Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sheri! Sheri!

Well, after 12 years of full time living and working in Guatemala, our dear sister/friend Sheri is changing gears and taking on a different role in the Health Talents family. She will be helping to lead surgical groups to Clinica Ezell, working to recruit nurses and others for our medical/surgical teams and visiting churches in the States to share more about the work in Guatemala. She will be living States side but still visiting us frequently.
We can't even begin to tell about all of the ways Sheri has impacted the work here in the Quiche area. She has taken on roles of medical provider, teacher, evangelist, mentor and chaplain, always working with the goal of bringing others to Christ.
One of our favorite memories is us driving down the road coming back from clinic day in Mactzul, and as we drove by some kids, they yelled out "Sheri! Sheri!"  Ever since then, I've called her Sheri, Sheri.  Haha! She is well loved by us, our coworkers, all of the ladies groups she taught, our patients and everyone who met her.
We are so excited for the new work she will be doing and know Sheri will be a great advocate of the work in Guatemala. But we sure will miss you living down the street Sheri, Sheri!
Dios catewe chinik, friend!
Girl power!

Always teaching.

Enjoying the afternoon with families of our staff.

Nurse extraordinaire!

Sheri's always on the lookout for a lamb to adopt!

Healing the sick and afflicted and loving every minute of it!

One of Sheri's many adopted kids. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Bread of Life

Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
The theme of bread in this culture is significant and represents time together in family or community. We have coffee and bread time in the mid morning and afternoons, people share bread with others as a hospitality or thanksgiving gift; and Holy Week before Easter is spent sharing baskets of bread with neighbors and friends. On Saturday we were gifted two large breads from some patients visiting from Totonicopan about 2 hrs away. They were wrapped in a beautiful woven cloth and basket from the region. At meal times our "bread" is tortillas or tamalitos served throughout the day.
Bread basket from Totonicopan

Yesterday in church the lesson was about developing the habit of reading the word of God to nourish our souls and strengthen our understanding of God.  One of the verses he used was Jesus' teaching in Matthew 4:4 "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" Jesus had a way of helping people understand spiritual matters by incorporating everyday physical elements.

Brother Luis Suy reminded us that our need for physical food never goes away no matter how old we are, in fact, we always have an appetite for more food if we are healthy. Likewise our need for God's word on a regular/daily basis never goes away no matter how "old" we are in the faith. In fact, just like the physical body--the more active we are spiritually, or the weaker we are from illness, the more important it is to nourish ourselves with Gods' word. We were challenged to start reading daily or throughout the day the same as we would scheduled physical meals.
I am the bread of life... (John 6: 47) ...If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. (John 6:51) 
And just as we can use food to nourish our bodies, or use it to share time with others, lets look for ways to feed on God's word daily and share the guidance and wisdom we find with others.
One of our students, Meredith showing off her bread making skills at her host families' bakery.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Intern Life

Our students are settling into their homes, half of them here in the Highlands with Clinica Caris and the other half on the Coast with Clinica Ezell.  After two weeks, they switch sites.  They seem to be adjusting well to rural life, and have experienced only short-lived gastrointestinal distress. Here's some highlights from the week.

Travelling on the back roads reminds us that we are to look for the narrow path in life. This month will be an exercise in narrowing their life styles a little.  But Jesus said he would always be with us.

Sad goodbyes as the team divides up to go to their new homes.

Hayley's new digs.

Josh's home away from home.

Cristina welcoming Josh.

Raven getting settled in, with Sara and Osvaldo helping out.

Spencer's basement apartment.

Julie at her casita.

Hayley finally getting some internet to be able do her progress report for school. We ended up bringing the interns to our house.
The conversation at the pill counting table started out, "so I just happened to be watching that show The Bachelor..." Name withheld to protect the innocent.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

MET Interns 2019

Our rainy season has finally begun, and with it comes clearer skies, cooler days and our summer interns  for Medical Evangelism Training. We have a great group this year as always, and they have already braved a week in Xela at language school. Then we got to spend Friday through Monday in missiology classes graciously hosted by the Paxot II Iglesia de Cristo. Our classes consist of medical evangelism theory, language and culture acquisition training, bio- and ethnomedicine orientation and easing into life in a developing country. They did great, and were excited to move from sleeping on the church floor to their own bedroom with their host families last night.  We also enjoyed having Alex Gonzalez, our Clinica Ezell director join us on  Friday through Saturday afternoon to get to know the students. Now for some hands-on learning in clinics this month.
Welcome to Paxot II!

