Friday, June 15, 2012

"healing is a matter of time..."

 by Keli Shipley
Intern at Porch de Salomon, Guatemala
"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." -Hippocrates

June 13th, 2012
Looks pretty similar to TN, right? There are tons of pine trees here. The difference is, a lot of the boys from the villages will come and climb the trees and cut down the branches to use for firewood. No, they don't use climbing equipment, they simply use their bare hands and feet. 

Bumpy roads make me miss my FJ. It's interesting travelling on these roads to the villages that we visit each day. I'll never complain about the road system in the U.S. Okay, I probably will because I'm human and American, but I can't help but hope that I would realize how truly our blessed our country is. 

Medical Clinic, Part 1. We travelled to Chusajcap, which is about a 35 minute drive. We set up the medical clinic. Apparently there was a huge celebration the day before in another village, so there were not many patients to be seen. We packed up after helping a dozen patients or so and were off on our way again... 

Juan. So adorable.

Chusajcap, village with rolling hills and beautiful agriculture

Linsey and Juan

Santa Catarina, a village about 15 minutes away from Pana. A couple years ago, a natural disaster came and wiped out part of the village. The building that we worked in was newly renovated and was very spacious. For about 5 hours, there was consistently people coming in and out of the clinic for help. 

Mario Jorge. Looks so precious, but was a little trickster. Couldn't help but like him although he kept calling me "Nancy"

absolutely adorable. 

precious children come into the clinics everyday. she looks so sweet and unfortunately has scabies, which is a skin infection dealing with bugs under the skin. there are treatments, but it is awful how many children life like this

For the past three days, I was blessed with the opportunity to help the Element 3 team with medical clinics. When I was first assigned to this task, I was a little bit hesitant because I was so unsure of how I would actually be able to help. Luckily, there was some basic math and organizational skills that I could provide. Also, I was able to talk to so many of the patients and explain, to the best of my ability, how to use the medicine and what they were to be used for. I was if I was bilingual which was a big compliment, but far from the truth. As Michael, one of the group members, said, it's easy to become pretty good at saying "un pastilla cada dia" and other basic spanish phrases such as that. Regardless, it was a wonderful experience and I hope that I get this opportunity again sometime in the future. Unfortunately, this was the last medical clinic that I will be able to help with this summer in Guatemala, but there are always other opportunities in the future and other countries.

Today, Abby, led the morning devotional. We discussed how you come on these mission trips to have your heart broken. You have to prepare your heart for that kind of aching that you are not used to. The thing is, you cannot dwell on the negative, but focus on trying to change what you worry about, what frustrates you, and what you actually are capable of doing. You have to wake up the next day and have your heart broken again. There are thousands of women being abused by their alcoholic husbands, children being left nameless to starve on the streets, and dogs being poisoned due to overpopulation. Sure, you can see these statements as cliche, but wait until you see these things yourself and you'll realize why so many people say these things. You shouldn't come to do mission work in hopes of making yourself a better person. It's about the people you are helping and the change in perspective that you receive. Everyone needs a little mission work in their life, or a lot of mission work for that matter. God blesses so many of us with opportunity and prosperity with the hopes that we will use the skills that we gain and the things that we are blessed with to help those that cannot help themselves. Call me cheesy and dramatic if you wish, but again, everyone will hopefully see these things for themselves some day. I admire the people who sell all their possessions and move to countries such as Guatemala to do mission work for a living. It takes so much courage and dedication and is probably something that I will never be able to do, in all honesty. There is always something to do in local areas and there is a way to maintain the "normalcy" of an American life while helping those around you and visiting countries to do what you can with the time that you have.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, 
and wisdom to know the difference.