Thursday, August 6, 2015

Prepping for First Day

Coats Baptist Church brought their second team this year.  This team was a medical team.  They came in with luggage full of medicines for two communities they will be serving this week.  They got to the mission house and jumped right into unpacking and sorting their medicines and numbering their registration cards.  Everyone pitched in and helped Dr. Lori, Dr. Kathleen, and Amy, the pharmacist get everything organized more for the first day.  They had reorganized back home which helped them all a lot.  Some friends, Jimmy and Betty, helping Dr. Kathleen folding the registration forms so they could be numbered.  Anita and Betty also sorted out their VBS materials for the first day.  Anna and Katie came prepared to do an eye clinic as well.  This team was well staffed to meet the needs of everyone who passed through the medical clinic.  They were especially concerned about folks spiritual needs.  Thank you God for sending such willing folks to share their love for your people of Honduras.  This group loves Honduras and Honduras loves them as well. 
Team leader, Katie, started the first night devotional out perfectly with how we should conduct ourselves during the week.   Katie stressed for herself and the team what kind of impression will we leave with these beautiful people.  She asked the question, "Is there someone who has left a lasting impression in your life?"  "What about them left this impression?"  This week Katie shared along with herself included let's see what lasting impression will we leave with these people.  How will they remember us?  As Paul dropped into Philippi for a short time, we are dropping by for a short time in Monjares, Choluteca and El Tambor, Choluteca.  She shared scripture out of Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  Let's exhibit these characteristics while serving the Lord in Honduras. Let's be a true representation of  Christ. 
During God moments the team shared how busy Satan was trying to keep them from coming to serve the Lord.  Anita shared how two ladies just recently got permission from their doctors to fly out of the United States.  God is good all the time.  How beautiful the country of Honduras was as they flew over it.  How several of our team members overcome fears to come to Honduras.  Fear of flying and fear of being in a new place.  God is so good to help us overcome obstacles which hinder us from serving Him.  This is an amazing team who allowed God to use their ups and downs to come here and get out of their comfort zones to see how truly big HE really is.  All God's people said AMEN.
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Pray Without Ceasing

We arrive in Monjares to a warm welcome of Pastor David and church congregation.  They were busily at work cleaning and organizing the facilities for the use of the medical clinic.  We all gathered under a blue tarp which provided a cool breeze.  Mike introduced Pastor David to the medical team and allowed Katie, team leader to introduce her team. We also introduced our amazing Dr. Brenda and our four translators for the week.  God is so good and without our Honduran staff we could not provide the needs we provide on a weekly basis.  Team member Betty shared how Maida worked tirelessly and going from one station to another without skipping a beat.  Maida never complained or seemed exhausted as she worked hard at meeting the needs of everyone who called her name.  Thank you Maida for your endless service for Jesus and with always shining a beautiful smile.
Pastor David introduced his congregation and thank God first for providing the community with a medical clinic for three days.  What a beautiful start to a beautiful week.  At this time Mike asked Pastor David to open in prayer and each day as the team arrived at their location they opened in prayer and gave their day to God.  Kathleen shared during God moments one evening that God is our one and only great physician.  We are just his helpers.  God is in control of all situations. 
During the second night of devotionals Mark shared out of Proverbs 3:5-6 how God is in control of all things even when we try to do it for HIM.  We need to put on Jesus daily and not ourselves.  We need to pray and be more intentional with our life for Jesus only.
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Setting Up the Medical Clinic

They broke up and went to look over the facility for their medical clinic.  They decided on the larger building across the street and off they went.  Mark, Jimmy, Jose and Mike waited patiently as the doctors and pharmacy decided where they wanted the tables and suitcases full of medicines to be placed.  These were four smart men.  They were only going to move these items one time.  Great job gentlemen.  Chairs and tables were moving around trying to find out which was best for the needs ahead.  Everyone pitched in with all the work needed to get the medical clinic up and running.  Dr. Brenda and Mike as well as myself sat back and watched the beauty of team work become a medical clinic.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