Our gentlemen students helping the ladies set up their bed rolls.

Missionaries extraordinaire! Dr. Mike and Julie Kelly helping us teach the orientation classes.

Our first breakfast together at the Sut Marroquin house.

Always room for one more at this kitchen!

Manuel and Juana hosting all of us in their kitchen.

Sunday sunrise from the church terrace.

Ready for a ride to town for Sunday market. (Raven, Meredith, Kristin, Lindsey, Hayley and Julie)

Hadley, Josh, Spencer and Alex gearing up for the ride.

All dressed up for church.
"She has 43 braids!" Raven's hair was all the rage!

Juana and Tomasa and Michaela dressed us up for church in their finest things.  

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spring Break with Harding University

Our fine Harding University students here in Chichicastenango.
  We are sitting here enjoying our day of rest after a very busy week of clinics with our visiting team from Harding University's  Physician Assistant program and undergraduate health science students. We have enjoyed this group for more years than we can count helping us see kids from the ABC program for their well-child check ups. A special thanks to Gary Hill, P.A., Brian Cress, M.D., Joe Calderon, P.A., and Melina Calderon, P.A. for their love for Health Talents and dedication to guiding the students. This is a fun team!
Gary Hill, P.A. and his team of first year physician assistant students.

Dr. Brian Cress teaching the fine art of pediatric medicine.

Physcian Assistant Club--Gary Hill, Joe Calderon and Melina Calderon and team representing Harding University well!

This week we also enjoyed having our director Rick Harper and his wife Susan and daughter Julie Ann helping out as well.  They did a fantastic job breaking out the mobile libraries and getting kids and families involved with the books.  And we are especially thankful for Drew Bennie our South Texas poet, returning this year to help translate and entertain us with his verses!
Story time with Susan Harper. 
Julie Ann and Heidy tag teaming this book--Spanish with a little Kiche interpretation.
Drew, Lindsey, Jalyn and Gary taking a break.
Dry season is in full swing around here so sunshine and dust are all around! This team worked hard hauling boxes of equipment and medicine up and down hills in order to deliver medical and dental care and encouragement to the people in our area.  We came home dirty every day but with glad hearts!
A new world of books!
Sierra getting some help with her paperwork!

Blake seeing where the dirt road might take him.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Time Flies!

Can you believe it's February??!!  Febrero Loco as it's known around here is full of weather swings, volcanic activity and earthquakes.  We enjoy cold nights and usually warm days, unless we get a cold breeze from El Norte! It's funny to see people in parkas in the morning and short sleeves and sunscreen by afternoon.
We are in full swing attending patients in mobile and central clinics, seeing kids off to a new school year and gearing up for activities with the local churches. We started this year with a new co-worker--Manuel Quino.  He just graduated from professional nursing school on scholarship with Health Talents and is taking the place of our beloved Enrique Zapeta who retired as health promoter. 
He will continue on with his studies on the weekend to finish the equivalent of his BSN.
Welcome Manuel Quino (or Manuel junior as we call him to differentiate from Manuel Sut)!
Here are a few pics from the new year.
Manuel Quino getting training on dental cleanings.  He's a natural!
A hot day at mobile clinic deserves a good snow cone, right Maria?

Noe Chan, our physical therapist has a patient he will be working with to address her mobility challenges and hopes to adapt this walker model to her needs so she can continue in school. Borrowed this pic from our friend Erin Cottos to show some of the appropriate technology approaches used to help people in low resource areas. 

Sheri giving a health talk on Women's Health and cervical cancer prevention at the Santa Cruz church. She does a great job motivating the ladies to come in for their check ups and inviting their friends.
Hiking to lunch in Paxot II.  We burn off some calories before and after those yummy meals!

We switched mobile clinic sites in Saquilla.  Started with just a few patients and then everyone figured out where we were! It gets pretty lively in that little patio by mid morning. 

Still lots of work to do. This is what it's all about--leading people away from lifeless gods and into relationship with the Living and Loving God. Traditional Mayan religion is still widely practiced, but the churches are growing around here and helping people know the freedom from fear and healing of relationships that comes from knowing Christ.