On the Frontlines of Covid-19

Hello all, this is Bernardo. The following article is a letter from one of our GU-200 students, Hector Manuel Cortez Hi, to his sponsors. Hector has been sponsored since childhood and is now a Doctor studying his specialization in OB-GYN. It is such a testimony of God’s blessings and of the value of sponsoring through difficult circumstances like the current Pandemic that I asked Hector’s authorization to share it with you. May you be blessed as you read.

“Dear Sponsors, I hope that this letter finds you and your family doing well. May the grace of God fill your hearts.

We suddenly find ourselves in the month of August; I am impressed with how the weather has changed quickly. This year has been a difficult one, full of trials, but thank God everything is moving forward. I have had to be in the frontline of the battle as a doctor treating pregnant patients with Covid-19 and some colleagues have tested positive, but I have taken great care to not get infected. At the hospital, we continue to work hard to provide the best service to our population. I am still studying the Master of Gynecology and Obstetrics. I take online classes through Zoom, but my exams are written in person. Thank God, this year I hold the first place in my 2nd Residents (R2) group. During the pandemic, I am working 36 continuous hours shifts. When I am not working, I stay at home to reduce exposure to Covid-19. During this time that I have to myself, I, first, try to rest to regain energy. Then, I take advantage of my time to study, update myself in medical knowledge and after that I work on my thesis, which is titled “Psychosocial Evaluation and its Relationship with Mental Health during Pregnancy”.

One of the attributes of the hospital is the Obstetric Critical Care Unit, which is where I work. This is the place where we treat patients in critical condition, whom may have high blood pressure during pregnancy, severe bleeding during pregnancy or, serious infections and/or chronic diseases. Here, I have been able to apply the knowledge learned. Also, in the emergency room I have learned to perform ultrasounds on pregnant and gynecological patients. But one of the things that I like to do the most is to be in the operating room to perform procedures.

When I have free time, I do other types of activities. Music is one of my favorite hobbies and I still keep the piano and guitar that my parents gave me since I was 7 years old. I’m reading a book called “In Your I Will Trust” which meditates on God’s faithfulness in the New Testament.

Because of my work and to preserve the health of my family, I have not been able to visit them, my parents are in San Pedro La Laguna and transportation has been suspended throughout the country. Also, because of the Pandemic, I have had to learn to cook my own food, it has really been an adventure, because I must come to each shift with my meals ready since many eating places are closed. I hope that we will return to our regular lives soon and that I can visit my family. I have the desire to travel to San Pedro. I also follow the broadcasts of the Baptist church that I attend in Quetzaltenango and I am happy because I think that every day that goes by, I have a closer walk  with God.

Dear sponsors, it is great to know that there are people like you who maintain long distance support of my education. I appreciate your prayers and the help you give me to continue my studies in the city. I wish with all my heart that God strengthens you and continues to bless you today and always. I still have the photo album that you sent me at the beginning, I imagine the children have grown up too. Write soon please, I would like to hear from you.

I want to say goodbye saying that we will be praying for your family wishing they are well. And do not forget the words of our Lord Jesus Christ written in Matthew 5:8 “Happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.

God bless you. With love, Héctor Manuel Cortez Hí”

I have the privilege of working with the GU-200 students not only on the follow up of their studies and sponsorship, but also in a pastoral way. Please continue praying for them as they face new challenges practically every day as Guatemala still remains under restrictions due to the Pandemic.

Thank you, Bernardo