Saturday, November 20, 2010

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow

Neskin, whose little heart will be evaluated for repair.
        Juan, who we pray will live until Monday when he comes to the Barnabas House for nutritional support.

We are praising God today for all the blessings that we have seen and been a part of this week.  This was the theme of our communion service tonight.  We shared with each other where we saw God this week, and where we saw God in each other.  Many tears were shed as we all agreed it was going to be hard to leave this country and it´s people behind us tomorrow.  Some of our favorite memories were described as follows:  deworming medicine with Fanta chasers, the blind can see, toothless grins, desperate parents, the smell of children´s vitamins, dirty feet....
A parasite filled belly that will get better because of medicine.

We have spent our day playing.  We visited the artisan market in the city of San Pedro Sula.  We ate Mennonite BBQ chicken, and we visited the beautiful Pulhapansak waterfalls.  We are praying for the bus now, which decided to cough and sputter today.  Don´t think our cough and cold medicine will cure that problem.
Kevin shared three songs with us tonight.  A version of The Doxology, The Lord's Prayer and How Great Thou Art.  All had amazing harmonies and took our breath away.  We felt God´s presence with us.  We have felt you all with us this week.  Thanks so much for your love and support.  Please....ask us about our stories.  Plan to sit for awhile.....
One child at a time,
Bill, Patti, Matt, Kevin, Linda, Kindle, Pam, Jack, Sharon, Kelly, Sylvia and Eric

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's village, La Sauce, was very small and very poor.  Our numbers were smaller also...medical-120, deworming-80, eyes-26 and 2 children referred for heart evaluations.  Mountain Medical teams typically have a shorter day of Friday so we can inventory all the medicines for replacement with the next team.  Not our most pleasurable job of the week.  
Anyway....Our grand total for the week was 3558 patient contacts with what we think is a record number of referrals into the extended care system....58!!!!!  We are really excited about that.  58 more children with major medical needs that will be helped.  These children will be seen within the next two weeks at the Barnabas House clinic, helped with medicines, therapy and any further medical care needed.  If you would like to help fund some of this activity, go to and send some money!  :)
Today´s clinic saw many grandmothers caring for grandchildren, several very young mothers, and several young people caring full time for younger siblings on their own.  Out of respect, the older people of the village were allowed to be seen first.  The first two gentlemen were 88 and 87 years old.  Both in great health.
These families were so grateful for our presence in their village.  One mother sat at Pam and Kindle´s station and began to cry because they could give her basic medicines for her children.  Wow!
Matt and Elmer in the eye clinic
Sylvia, Kelly and Linda setting up the deworming clinic
We are going to be in the newspaper in Las Vegas too.  That would be Las Vegas...Honduras.  Melvin Flores and Patti were both interviewed and explained what FOBF does, and why we are here.  We are hoping that the staff here will mail us a copy of the article.
The team is enjoying several hands of cards now and drinking hibicus tea.  We have laughed, we have cried, we have learned more about each other than sometimes we wanted to know and..we have seen God.  Tomorrow we will play.  Will fill you in later on all the fun.  More pictures to come....
One child at a time,
Patti, Bill, Matt, Kevin, Linda, Sharon, Kelly, Sylvia, Pam, Jack, Kindle and Eric

