Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Newsletter July/August 2013

Greetings from Guatemala! Take a peek into the latest news.

We were blessing in the last couple of months with visits from two special church families.  Hennessey Church of Christ from Oklahoma came down bringing Lisa's sister Dr. Anna and her husband Dr. Charlie Ferrell.  They joined us in ABC well-child checkups for two communities as well as other regularly scheduled mobile clinics.  This team also brought Dr. Ed (veterinarian) and Sandy Ferrell who went out and offered home visits for families with livestock health questions.  It was a week of good interactions outreach with local families, Christian and non-Christian alike.  We are grateful to partner with this group in the work and thank them for their generous support for our nurse Sheri Kretzschmar. 

Eastside Church of Christ from Colorado Springs is our own supporting church family.  It was so good to get to catch up with everyone and get to share in the ministry together.  This group's specialty is VBS productions and technical labor expertise!  The VBS team took a program to three different area elementary schools and taught about the Sovereignty of Jesus and how we should listen to Him.  Very straightforward and well put-together material and activities.  We utilized the help of local Sunday school teachers during the week, and based on the positive comments from parents, teachers and church volunteers it was a success.  We were even invited back by each school director for future educational activities, which opens up more opportunities for outreach.
Another part of the team brought down Sawyer water filters to install in ABC family homes and also in our Clinica Caris.  The church helped raise funds for the filters by several sales events over the last year.  Thanks so much for this work!  We see first hand the difference that water filtering makes in these families' health.
To round it off, we enjoyed the help of Ted and Jackie Mogey and Craig Thomas and Caitlyn Mogey and Sara Von Thun in our mobile clinics.  They went out each day doing nursing care and offering interventional prayer for our patients.  It is a privilege to spend time with these dear friends again!

Our outreach efforts through the clinics have gained us two new Christians, both in areas where there is not currently a church of Christ family.  One of the brothers is Manuel who despite his lack of Bible knowledge, is an avid evangelist, always telling others of his conversion and what Christ has done in his life.  He then calls Gaspar to help talk to the new people about the Gospel.  Be praying for this new brother and the possibilities of a church plant in the future.

Guatemalan children commonly have very poor oral hygiene and subsequent cavities and permanent tooth loss before adulthood.  Our dental hygiene program for the ABC kids is an attempt to reverse this pattern and teach lifelong oral hygiene skills that will protect from further loss.  This July we started seeing some results.  After two disastrous initial checkups (averages of 80-100% of surfaces with dental plaque) and multiple tooth brushing classes, we finally began seeing scores below 50% which qualifies the kids for further dental work such as fillings and sealants.  How exciting is it to see children develop good habits that will impact not only their health but also that of their children one day.  Be praying for our team as we focus on not only on curative care but also health education and prevention.

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