I don’t even know where to begin with this post. I’ve talked directly to a few key players at the hospital, and word is slowly making its way around the hospital and around town that “Doctora Heydi” will likely not be coming back to Chichicastenango…
With Dr. Hoak’s deciding recently not to regularly return to Guatemala for general surgery care, and the upcoming retirement of the hospital administrator who has been so supportive of us for years, and the upcoming retirement of Alma our scrub nurse, and the likely departure of our beloved and trusted nurse Angelica who does much of our follow-up care after she finishes her professional nursing degree… PLUS the completion of the operative suites at the Hospital Adonai out in Canillá which I’ve been privileged to be a small part of from the time we were literally sketching it out on napkins about five years ago—well, long story short, after much prayerful consideration—I’m packing up my clinic here and literally moving it out to Canillá starting February of 2020!
This is incredibly bittersweet—sweet, absolutely, in the sense that I will get to spend more time with my dear friends in the Ficker family (read more about them at adonaiinternationalministries.com, those of you who don’t know them! They were a second family to Matt and I when we lived here in Guatemala and have mentored us in every possible way from the birth of our son to the rebirths of our souls…) But certainly bitter in that I will no longer be visiting every few months with the amazing and generous and loving staff of the Good Samaritan Hospital here in Chichi.
I’m not even sure I realized how hard this would be, y’all! And there will be rebuilding, and relearning, and re-teaching of the new staff at the new hospital, and it will all be in God’s perfect timing, we trust. It will be wonderful and hard and everything that Chichi has always been and then some… Will you please continue to pray with me as we make the transition?
Tomorrow I will turn in these keys for the last time—the ones with the ten year-old piece of tape on the back of the Lord’s Prayer keychain that says “Dr. Heidi Bell clinic”—the ones that I pray have opened doors not only for me to practice my craft, but also for patients to feel safe and cared for and—dare I say—loved with just a tiny foretaste of Jesus’s love for them—the ones that I have to ask to “borrow” for the week every. single. time I come down here, when they again open the door for me but don’t leave me the key for the week—the ones they have kept in a drawer for 11 years now, just waiting for me to come down in another three or four months and trusting that I would.
I snapped this picture tonight when I looked at them and couldn’t hold back my tears. Isn’t it funny how the littlest things can bring on such on onslaught of memories and emotions?
So yes—tomorrow, I turn in my keys again for the last time here in this town. And I look forward to seeing how God continues to open doors—with or without physical keys!—in other parts of His kingdom.