The Pharmacy

Amy, our Pharmacist, and the doctors put the pharmacy up on the stage of the church sanctuary.  The waiting area was placed down in front of the pharmacy in the center of the room.  Everyone was up on the stage helping Amy get the pharmacy organized while Dr. Lori went over some logistics with our Honduran  Dr. Brenda.  Thank you God first for such a smooth transition as the church sanctuary was transformed into a medical clinic.  As I sat in church Sunday worshiping our Lord and Savior I looked back remember what all took place in this sanctuary three days prior to Sunday morning.  How beautiful it is when God's house can provide spiritual needs and physical needs as well.  The team was ready by 9:00 AM.  Dr. Lori shared she was ready to pray up the day.
If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:16
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8

Iglesia Bautista La Hermosa Medical Clinic

After Dr. Lori said she was ready to pray up the week everyone scurried around into a circle and prayed up the day ahead.  After prayer everyone headed to their works stations.  Before the morning even started Satan tried to tear us down.  One of the translators was a no show which sometimes happens.  Thank you team leader Katie for your flexibility and understanding of the situation.  Julie and daughter Sarah, which is her first time in Honduras, helped with registration.  We were blessed with one of the ladies of the church who helped them check in patience. God's provision was beautiful and Satan did not win.  Bonnie, Betty and Anita was there as helped was needed.  Jimmy assisted Amy in the pharmacy along with Braden and his mother Cheri.  The morning progressed nicely.  Mark was available wherever God placed him and always with a joyful smile. 
How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Our Three Amazing Doctors


Thank you Dr. Brenda for your amazing gifts and talents you brought to the medical clinic.  Dr. Brenda is a huge assess to North Carolina Baptist Men's medical brigades.  She is always willing and flexible whenever we need her.  She brings into play her faith in God as her first praise and honor for her many gifts and talents.  She gives Him all glory for her many blessings.  The first day on the job site Dr. Brenda and never shared it with anyone.  She was there to do her job and that she did.  Some of us prayed for her to heal quickly so she could better serve her people.  Sure enough God blessed her with a quick healing and a bright and cheerful spirit too.
Dr. Lori returned for her fourth time to Honduras on a medical team.  She has come once with her son, Nathan two years ago. This year she was super blessed to bring along her husband, Mark, and her lovely and joyful daughter, Anna.  Dr. Lori shared one of her God moments was when she saw Anna playing with Lela and the joy which shown upon her face.  Her face was radiant and you could see Jesus shining through her all day.  Dr. Lori shared on the first or second day she had a man come through the clinic who had been to a local clinic and got ex-rays made.  Because of the cost of his ex-rays he could not afford the medicines they prescribed for him.  Dr. Lori's medical team had the medicines this gentleman needed.  Thank you God for your provisions. 
Kathleen, nurse practitioner, is a first time friend coming to assist in the medical clinic.  She is a colleague of Dr. Lori.  When picking them up at the Tegus airport I assumed she was a part of their church family.  They received Kathleen warmly as everyone else did the entire week. Thank you Kathleen for your flexibility as you served beside four different translators.  You took Katie's devotional to heart where you showed them Jesus through your works and deeds this week. Kathleen had so many God moments each and every day.  One of them brought tears to many eyes the first evening.  There was an elderly man age 71 who was blind entered the doors of the church.  Julie checked him in and headed over to Dr. Brenda's station.  Dr. Brenda was backed up a little so Julie turned around and saw Kathleen available.  She walked her elderly friend over to Kathleen.  Let me share one bit of information.  Kathleen and Dr. Lori are pediatricians  back home.  So Kathleen was upset because she had not seen any children.  She asked God to please let her see children.  But God had a different plan for Kathleen.  God gave Kathleen the sweetest man ever.  He sat down and Kathleen check him over.  He had high blood pressure and she explained how they did not have medicine for high blood pressure.  He shared with her he did not need medicine Jesus was his doctor and he does not take medicine.  Kathleen asked could she pray with him.  He got down on his knees and bowed his head and started praying for Kathleen before she even had a chance to pray for him.  How blessed Kathleen was this day when God did not answer her prayer for wanting to see children.  God had a better blessing for Kathleen.  Thank you God for Kathleen and her elderly friend.  Kathleen also got an eight month old pregnant lady who brought her ex rays from the clinic.  Julie is an ex-ray technician and was able to read the film for Kathleen.  The lady had a healthy little boy from what Julie could see with the naked eye.  Kathleen asked her could she pray over her and her baby boy.  Kathleen asked permission to place her hand upon the lady's stomach as she prayed.  Kathleen prayed and as she prayed she could feel the baby boy jumping around inside his mommy.  Wow how beautiful is God's creation, a baby being born. 
We were blessed with three awesome ladies who took care of over 900 patients in five days.  To God be the glory for this week of dedicated health care providers.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.
James 5:15a

