A point of view from Meg Creech:
As we had traveled many hours together – GUATEMALA TIME (which is much longer than American time!)– by “PAL VAN”, planes, and vans, we were getting comfortable and having a great time getting to know each other. We knew from the start this would be a special group put together “for such a time as this”. We had visited the Hot Springs, seen the countryside, “Oooh”ed and “ahhhh”ed over the farmland, counted pills, packed suitcases for the first day of clinic, settled in our rooms for the week, enjoyed a few delicious meals at Bethesda and had anxiously and excitedly awaited our first day we would travel to set up our first medical clinic for the week.
Richard and Mitch led us in much prayer and had us up and going to leave at 7:30 Monday morning. And Mitch was put in the driver’s seat of one of the vans! We traveled the Guatemala roads in awe of what we saw along the way to the village. We saw beautiful people who obviously love their country and value their belongings as we traveled lots of very narrow, dusty roads! We made it to the school we would be in for the day in about an hour and saw many people already lined up to be seen by the doctors. I knew being one of the two there with NO medical training that my job was going to be to lend a hand where I could and love on the people as much as I could. I think it’s safe to say we were a little overwhelmed by what all we would need to do in the space we had and for ALL of the precious people there waiting – who didn’t speak English! Well, God was at work in mighty ways, and before we knew it the middle school was transformed into a medical facility! After scoping out the available spaces, the dental chairs were taken in to transform one classroom to a dentist office. Another classroom became an ultrasound room. Another room (maybe some type of kitchen area) became the pharmacy, and a large open room became home to check-in, triage, and 5 provider areas.
I loved my job because I got to see ALL of the wonderful trained medical folks doing “nitty-gritty” work as they served as the hands and feet of JESUS! And I mean really served! The “patients” were checked in, asked some general questions, had their weight, blood pressure, oxygen, and heart checked. They were then sent to a provider who examined them and prescribed medicines, vitamins, etc. as they saw fit. Many wanted ultrasounds for various reasons, so they were sent to Trena, (our sweet new friend and sonographer from NC who has been to Nicaragua and Salkehatchie with Trinity), who lovingly carried out the request of the doctors. Some got to see their babies for the first time, some were diagnosed with some grim problems, and some just needed to have someone give them a little attention. ALL were loved. And I was amazed that as the ladies NEVER complained about waiting, about having to undress (and their clothes were elaborate!) in not so private areas, and lie down on a cold, hard, wooded classroom table! They were just so thankful to be seen! I had the best job of holding the babies or playing with the little children while their mothers were being examined. I was able to escort the patients from area to area, give them hugs, love on the babies, and tell them Jesus loves them. We had coloring books, small toys, crayons, markers, balls, and some adorable dolls handmade by the ladies of Grace Baptist Church.
After a couple hundred patients were examined, given worm pills, vitamins, medicines, and small prizes for the children, we headed back to Bethesda with full hearts, blessed and ready to take on another day in another village with another couple hundred patients.
After a delicious meal at Bethesda cooked by Amy and Maria, Mitch encouraged us to concentrate on 3 Cs after each day of service. This is what was shared:
What could we CELEBRATE?
*the people of Guatemala had Patience
*The children were tolerant
*Patients were appreciative
*The translators were AMAZING!
*It was such a blessing to have Sally as the pharmacist with us
What were some of the CHALLENGES?
What can we CHANGE for next time?
*Say yes more
There are no words to describe the blessings we had, the provisions that were in place for us to have a great week, and the miracles we witnessed daily!! Many, many thanks for the support and prayers from our Trinity UMC Church Family! We felt like you all were there with us!