storage room. It actually was quite nice at the new clinic. He was as impressed as we all were at the wonderful vision and investment in the new clinic by the Colombian doctors.

Well, time to pack up and depart. There is so much to share and not enough time. Every single person on the team was fantastic, great leadership. wonderful partners with whom to work here in Colombia, and a clear sense that God is blessing our efforts with transformed lives.

Now back to the frigid North.


When this cooperative effort began between the curches in Cartagena and Woodlands Medical Missions, the clear objective was to be able to minister not just to the physical needs, but to the deeper spiritual needs, helping people to find new life in Christ. The doctors who had a vision for this kind of ministry have now created a partnership venture, opening a new clinic facility where this year we were able to see our dental and gynecological patients. They continue to have as their objectives the healing of both physical wounds & poor nutrition, AND the healing of spiritual wounds and providing spiritual nutrtion. Dr Salcedo was able to give us a tour and brief overview of the phases of the project. What an inspiration to see how what was just a dream on paper 2 years ago is now a reality. We look forward to continuing to pray for God's direction and provision as they move forward. PRAY FOR THEM and for us as this relationship continues to grow and develop!


Everyone who comes through clinic gets to have a family picture taken, and this year one of our interpreters managed the whole operation together with another church volunteer who also took one of our 2 cameras around to get pictures of the team at work. Teamwork is the way to go!


We had an amazing interpreter team this year, the best ever! They pitched in wherever we requested they work, and they did an outstanding job. W hope to have them back agai next year, as God allows.

A message fom Marybeth, albeit a tad late!

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Marybeth Slezak" marybeth.slezak@gmail.com Date: Jan 23, 2014 7:27 AM Subject: Fwd: Colombia trip To: "Twinky Satterthwaite" twinky.satterthwaite@gmail.com Cc:

You can use this for your blog if you wish. Thanks for everything:) hugs... > >

On Jan 22, 2014, at 9:50 PM, Marybeth Slezak marybeth.slezak@gmail.com wrote:

I have completed my time here in Colombia and leave tomorrow ahead of the others due to my women's Ministry gig on Saturday. It has been a special, special week. As has been our experience, God has put together an amazing team. What really amazes me is that non medical people can actually function and do really well in such a foreign environment...both culturally and professionally. It is such a joy to see Steve in action too. I knew he was good...but he is really GOOD! He has caught some very unusual diagnosis's...Marphins syndrome...(spelling not known)today, been doing a number of mole removals by the eye, ptergiums, and helping us find just the right pair of glasses from boxes of really weird prescriptions. What fun it is to see the eyes of a child light up when you have found the perfect pair of glasses, and they hadn't been able to see ... Possibly all the years of their little life's! And it's fun to catch the kid who really wants a pair of glasses but doesn't need them. Steve has a trick for that one too, start at +2.5 and go backwards to zero, at which time they say 'much clearer!' We are blessed, blessed, blessed to have what we have. Our optical team of Ross and Vickie, Anita, who I keep calling Angie, our amazing translation team with a future optician in tow! and Dr Steve have made it a great week! Thanks woodlands for supporting these wonderful out reaches that also makes our faith grow. I understand it's a wee bit cold in Wisconsin...just 87 degrees here...ocean waters are nice, ocean breezes even better. But I love winter. Negative 9 on Monday...the high...really? Hugs to all...ladies in Central Wisconsin...see you Saturday at Aroma cafe. So how cold has it really been? Love you all, thanks for your prayers, please continue for the team:)

Sent from my iPad


Friday, the last day, we try to finish around noon - just a half day of clinic. It is a hard day in spite of the lower patient load precisely becuase we cannot take in everone who shows up. Turning people away, people in need, is not easy!


Friday, the last day, we try to finish around noon - just a half day of clinic. It is a hard day in spite of the lower patient load precisely becuase we cannot take in everone who shows up. Turning people away, people in need, is not easy!

Waiting for General Med & Pediatrics

Rosa, Dr Jeff's nurse for many years, did a great job filling in the gaps for patient care when Dr Juan had to leave. In addition, she was the attending nurse throughout the heart attack incident yesterday afternoon. And by the way, the lady who suffered the heart attack is doing well in "intermediate care" at the hospital. It was such a 'God Thing' that she came to clinicwhen she did, was diagnosed by Rosa and Dr Jeff who both have extensive experience in emergency room medicine, they had access to the emergency medical pack we always bring on these trips, there was a vehicle available at that moment to be able to transport her immediately and by Giovanni who knew how and where to go! PRAISE GOD for all His provisions and that nothing takes Him by surprise.


A special prayer need has come up: One of the hotel servers, Cesar, who has carried our luggage, brought us water, served our meals and waited our tables every year was put in the hospital tody, in the ICU with a pulmonary embollism. PLEASE PRAY FOR CESAR'S HEALING AND SAFE RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE. The receptionist called me over to share her concern this evening after almost everyone was already in bed to ask if one of our docs could review his paperwork for a second opinion tomorrow. She is obviously shaken by this event which has been brewing over the last week since he fainted on the job a week ago Wednesday. Even though the hotel staff only see us for 1 week per year, they serve us so wonderfully and we have a great love and appreciation for them. Thank you for joining us in prayer!


Every good maxilofacial surgeon needs clean instruments, and Rick has become the man for the job.


PRAISE GOD for Tulio, a brother in Christ, who is now our supplier of meds! Pharmacy has even been able to keep good pace this year with 3 interpreters who help with filling the prescriptions.


What a week! The Drs have seen everything from simple wellness checks, minor surgeries, getting reading glasses, and pulling out rotted teeth, to more serious things like skin cancers, starvation/malnutrition, and towards the end of Thursday, a heart attack in process requiring an emergency run to the hospital.

Those who have been doing this clinic for several years have noticed an increase in the severity of the illnesses that walk through the gates, as well as an increase in the number of people who come that we discover have no food, or very little: one meal a day, or one meal evey couple of days.

JESUS himself declared we would always have the poor with us, yet we are also admonished to care for the orphaned and widowed, and to minister to those in need. Everyone counts it a privilege to have served this needy community, and we are in conversation with the pastors about what we can do to help both in the short and long term.

PRAY for wisdom, direction, and open doors for the churches here. PRAY that God would provide a clear plan and the resources for whatever ongoing project needs to happen according to His will. We cannot always be here in person, but we CAN pray. THANK YOU for joining us in that prayer support!

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