Health Talents International

January 27-February 1, 2000

Trip Report by Rick Harper

Participants: Drs. Alan Boyd, David Darrah, Charles Jarrett, and David Weed; Dentists Drs. Richard Burt, Robert Lamd, and Margaret Shaw; Nurses Connie Campbell, Judy Deel, Martha Oyston, and Mindy Shivers; Pharmacists Jimmy Anderson and Michelle Elliott; Med Tech Louise Clites; Non-Medical folks Steve and Susie Fox, Rick and Susan Harper, Donna Lamb, Grace McIntyre, Harriette Shivers, Steve Shivers, Gary Tabor, Valari Wedel and Sylvia.

Frantic phone calls as a January ice storm created flight delays and stranded ten team members in Memphis, Dallas and Charlotte. Flexibility as we adapted to the situation and made alternate plans. And most importantly faith that all would work out in the end. Faith won!

The last week in January found twenty-five of us bound for Managua, Nicaragua, for the first HTI medical mission trip and clinic of the new century. Despite the minor difficulties of ten of our team being delayed for a day, we discovered all in readiness upon our arrival in Managua. Jose Garcia de la Llana, Noel Romano, and numerous church members from Rene Polanco and Grenada lived up to their reputation as well prepared hosts. The Nicaraguan staff assembled to work in the two clinics was in excess of thirty and included medical doctors from around Managua who arrived to work side by side with their North American counterparts.

We were able to offer medical, dental and vision services to more than 2200 children and adults at the two clinics sites over the three-day period. With a tem of four physicians, three dentists, four nurses, two pharmacists, one med tech, one comedian posing as a minister and ten other highly trained and motivated personnel, we proclaimed the love of our Lord by serving His people. In addition to vitamins, painkillers, worm medicine and assorted prescriptions, we dispensed an equal measure of smiles, hugs, handshakes and kisses. Such is the work and the
joy of laboring for the Kingdom.

Away from the clinic we found time for devotionals, meetings with area church members, a dinner party for both staffs, complete with roses for those wonderful ladies among our groups. A trip to the market in Masaya followed our Sunday morning worship, and finally, the farewell part at Rene Polanco with the traditional game of humiliate the Gringo with the piñata was both fun-filled and heartwarming.

Our faith yielded a spirit-led group on a mission of love to a people in need of a "Touch of Hope."