Many Different Jobs and More

Everyone had a job to do at the medical clinic.  Bonnie rinsed out 100 of ears this week and wrapped wounds.  Julie assisted when she could.  Bonnie a school teacher learned quickly how to rinse out ears so these sweet ones could hear the sounds around them.  Some of these sweet ones probably have not heard a thing clearly for a very long time.  This young man had a marble size mass come out of his ear.  Julie said he simply had to hurt to some degree as well as not being able to hear a thing.  Bonnie had a patient one day who needed stitches removed.  Bonnie was able to do whatever God put before her.  Thank you Bonnie for your willingness to get out of your comfort zone and serve these people.  God is so good!!!!
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
Luke 11:28

Julie and Sarah, along with Cheri and Braden checked in patient all day long.  Everyone went wherever they were needed.  This allowed the doctors to get their jobs done while others were working in unity.  Thank you everyone for a job well done.
I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart."
Psalm 40:8

Mark was not holding a sick child but a sleeping child.  Mark took care of this little one while his mother was getting weighed in and receiving her medical care.  Mark was wherever he was needed at whatever the time.  Mark this is a perfect example of Jesus loving the little ones and caring for them ever so gently.  Thank you brother for being the "gentle" man who you are and loving this little one.  Your family is truly blessed to be able to call you their father. 
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:7

Anita and Betty Shared VBS

During the Medical Clinic Anita and Betty who are sister-in-laws as well, shared VBS wherever they could find a spot.  They brought daily activities with a bible story to go along with the activities.  Since they were short a translator Anita used her own Spanglish skills to get her point across.  Betty shared how they would pulled Maida when she was not busy in the pharmacy helping disperse the medicines to the patients to assist in explaining one of their many activities.  These two ladies were beyond flexible.  They also allowed Katie's devotional to apply to them each day as they did not know how their day may turn out.  They allowed God to use them as HE saw fit this week.  Above Anita is explaining the plan of salvation which the sheet is in Spanish which Pastor David provided her.  The young people could then explain the salvation bracelet to their peers.  The two ladies made it work.  It was one special week of VBS and they touched many children's lives during their week of sharing God's word with them.  Thank you Anita and Betty for making a difference this week in the lives of these beautiful Honduran children.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
Luke 18:16


The Eye Clinic

Let me share with you all the two most flexible ladies of all.  Katie and Anna were responsible for the eye clinic.  The first day when one of the translators was a no show, they waited patiently for one of the translator to get freed up to come assess some of the eye clinic patients.  Well the next day one of our translator's had a family emergency and could not come.  So now we were down to three.  But God did provide someone in Monjares to assist them which then gave Katie and Anna their translator again.  During the five days the ladies assisted over 200 patients and they exhibited 200 times the patience they needed to reflect back on Katie's devotional the first night.  I shared one evening with Katie how I saw her reflect a team leader who leads by example.  God provided you enough patience to withstand many obstacles this week in your eye clinic and you always did it with a smile.  The ladies favorite patient of all during the week was on the last day,  they referred to her as Granny Clampet.  She was a sweet grandmother with the prettiest apron and she was sporting her new eye glasses with pride.  You ladies touched many lives this week as God allowed you to examine 200 plus patients.  Thank you for opening these peoples' eyes in more ways than one.
But blessed are your eyes because they see,
Matthew 13:16

