November 3-8 Mobile Medical/Dental Team
|Trip Participants: MD: Neal Lowery, Andrew and Mary McCormick; DDS: Jim Haller; RN: Cheryl McClanahan, Katherine Ritter, Shana Merck, Cheryl Bode; Translators: Ben Hobbes, Miriam Hobbes, Kristin Cardona; Compassionate helpers: Debra Blesener, Mark Taylor, David Morton, Lindda Morton, Barbara Haller, John Land; Chaplain: John Wilguess; Team Leader: Julie Wheetley
Meeting old friends at the airport in Houston was a real treat and it was a pleasure to meet new friends as well. The group made it to Guatemala and through customs without any trouble. Once through customs we greeted our Guatemalan staff who were awaiting us and packed up into the pick-up trucks. The drive to Chichicastenango was beautiful as always and we arrived at the hotel Santo Tomas in plenty of time to rest and clean up before dinner. That evening we all joined together for dinner at the hotel and followed that up with some great devotional time. During the devotional time Kemmel and Lisa formally introduced themselves to the new team members and explained what our schedule would be over the next few days.
Thursday morning we had breakfast together and split into three teams. Team one went to Caris with Dr. Josefina, they saw 22 medical and 8 dental patients. Marcos was busy with his eight patients working on cavity fillings and patient education. The second group went to our health promoter Gaspar Chan’s home town, Xepocol. This is the same village many of our Sherman scholars come from so it was great to be with this active and encouraging congregation. There were 21 medical and 20 dental patients that day. Mr. John Land worked hard all day long scrubbing and sterilizing the dental instruments Dr. Haller used to treat those 20 dental patients. The third group spent the day in Chichicastenango with the congregation there. They were able to treat 25 medical and 16 dental patients. There were good times had by all. The Chichi clinic was somewhat new for HTI so we were happy to share time with that congregation and see patients in Chichi where we ourselves were staying.
After clinics wrapped up we all headed back to Hotel Santo Tomas to share a meal and devotional time together. The devotional times we spent together each night we so very special. We had time to share about the stories that touched our hearts throughout the day and time to seek after the heart of God. Devotional time is always a great time for the team to bond and reflect on life and God’s blessings.
Friday we were once again split into three groups. The first group spend the day in Choacaman and saw 15 medical patients. They had a pleasant day on the mountain and came home closer knit as a result of their small team being together all day. Team two went to Paxot 2 and had a lovely time with patients and team members alike. The McCormick’s were able to see patients and spend good quality time listening to their needs and praying for them. Lisa was also around to see patients and visit with their family members and other church members who were there with us throughout the day. All in all there were 25 medical and 58 dental patients.
The third group spend the day in Maxtzul 2 where Dr. Neal and Sheri saw patients and Dr. Haller manned the dental work. Barbara was Dr. Haller’s faithful assistant each day making sure that things went smoothly in the dental clinic, her help was so important! There were a total of 28 medical and 38 dental patients in Maxtzul 2 that day.
Friday evening was a shorter devotional time after a long day of hard work. Julie gave a talk with some help from Kemmel and Lisa about HTI and the various programs they offer. The new team members were encouraged to know the many ways in which HTI is attempting to educate and encourage growth in families, congregations and communities.
Saturday was the final day of clinic and was the busiest day of all. The team split into only two groups and spent their time in Chuchipaca and Mactzul V. Everyone was impressed with the beautiful mural being painted on the front wall of the church building in Chuchipaca. We were also happy that Dave Morton didn’t wind up being the first patient of the day again this year! He learned his lesson last year and took off his hat and ducked a little lower when entering some of the rooms at the church building! That group saw 45 medical and 68 dental all together. Meanwhile over in Mactzul 5 the team was almost as busy with 26 medical and 58 dental. We were all pleased with the patient turn outs and happy that we were able to serve and be the love of Christ to those who came to our clinics.
Saturday night we again met for devotional time and quickly said good night after another long day of hard work. We went to bed content and excited for the following day.
Sunday morning we met for breakfast and then met in the upper room for our church service. We gathered together to sing praises, thank God for his blessings over the last few days and to focus our minds on Him. We shared a lovely service time together, partook of communion and closed out in prayer. After our service concluded we all hit the streets of Chichi and headed for the market. It was great fun bargaining and taking pictures of all the activity going on in town on market day. After our purchases were made and we had eaten lunch we all loaded up our luggage and said goodbye to Chichi. We arrived that afternoon in Guatemala city at Hotel Barcelo. Alex showed up with is family and lots of delicious coffee to sell. We shared a wonderful buffet meal at the hotel and said goodbye to Julie since she would be staying in Guatemala and not departing with the group in the morning.
Monday morning came early with 4 and 5 am shuttles to the airport to catch the flight back home. We spent a truly blessed week together and praise God for his safety and provision for our team while we were in Guatemala.