Back to the Barnabas House

Well, we have had a very busy three days.  The large town of Santa Barbara was our temporary home, as we worked with two other organizations, Agros International and Child Fund (the old Christian Children´s Fund).  Tuesday we were in Lempa.  Child Fund had already found several children in need of more medical help and support.  They brought their families with them , of course.  Our day was very busy!!!, to say the least.  Medical clinic-544, deworming-380, eyes-125, and we had....24 children referred for evaluation into the Barnabas extended care program.  The staff here says that is the largest amount ever in one day!  We had everything from heart murmers, to cerebal palsy, to deaf and mute children.  The people from Child Fund has recruited townspeople to be volunteers for the day.  They had bottles of cool water ready for us, coffee and sweet breads for snack, and made lunch for team and workers.  Two doctors joined us today.  One is Dr. Louis, who will work with us the rest of the week, and the other is a local doctor who just happened to be in the area Tuesday and volunteered to help out.  It is a good thing.
Wednesday we to a trip up what most people would call a creek bed, high into the mountain and visited the village of Ilama.  The school house was situated at the highest point in the village, so our view was beautiful.  Medical-397, deworming-310, eyes-136, and 11 referrals for the day. Today we saw a 17 year old who looked as if she was 9.  She was mentally handicapped and had a large heart murmer.  We finished a little earlier, but had a 88 year old lady carried in at the last minute.  She lived alone.  On her leg were two ulcers, one of which was the size of a baseball.  She had been treating it with¨"some cream" she had.  Thank goodness it wasn´t terribly infected.  It was scrubbed good with soap and water, cleansed with betadine and bandaged.  A neighbor was given her medicines and agreed to help her care for the wound twice a day.  Patti and Matt carried her to the truck to be driven home,since she couldn´t even walk on the leg.
Chld Fund again provided our lunch.  They also took us out for typical Honduran dinners both nights.  We have eaten well.
Thursday was in the town of Arenales, a short drive from the hotel where we stayed.  Today we are teamed with the people from Agros International.  We encourage you to go to their website and see what they are doing here.  The building was set up in was large and open.  We could all be together today.  Eye clinic had a little dark room at the back of the building to use.  Medical set up in the center of the large central room, with pharmacy set up along a little stage in the front of the room.  Deworming station was up on the stage.  It was really fun to see all the activities we were all doing.  Medical-357, deworming-315, eyes-78 and 15 referrals.  Today we were all touched by a young mom with 6 children.  She was 7 months pregnant with with number 7.  Her one year old was a failure to thrive baby.  She weighed 7 pounds at birth and yesterday weighed 10 pounds.  Mom´s milk had dried up and she was feeding the baby flour and water.  She will be picked up by the Barnabas House staff on Monday for evaluation and nurtritional support.  We ended early enough to get home for a dinner of fried tilapia!  Yummy.  As we shared around the table, we discovered the Matt has the magic touch in eye clinc.  He can find a pair of glasses for anyone.  He says, "I just have faith, bless the pair of glasses I think will work, and....TADA!  They work.  We all thought that was a hoot.
Will have our last clinic day on Friday.  Will try hard to get some pictures up for you to see.
Thanks for your continued prayers.
One child at a time.
Patti, Bill, Matt, Kevin, Linda, Kindle, Pam, Jack, Sharon, Kelly, Sylvia and Eric

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Collection Week is here!!

We are in the middle of Operation Christmas Child Collection Week.  Our parking lot has a huge tractor trailer in it waiting to be filled with boxes for deserving children around the world.  Our side street parking has been busy each day this week with generous community members and churches bringing hundreds of boxes to our collection site.  Our collection goal is 6000.  Sarah Stokes, our leader, asked for a truck that would hold 7500! So far this week the center has collected 2242 shoe boxes.  Our church has donated 488 of these.  Last year our church packed 674 boxes.  Please consider packing a box or two to help us match last year's box count!  The collection center is open for 4 more days. 
Here are some pictures of the OCC Volunteers hard at work!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our first clinic day was...long...big...and blessed.  The small village of Nueva San Jose turned out at the school house to be seen for eye exams, deworming and medicines.  Eye clinic saw 53 people.  Deworming gave meds to 250 people.  And the medical clinic served 309 people. 
Sylvia started us off with reminding the towns people that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  She blessed our day together.  7 children were referred for further examination and evaluation, including 3 cardiac problems, one failure to thrive, and a three year old who couldn´t walk. 
One mother who came to see us had 7 boys, all under 12.  She was just like a mother duck, counting heads where ever she went.
We have all learned our roles very quickly.  Tuesday night and Wednesday night we will be staying in the large town of Santa Barbara.  We may or may not have internet access, so this may be the only blog until Thursday night.
Thanks again for your love and prayers.
Patti, Bill, Matt, Kevin, Kindle, Jack, Pam, Linda, Syliva, Sharon, Kelly and Eric