Worship Service

The team gathers at the church in Monjares for worship with the community they served for three days with their medical team.  Today everyone is going to get spiritual filled with hymns and God's word.  The team was grateful for a day of rest and to reflect on God and HIS most holy presence.  Jimmy like the idea of the worship service not being prearranged.  Maida met with Maria who was in charge of the order of service and led the service.  They planned out the worship service without even a bulletin.  God is good all the time.
There was several specials during the worship service.  The team got up there with the children and sang in Spanish Jesus is Love.  Maria with another church member led the church family in some familiar hymns we sing back in North Carolina.  The North American team got up and sang 10,000 Reasons in Spanish and Allelujah in Spanish.  The team practiced nightly their songs for worship service on Sunday.  It was beautiful to hear them sing in Spanish and such an amazing job they all did.  One evening they were singing and someone out on the street walking by shouted "Amen" and hit the gate as they passed.  They were sharing the love of Jesus Christ out on the streets of Choluteca.  Many people each night heard praises to Jesus being song in the mission house and all in Spanish.  Thank you Coats Baptist for the extra efforts of preparing before coming and singing in the native language, Spanish. 

Mike got up to share from God's word, Matthew 14:22-31.  Mike shared that after Jesus feed the 5000 people He sent the disciples out in the boat while He went up into the mountain to pray alone with His Father. Early in the morning Jesus awoke and went to check on the disciples walking on water to get to the boat. The disciple were scared when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They did not believe it was Him. They thought it was a ghost. Jesus said "Take courage, it is I, don't be afraid."  Peter spoke up and said "If it is you Lord, call me to You". Mike asked  the people how many times do we see Jesus and do not believe it is Him. When we call on Him and we are not sure it is Him. "Take Courage, It is I, Don't be afraid".  Jesus is always there for us but we need to recognize Him. Like Jesus told Peter to Come, He is telling us to Come, He will not beg us to come he will only ask us to come to HIM.  He is always there waiting for us to recognize Him. Mike shared that Peter got out of the boat and headed toward Jesus but got distracted by the waves took his focus off of Jesus and started to sink. How often do we take our eyes off of Jesus, lose focus and start to slip away from Him. Similarly when Peter started to sink Jesus grabbed him and pulled him up. Jesus will do the same for you as long as we stay focused on Him and His way. 
Mike shared the story of "Foot Prints in the Sand and used a young child from the church. He shared how when the man died and went to heaven and was talking with Jesus and reflected to the times in his life, he remember two sets of foot prints. Jesus said that was when I was walking with you. Mike then picked up the young boy and carried him in his arms while sharing that during the hard times he saw only one set of foot prints in the sand. Mike shared that the man said that you left me during those times, but Jesus told him that was when I carried you through those rough times. Mike shared Jesus is always there asking us to Come, Come be with Him.   Is Jesus carrying you through your rough times?  If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior who holds you up in all situations please receive the best gift, Jesus.  After the service Mike offered an invitation to whoever wanted to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Pastor David got up there and shared it again and asked the same question who would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. There was several people who came to the front of the church to rededicate their lives to Christ.  But there is one lady who came down to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  Angels were dancing and singing in heaven this day.  We may have seen 900 patients this week but we received a sister in Christ which is worth so much more.  Thank you God for our new sister in Christ.

