Finally back in the U.S.! We thank the Lord for safe travels thus far and pray for a smooth return home! We left Guatemala with 28 people and we have landed in Atlanta with 28 people; fortunately all the same people we started out with! I know I personally can't wait to see my family and share all my stories and beautiful pictures. Honestly, we all have been so blessed this trip with all the friendships we've made and all the lives God has touched through us. His work truly is amazing and we are nothing compared to his greatness. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, we couldn't have done it without you.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

― Mother Teresa

With love, Team Sumpango 2015

Wrapping up clinic.

It's sad, the Sumpango clinic for 2015 is finished. We had a wonderful four days. With over 900 patients seen by just four providers and optical, it surely was a success from a medical standpoint. What's most important however is that we shared Jesus with many new people this week. Pastor Johnny shared at dinner tonight about Jesus's conversation with Peter when He asked Peter if he loved Him three times. In each case Jesus told Peter that if he loved Him, he should feed His sheep. Thus the greatest show of love to Jesus is to look after his flock. Pastor Johnny said this week our team "fed Jesus's sheep". What a joy and privilege to work with this team and to tend the flock in Sumpango, Guatemala.

Yesterday I saw a 10y/o boy with back pain for six months. Mom was very concerned because he complained every day that his back hurt. The pain was on the spinous process of his third lumbar vertebrae. It didn't hurt on the muscles or when I stressed the ligaments. I thought it was just a bone bruise but without an x-ray I could not rule out that he did not have some lesion in his bone. We gave Mom $20 (150 Q's) to pay for a bus ride to the next town and the x-ray. She came back with the two views today and I was able to show them to her and show that they were normal. She gave me the receipt of $125 Q's for the x-ray and the money left over. I told her to keep it and tears welled up in her eyes as she told us how grateful she was as she did not have the money for the x-ray and now she new her son would be ok. That 'gratefulness ' is why I love the Guatemalan people so much. They are all like that.

I had a 77 y/o man who was working 12 hours per day, 6 days a week in the fields at his age. He was thin but amazingly strong. His entire back hurt and he had leg pain with walking that sounded like spinal stenosis on top of the back pain. I didn't have much to offer him today, yet he hugged us saying how grateful he was that we were here. These people tug at your heart so much. This is our eighth year here and I hope we can keep coming to serve them. Enjoy the pictures. Dan Kraeger

The Last Day

It's surreal that the last day of Clinic was today. It was an early day as the Clinic opened at 9 a.m. This year, the Clinic saw 913 patients in four days! It was exhausting, of course, but no one let the chaos bog them down. The optical clinic showed such resiliency throughout the week. Through many difficult cases they never got impatient or upset. Nate, Tim, Kamie, Sarah, Jared and Christina we thank you for your compassion and patience. As for the pharmacy, there is little to compare to the devotion of the pharmacists and techs running tirelessly from bottle to bottle. Thank you Dr. Kim, Dr. Lindsey, Sue, and Vily. A special shout out to Eddy and David for making this trip a smooth one and doing diverse tasks at all hours, we can't thank you enough. To the students who shadowed the docs, Emily, Alex, and Marie, we thank you for your love of education and willing to serve those in need. Megan, Abby, and Pat you were all so versatile in your position and happy to help anywhere; the lab, triage, optical, the pharmacy. Your positive personalities were uplifting to both the people of Guatemala and the people of the mission! Of course, this mission could not be possible without the medical professionals; Dr. Dan, Dr. Kurt, Dr. Joe, Dr. Lloyd, Molly, Julie, Lora, Dianne. Your empathy for the Mayan people was uncanny and you all lead with such passion. You all bear special gift and never fail make us newbies feel like family. I appreciate that more than you know. And last but not least, we all thank Michelle for breaking the language barrier in so many situations! We would be lost (literally) without you. Dr. Kurt and David, we also thank you for blessing us with the gift of music and bringing us closer through this universal language. Dinner was held at the Chiquito's house in the company of the leaders of Los Olivos church. Pastor Johnny gave a beautiful talk today about how we can show our love for Christ. Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?" Peter replied, "Yes," to which Jesus responded, "Then feed my sheep." Again Christ asked Peter this and Peter responded the same. A third time he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep." We can express our love with words and we can express our love in prayer. But only when we help and serve each other do we truly SHOW our love. In the local community or 2,000 miles away, there are always those in need of a helping hand. We are all sheep; we are all family. There is so much to be grateful for. It's time to get some shut eye though as tomorrow we depart for a day on the streets of Antigua! Buenos noches familia. With love from Guatemala,

Sumpango 2015 Wednesday

Hi friends and family Especially--Eric, Kate,Raj,Sara, Nikhil,Sally,Lucas,Isabel,Jackson,Amy,Tammy,Matt and baby Englund We have been having the best food in Sumpango. Lots of fresh fruit and veges. Today we had our picture taken for a national newspaper in Guatemala. We'll see if the pharmacy shot made the cut. Love you all. Sue/Mom Ecklund

second day of clinic

This is our second fantastic day in Sumpango 2015. Jon Cronce will be happy to know that we saw 200 patients yesterday and 263 today. It is great having 2 pharmacists. Millie is helping us again this year. She is in her second year of pharmacy school. One thing that was brought to our attention (by Lloyd) in one of our devotions today is, we have been put on this earth to serve others. We can go across the street, across town, or around the world. It doesn't matter where we find our passion, just do it. Sue Ecklund

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