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Domingo-our day of rest

Well, we have rested, we have eaten, we have worshipped and we have worked.  The day started with a light breakfast and a tour of the Barnabas House complex.  Midway through the morning, local midwives began to arrive at the "house".  They had been told that our team would do eye exams for them, so Matt and Eric got an early dry run for their eye clinic.  16 ladies left with better eye sight. 
As they were examing eyes, the rest of the team went to church at the end of the drive.  The congregation was small, but most of those attending were bilingual.  The sermon was about the first chapter of Jonah, reminding us that we often go in the opposite direction of where God tells us to go. 
After church, we piled in the bus and headed to Bella Vista Fish House for lunch.  We all enjoyed the tilapia (whole), rice and beans, fried plantains, pickled cabbage and onions.  The view was the best part of the meal.
Our next stop was a short visit to Las Glorias Resort.  This resort area is owned by the family who donated the land where the Barnabas House is located.  It is situated right on Lago de Yojoa.  Again, the views are breath taking. 
Our labors began as we blended all the medicines we carried with us into the 17 tubs here.  We cleaned, sorted and organized all the tubs, and loaded them onto the bus.  The eye crew went through each box of glasses, making a list of the numbered bags that were missing, so that we know what we are starting with. 
We took a short break to worship...again.  Sylvia asked us why we were each here.  What was is we expected to happen.  And...where would we expect to see Christ.  We each have been given a cross to wear.  These crosses will be given to someone who blesses us during the week.  We listened to the song "God Speaking" by Mandisa.  "Who knows how He'll get a hold of us..."  We annointed each others hand for service.
After dinner...we have counted out and bagged 25,000 children´s vitamins, 25,000 adult vitamins, and 7000 Tums.  This activity came with much laughter and sharing of life stories. 
Tomorrow is our first clinic day.  We are excited, anxious, and ready to go.  We covet your prayers.
More tomorrow....
One child at a time,
Patti, Bill, Matt, Kevin, Sylvia, Linda, Pam, Jack, Kindle, Sharon, Kelly and Eric 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We have arrived!

The Honduras Medical Mission Team has arrived safely to the Barnabas House in Pena Blanca, Honduras.  Here is who you will be hearing from this week and what they will be doing.
Bill Hogan-co-team leader-pharmacy
Patti Wagner RN-co-team leader-medical station
Matt Wagner-eye clinic
Eric Hougland-eye clinic
Kevin Cannaday-pharmacy
Linda Fox-deworming station
Rev. Sylvia Meadows-deworming station
Pam Evans FNP-medical station
Jack Evans- pharmacy
Kindle Higgins-translator
Sharon Chandler FNP-medical station
Kelly Bailey-deworming

Our first challenge was getting all the 24 duffle bags onto American Airlines without having to pay the checked bag fee.  Check!!  Then it was asking the ticketing agent to check us all the way through to Honduras, with a change of airlines in Miami (Taca Airlines).  Check!!!  God was working, because the ticketing agent had done mission trips before, and she can´t now due to her job.  She did all we asked for!
Then we had to get 24 bottles of deworming medicine through customs in Miami.  Bill and Patti took all 24 bottles to the Security office, setting off alarms along the way, and got all the paper work signed.  We just went where we were told to go.....
We were met at the airport by Melvin Flores, the FOBF director in Honduras, and our beloved bus driver, Elmer.  After the beautiful drive up into the mountains, we shared an awesome dinner together, devotions, and reviewed plans for tomorrow. 
We are tired...we are excited...we are feeling very humbled and blessed.  We covet your prayers throughout this week. 
More later....

One child at a time....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Operation Christmas Child 2010 Preparations!!!

Our Church has been involved in some very exciting things pertaining to Operation Christmas Child, this year!  Sarah Stokes was promoted from relay center coordinator to South Central Virginia Area Coordinator. This is the 2nd year that our church has served as a collection center instead of a relay center.  This means that all the little relay centers collect their boxes then deliver them to our church!  It is a large but rewarding job for Sarah!  Debbie Lehman has now taken on the role of Collection Center Leader and Jennifer Kinne has become the Media Specialist for the South Central VA area.  These new roles have proved to be both challenging and exciting at the same time.  Christmas has been in the air at FUMC since July!!  For the 2nd time this season we have been blessed to host a powerful spokesperson in our small town!  1st Mesfin Gudeta and this past week, Lejlah Allison, National OCC Spokesperson and former shoebox recipient!  We have held two packing parties here at our church and packed over 250 boxes.  We will host a packing party at HSC next week with the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and another at Brookview Assisted Living.  Between the 2 we have a goal of almost 300 more boxes!
Operation Christmas Child is in the air...Have you packed your box??

The Lejlah event was held at New Life on a Sunday Evening. 
 Here are the men unloading the truck with all the giant boxes to put all the shoeboxes in!!!
 Our Packing Party Hostess, Judy O'steen showing Mr. Diamond how to pack a box!!