Thursday, January 28, 2010

February 2010 Trip

Yes, several months have passed since our last blog and a few trips. The second week of the second month of each quarter is the scheduled trip from Greenville, NC to Chichicastenango, Guatemala. (February, May, August, and November).

Heidi has been fortunate enough to have some wonderful experiences her last few trips and has been able to perform some badly needed surgeries, as well as transport some critical supplies. Thanks to the generosity of many in Matt's parents' church in Michigan, literally thousands of diabetic test strips have been sent. A couple ministries were even on the verge of discontinuing treatment of diabetics for lack of strips but God always comes through and we're thrilled when He uses us as His "boots on the ground".

The next trip is scheduled for February 6-13, 2010. Traveling with Heidi will be Dr. Carrie Ballard, another ECU faculty member, and Pat Peabody, a nurse anesthetist who made her first trip to Chichi last May.

In her last two trips, Heidi has been very encouraged by the fact that she's given some patients pre-surgical courses of treatment that they've followed and returned for surgery, she's seen several return patients, and it seems like word has gotten out that this doctor who says she's going to come every three months is actually coming every three months. She's also had an opportunity to operate with and assist Dr. Hoak which is both helpful to him and educational for her.

In the August 2009 trip, Heidi was accompanied by Dr. Chris DeLuca, a chief resident at ECU. Below is a picture of Chris with a few of their post-op patients eating breakfast.

Next is a picture of Heidi, Katie Ficker, and Duane in Zona Reyna (yes, she had time for a short trip out there) to see over 100 patients with Katie and Chris.

The next picture is inside the clinic building there. There are no roads to this village. Visitors must either come by bush plane or walk a LONG day over a mountain. It's so steep that horses can't even make it, so everything would have to be carried in on your back. Thank God for airplanes! Only a few residents in this village speak Spanish (everyone else speaks K'ekqchi) so translators are needed for every single patient. Typically, the medical people will see patients, the rest will evangelize or help with projects that need to be done and keep an eye on the sky. It takes two or three trips to get everyone in and out and if the weather starts to turn bad, Duane has to start ferrying people home or risk getting stuck in the jungle all night with no power (don't laugh, it's happened!)

The last picture is of a beautiful rainbow they saw on the way back to Canilla Intergalactic Airport. It's an awesome reminder of the promise and the faithfulnessof God.