Hola from Honduras,

On Tuesday & Wednesday we made three trips into local neighborhoods to deliver clean water. Can you imagine not having clean running water in your home? Most homes here have no running water. It was a wonderful experience and opportunity to interact with many in the name of Jesus and share His good news. It is an experience you never forget. They bring out all size containers and most are not very clean, but that is all they have and they are so very thank full. Even the three-year-olds carry one gallon antifreeze containers up the hill to home.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw very busy days in the OR/PACU. Hernias and gallbladders were the most common. Entire families come with patients and spent the entire day waiting. Yet all are very thankful for the care they receive. No complaining about wait times. No requests for pain medications, in fact they will deny needing any pain medications. We did keep one gallbladder patient overnight last night, no nursing staff here overnight. The family stayed with the patient and woke Jean up for any concerns. Other wise it has been a very good two days.

From Rose Daining: This week a translator and I are spending time with groups of children while waiting their turns to be seen by the doctors. We are using 2 children’s books (read in Spanish), coloring materials and bubbles. Theses activities can calm while engaging the children. This provides the opportunity to interact with the children (and sometimes even the adults) One of the books is about a poor family in Manila who show respect, care, and love for each other. The daughter attends school and dreams of becoming a nurse—a hope for the family. The stories become parables about the love and care of God and His transformation at various levels. The stories also make it possible share together our two different cultures while finding gratefulness.

Today on the brigade we saw 234 patients, lots of little kids and their moms! We had a great church to work in and the team had a lot of fun today in the village. Yesterday we worked in a school and saw almost 270 people. There were a lot of children who came and stayed all day and played football (soccer) and had a great time playing and hanging out with us at the clinic. We’ve seen lots of big smiles and heard lots of “Gracias” for our time here. We are the ones that have been so blessed!

From Matt Gritters: One of the ladies we saw had polio as a child. She was young enough that she would not have polio in the United States because of the routine polio vaccine. She has minimal use of her left arm and leg. We also saw an adult woman with club foot that would have easily been treated in the States. Because it was not treated, she walks on the top of her shriveled foot instead of the bottom. In the surgery area, they saw a mid twenty year old with testicular cancer. It was advanced stage with a metastatic tumor the size of a football in his abdomen. There is also a woman we have visited at her home. Both her legs were amputated due to lupus that resulted in blood clots in the arteries of her legs. She is upper twenties in age and has multiple children and a loving husband. Her family has come around her for support, and so has the church. She and her family just gave their life to Christ this week after all that has happened to her. Hospital Batista and the church on site have been blessing her with as much care as possible. Nancy Vander Broek has been going to her house daily to help control her pain and change bandages and speak God’s words of encouragement.

Please pray for all these wonderful people. They are hurting and dying of things that would usually be caught and treated early in the USA, seemingly sparing their lives. It’s hard for us to watch them die of these illnesses that are treatable if caught early. The people here are wealthy in relationships and joy, but they don’t have the material resources we have in the States. Stuff doesn’t make anyone truly happy, God does. But seeing people die of illness that we can treat effectively is burdening.

Please pray for all the people we have seen and will seen and how to help, but leave them in God’s hands. We are all in God’s hands. When you are done praying for them, leave them in God’s hands also. Then start thanking God for all the blessings in your life. We have many. Every good thing in your life is a gift from God. Thank Him for it. He is so good to us, and he is so good to Honduras. There are wonderful people here, just like there are in Iowa.

God bless,

Matt Gritters with the PATTH team