Hola from the medical team in San Pedro La Laguna!
Our 31-person team arrived at the airport in Anchorage on Thursday afternoon full of hopeful anticipation for what God had for us ahead. Some of us left family behind in Alaska, but some of us brought family with us! We have 6 dentists and several of their wives, a dental hygienist, an optometrist and his wife, an ENT doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, a handy man, a musician, and many more people who are willing to jump in and serve in whatever way they can.
We made it to Guatemala City with tired eyes but hopeful hearts. We met our 7 translators and Pam at the airport and drove in the “mega bus” the four hours to Panajachel. After a good night sleep in Panajachel, we were lead in a devotional by Colton, Nikki, and Shannon on Ephesians 3, where we talked about God being able to do abundantly more than we ask or imagine. We then walked through the city to the boat. We enjoyed a sunny but breezy ride across Lake Atitlan, and were welcomed to San Pedro with a large crowd, lots of banners with names of sponsors, and many smiling faces to greet us. After many hugs and kisses, we all walked to the school for introductions to the teachers at Colegio Bethel.
We then worked to put the clinic together for several hours, and we had lunch with missionary Luz Elena, where she told us about the missions work she does as a doctor in Guatemala. On Sunday we walked around the town and did some shopping, as well as ate lunch and heard about GU-100 sponsorship from Gaby. There are currently 78 unsponsored children in the school, so we ask for prayers for sponsors for these sweet children.
In the afternoon, we then split into 6 groups and went to three different houses each to pray with the families of kids from the school. It was a humbling and unifying experience for us all. That evening we went to church with our brothers and sisters from San Pedro and listened to Pastor Jorge’s encouraging message on being like Jesus, interpreted by one of our translators, Bernardo. Many of us got to see our sponsor kids after the service, and there was so much joy that none of us wanted to leave to go to dinner.
Today, Monday, our first day of clinic began! We started out the day with devotionals with the kids from Colegio Bethel. We sang our team song, “My Lighthouse”, led by the Remillards and the kids joined in with singing and dancing. Everyone has stepped up to help at the clinic, especially the young people at our team. We have been able to see lots of patients, even amidst mechanical problems with the compressor, quickly solved by Colton and Dr. Mike. Several of the kids on the team have been helping Rafael paint a picture on the newly renovated missionary house.
Before the trip, we had several surgeries, and although some of them were cancelled, the Lord has provided other patients with surgical needs that we are working to meet. Kylee and Susanna have been coordinating the patients for medical and dental, as well as a group of students from the school who are interested in premed. We have a wonderful group of translators, who are enthusiastically participating and helping everything run smoothly.
The team is in good spirits and health, and we are thankful to the Lord for all the blessings we have had thus far. We ask for continued prayers for health for our team, wisdom with patients, that we are able to meet the needs we see both spiritually and physically, and that each of our team members is encouraged and motivated by the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Dios Te Bendiga,
Shannon McNamara & Kirsten McDaniel
To see pictures from this team, Click here!