Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Every medical brigade is the same.  Every medical brigade is different.  Every medical brigade is special.   A brigade is a team of people, medical professionals and lay, who devote hours of time in the US preparing and a week in Honduras working their fingers to the bone.  The enthusiasm, joy in serving, and kindness is both inspirational and contagious.  Part of the team is here to play with the waiting children, others welcome them to the clinic.  Of course there are the docs and nurses, and then the pharmacy team.  

The clinics are full of local, impoverished people who greet us with grace and gratitude.  They wait patiently, sometimes for hours, to be seen.  The small bag of medications are a Godsend.  The faces, young and old, are breathtaking.  Some stories are written on their faces, others we learn as we serve them, such as the 32 year old mother of 6 whose husband just died of cancer.   Some are very ill, having suffered for many days lacking medications so easily found in the US.  Others are healthy and delighted with their new toothbrush, packet of oral rehydration salts (just in case) and worm medicine (always needed.)  Then, the sweetest time of all, the doctor and patients praying together.  

We make new friends and rejoice with old friends as we return year after year to the same places for our clinics.  I made a new friend this year, Maximila, as I drove her, an elderly lady, up the SBV road from the gate to the clinic in the school!  My little taxi service was a hoot...filled to the brim with little old ladies and a couple grandchildren as we bumped along the road.   When we reached our destination they spilled out of the car, hugging, blessing me, and waving.  Hasta pronto!  See you soon!  Dios te bendiga!  God bless you!

This brigade, led by Dr. Ken and his wife Pat, is different.  A wonderful difference is the inclusion of several Honduran doctors and med students, all giving of their time and talent to serve their neighbors.  It is such a joy and privilege to work with them.   Working side by side with them, helping our brothers and sisters reminds me that we are all precious in God's eyes.  Each one of us is beloved, not one of us is expendable.  

I burst into tears in the pharmacy this afternoon.  In one of my taxi runs, I carried a very disabled young man and his mother up the hill.    Off they went to register and I returned to my post in the pharmacy.  They were there for a very long time, waiting to see Dr. Reyna Duron, a Honduran neurologist.  Frankly, it was so busy in the pharmacy that I forgot about them.  Until they appeared at the door.  I took their forms with the prescriptions written on them.  Then I noticed this young man's name.   They live right next the Children's Home up an unpaved, rocky road.  Impoverished to be sure, no easy access to help or medical care.   I can't imagine the difficulties he and his mother have faced in his 31 very challenging years.   Here in front of me, smiling along with his sweet mother was Bienvenido.  Welcome.  His name is Welcome.  That's when I cried, for doesn't that say it all about the kingdom of God?  Welcome.  Welcome to my kingdom.  As Jesus said, "I have not lost one of those you gave me.”  

"We are precious in His sight.  Jesus loves all the children of the world."


  1. I love reading your blog, Amanda. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you this summer!

  2. Well Written. I enjoyed your post very much.