Monday, June 27, 2011

Cool creatures around the house

Sometimes interesting creatures come to visit, and sometimes I just happen upon them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Community Health Promoters

At Hospital Loma de Luz, we see many patients with illnesses that could easily be prevented. From children with frequent diarrhea due to unclean water to malaria outbreaks and patients with severe asthma due to smoke in the house from cooking over an open fire. Rather than continue to treat the same diseases over and over with no change, we desire to make lasting health changes in the surrounding villages so that people will lead healthier lives and take more responsibility for their own health care. This is achieved through education. However, many people in rural Honduras have superstitions and ancient beliefs that make it difficult for foreigners to teach effectively. Therefore, the most successful method of educating the people is through training a select few who desire to understand basic concepts of health and hygiene. These few can then go back to their friends and neighbors and teach them in a way that they can understand. These few can make changes in their own homes that their neighbors will notice and desire to imitate. We pray that these few can spread out and change the face of Honduras.

In February of 2010, we started a community health worker training program in conjunction with MAP International Honduras. Thirty men and women from surrounding villages are being trained in the basics of health, hygiene and education. The students spend three days at the hospital in intense training, four times per year for three years. Our friends from MAP International have been instrumental in organizing the program and providing educational materials that they have used for many years in other parts of Honduras and the world. Our students learn not only about health and first aid but they also learn how to teach. In each session, the students practice various teaching methods so they will be able to effectively communicate information to others in their communities. A large part of the course also involves learning how to become a person of integrity who will be trusted and confided in. This is vital as the students begin to do community risk assessments and plan healthy changes for their communities. We pray that lasting changes will be made in our communities through the teaching, influence and Christian witness of our community health workers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweat and Tears

Little Maryuri arrived at 6pm in a homemade cot carried by her father and sister. She was burned by hot water at noon, and it took 6 hours for her father to fashion the makeshift cot and bring her all the way down out of the mountains. She was burned on her back and arms and a little on her legs. There was a chunky pink substance all over her back which the father said was good for burns. It looked like pepto bismol. He was so concerned and attentive, you could tell this little girl was the apple of his eye. We all had tears in our eyes as he caressed her hair and told her it would be alright. We put Maryuri to sleep with Ketamine and began the painstaking process of washing off the pink goo without breaking open any of the blisters. She began to shiver, so we turned off the fans. Pretty soon the nurse and I were drenched in sweat as we dried her off and wrapped up the burns. When I went into the hall to give the father an update, he and the sister were nearly asleep in their chairs. Their clothes were covered in sweat stains and dirt. I realized what a wimp I was to be cursing this heat in the ER with no fans for an hour, when he had just hiked for 6 hrs in the afternoon sun, up and down the mountains, carrying his crying daugter. That is love!

I am so thankful to serve a God who loves me even more than that!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More than I ever wanted to know about rice

Today I had the morning off and decided to accompany our resident agriculturalist and his family and visitors down to the fields in front of the hospital. The Hondurans were harvesting rice from the field and it turned out to be quite fascinating. First of all, the rice looks like just another weed growing in the field. Second of all, you have to beat it to death on a board to get the rice off. Then the rice has to be tossed about and blown to get the husk off. The most interesting thing to me was realizing that rice does not have to be grown in a swamp. I have always seen "rice paddies" in huge puddles of water. However, according to the locals, rice can be grown anywhere, it is just often grown in swampy areas because it tolerates the water better than any other crop. Other plants would be washed away or drowned out, but rice stands firm in deep waters. Fascinating!

After the rice lessons, we wandered through the fields taking random photos of pretty scenery, huge banana spiders, and cute little crabs. Then we headed down through the "enchanted forest" to Miss Christie's beach. It was a lovely day!!!


I would like to apologize to all who have looked at my blog for updates the last 6 months and found absolutely nothing. I have been a complete slacker and I'm sorry. I vow to be much less of a blog slacker in the future! The following blog entries will be completely out of order and random, but at least it's a taste of my life and ministry here! Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extreme Easter Egg Hunt

This Easter after a wonderful worship service and a delicious potluck, we had our second annual easter egg hunt. Some of the missionary kids felt they were "too old" to be hunting for eggs, so I set them to work hiding them. Next thing I know they are climbing in the trees, up on the roof, putting eggs in wall crevices high above the ground. And one creative young man decided to make an "egg bomb". Very funny!

I invited the kids from the Children's Center to come play with us and for some of them it was their first easter egg hunt ever. However, it didn't take long for them to join the competition and be running all over the grounds, climbing the trees, crawling under cars and climbing walls. Some even risked life and limb climbing down into a ravine! Fortunately, no one was injured!

Sunrise Service

Easter sunrise service was a really special time for our community this year. For those of you who know me, you might be shocked that I would drag my body out of bed BEFORE the crack of dawn for anything! However, on this occasion, my sweet friend Mariah was getting baptized, so I knew I had to go. Even though most of us arrived bleary eyed and stumbling about on the sand, we were soon lifting our gravely morning voices in praise to the Lord who had created the lovely beach reflecting pastel pink clouds.

Then we all walked over to a little stream that plunges down the mountain side, forming a nice little pool in the rocks before spilling into the ocean. People gathered on the rocky cliffs on either side of the pool to witness the baptism of one of our 12 year old missionary kids, Mariah. It was a beautiful scene to witness her father baptize her and tears of joy sprang to my eyes. This act of faith was a powerful witness to the other missionary kids and the Honduran children who were present.