Construction Team As Well

The day before the team arrived Mike had to go to the hardware to pick up a few items.  I sat in the bus waiting for him returning some phone calls.  He said it was much stuff to pick up.  After he placed his order he came back out to the bus and drove around to the warehouse, bodega, to pick up the few items.  I am still on the phone talking to someone with my back to what was taking place behind me.  After it was all loaded Mike got in the bus and off we went.  I am not sure when I realized what was behind me but let me just say there was ten large very large rolls of insulation in the back of the bus.  I looked at him and said have you lost your mind.  We are picking up a medical team tomorrow and they are bringing in at least 14 to 15 pieces of luggage. Where are we going to put everything.  Mike shared calmly no worries it will happen.  Well Jose arrives very early at the mission house to help Mike load up these "small" bundles of insulation on the back of the Kia.  As you can see above the small bundles made it safely to Mt. Horeb. 
God blessed us with a two man construction team this week.  This is our first medical and construction combination.  Jimmy and his nephew Braden went daily to the property to wire the North American dorm.  They worked six plus hours each day pulling the wire and installing receptacles throughout the North American dorms.  There was over 2000 feet of wire used during this week.  The gentlemen worked until they ran out of material which occurred on their last day.  Thank you God for Jimmy and Braden and for your provisions this week.  The provisions were as following a gentle breeze most days, enough materials and the tranquility of Mt. Horeb each day.  Jimmy shared how peaceful it was hearing the birds singing without other noises to interfere.  Jimmy shared how blessed he was to serve the Lord this week at Mt. Horeb. 
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children."
Deuteronomy 4:10

Choir Practice Each Night

Each evening after devotionals and God moments we gathered around the dining hall singing praises unto the Lord.  Bonnie and Anna discovered the two donated guitars in the hallway.  They joined together leading us in music.  Bonnie brought multiple sheets of praise hymns and we gathered every evening singing unto the Lord.  This was an amazing time for Mike and I as they sang in English as well as Spanish.  This brought a little bit of  home to us.  We felt like we were in church back home each evening as we sang praises unto our Lord.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;  Psalm 98:4

Many Families on this Team

God blessed us with Dr. Lori returning this time with her husband, Mark and her lovely daughter Anna.  Mark has served here before through a construction team.  This is the first time the lovely couple was able to come together.  This was a week full of joy shared by these three.  Anna exhibited the joy of Jesus daily in her smile especially when she was singing praises to HIM.  This is a family who puts Christ first and shares it with others.  They are a family full of many gifts and talents but they use them all for the glory of God.  Thank each of you for all you did.

Last year God blessed me with my new friend and sister, Julie.  She brought so much to her team last year but this year she brought someone special to the team.  Her beautiful and sweet and kind hearted daughter Sarah.  This mother daughter team was fabulous in everything they touched.  They helped set up, they check in patients and they served the Lord with a joyful heart.  Wow to watch these two could brighten anyone' s day.  One evening I walked through the breeze way and Sarah asked her mother how to wash clothes on the pilla.  There they were having a lesson on the pilla, laughing and praising the Lord.  Always joyful in all situations.  The last evening we were blessed with a devotional from Julie and it was simply "Thanksgiving".  She shared not what were are thankful for, not the stuff we have but to be thankful for JESUS, SIMPLY JESUS.  She gave each one of us a thank you card and ask us to write God a thank you note for who HE is and what HE has done for us.  What a humbling experience.  She shared we sometimes are so use to God we do not see who God is anymore.  This is so true.  We are so busy serving HIM we do not spend time to get to know HIM and what HE has truly done for us.  WHO HE  IS!!!!  Thank you Julie for such a thought provoking devotional. 

Welcome back our friends, Jimmy and Anita, Jimmy's sister Cheri who all have come before.  This time Cheri gets to bring her son, Braden, for the first time.  Also we have Betty who is Anita's sister-in-law.  This is a very special family reunion here in Honduras.  This is such a blessing to be able to come and serve along so many different parts of your immediate and extended family. This is the first time I can remember we had so many folks come out of one family tree.  This is absolutely beautiful to have a family full of godly people who want to go away from their comfort zones to another part of the world and share in a memory not any one can take from them.  There was so many different gifts and talents on this one family unit.  They were able to put all those gifts to use this week.  We love all of you and thank you for allowing God to use each of you this week, whether it was medical or construction or VBS.  Yes each of these precious people worked in each of these locations this week. 
"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15