Well, it is 7am, Guatemala time, Wednesday morning. We are hearing that it is a mess in Atlanta and Charleston, yet our flights have not yet been cancelled, nor delayed. We are prayerfully trusting that we WILL be boarding the plane in Guat City at 1:50pm, and landing around 11pm in Charleston. For all of our family and friends meeting us at the airport, stay tuned. We will update as we can, but we know that you can all track us online. In case any of you did not get the word last night, our flight from Atl to Chas has changed from #1607 to #998, with new anticipated arrival of 10:59. See you all soon, we pray!!!
Early this morning we left our home base in Jocotan and started back towards Guatemala City. By afternoon, we had reached the city of Antigua, where we were able to spend some time perusing the local artistry. One of the highlights was stopping at the wood-working shop of the father of one of our local translators, Maria Jose (Mary Jo, for all you Southerners ) His work is absolutely beautiful, and we were blessed with being able to see Maria Jose’s home and meet her family.
Right now we are back in Guatemala City, preparing for our flight tomorrow. As you all well know, it looks like bad weather is headed for Charleston. We’ve been calling home to touch base with our families, as we trust in God’s timing to get us home exactly when He wants us to. Especially during this time, we covet your prayers for safe travel, and please know that we are praying for y’all’s safety as well. In the meantime, it leaves us with plenty of time to reflect on some special moments from the clinic this week, which we would like to share with you…
*One local woman, Rosa, told us she had been waiting for the dentist since our March 2013 team came…and she visited us twice this week.
*Another woman told the pharmacy that she remembered us from last year but the reason she came this year was because she sensed our kind spirit…and she brought the rest of her family later that week.
*Several patients brought bananas and beans for us to enjoy.
*One young lady came with her 4 small children to see the doctor…and her biggest need was comfort, as her husband had just committed suicide.
*A sweet, elderly man could not stop expressing his gratitude for how patient we were with an “old man.”
*As we ascended the mountain on our last day, we ran into multiple people who were on their way to the clinic…including a truck-full (taxi-full) of folks dropped off right outside the door.
Clinic, day 3. Chris and Butch here to give you a quick summary of the work that occurred today in the name of the Lord. The medical clinic saw ~92 people today, and the dental saw 40 – 50 folks. It is our hope we eased their pain and opened a door for them to venture through to discover Jesus.
Pastor Rolando was able to continue sharing Jesus with the people today using the Evangecube as one of the tools. The Evangecube is a folding cube that begins with Adam and Eve. The cube shows the fall of man and how we were cast out of the garden of Eden. It shows how we needed a Savior and that Jesus came to Earth to live a perfect life. It shows Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as he died for our sins. The final picture on the cube is the empty tomb as Jesus did as he said he would by rising from the grave, defeating death once and for all.
We should have know today would be busy; at least in the morning. As we rode to the clinic we saw folks 2 – 3 miles from the clinic, walking to the clinic. Some of the people traveled many miles on foot or horseback/donkey/mule to attend the clinic. One woman traveled 2 hours on foot with 2 children. One woman, who’s husband died 3 days ago walked to the clinic with 4 children. Many on the dental side were repeat patients from Saturday, Sunday, and/or prior years.
In the dental clinic, one of our favorites has been a 5 year old boy named Marcos. Marcos was in previously, and he had 2 – 3 teeth extracted one day, but was too small for additional anesthetic for the other side. He was back today. Marcos is a very brave little boy; he is about 43″ tall and 45 – 50 pounds, and here he is walking into a room with some 6 foot plus people and a “few” of us over 200 pounds. Both times he walked bravely to the chair, all business — ‘here, hold my hat, let’s get this done guys.’ He never flinched, never moved during the shots (about 3 -4 each day) or during the procedure where he had 2 – 3 teeth extracted each day: Butch would have run.
For some reason Marcos became a marking/ talking point, similar to a mascot if you will for the dental team. It is our hope that he recalls us, our kindness, and help in easing his pain, and connects to the love of Christ and his Grace. We all will remember him as well as other patients who came in and gave us complete trust that we would ease their pain. We hope, as noted above, that we have opened a door for those that follow us to bring these wonderful proud people to Christ.
As for us, we think that we have gotten more out of this experience than the people whose pain we eased. We were glad to have entered into their world, albeit for a short time. The only way to really bring the rest of the world to Christ is when we give ourselves away and enter into their world.
As we drove to our hotel after our final day in Chanco we were able to sit and reflect on all the love we were able to show to the people during our 3 days. But more than that I think of how much God taught us this week. To be thankful for what we have, to be thankful for our health and that we are able to visit a skilled doctor to get care, and that we are able to worship a glorious God that provides all our needs without fear of being cut out by our communities.
It’s day two of our clinic and Sue, Tracy and Jo are here to tell you Jesus is working in Guatemala! We saw over 80 patients today at the clinic and more importantly, 28 prayed to receive Christ!! Praise God we have new brothers and sister in Christ.
One of our serious patients was Arnoldo. He has an advanced cancerous tumor on his lip that has not been treated properly. David is working on getting him to a specialist in the city. He is just 50 years old and is not a believer. We were not able to treat his condition. Please pray for his salvation and that David is able to get him to the right doctor for treatment immediately.
Our team is bonding and working hard together. The people in Chanco are so appreciative of everything we are doing. They are so affectionate towards us and are genuinely kind people.
Dr. Hook is a constant source of entertainment for us. I (Tracy) hear him sing when I wake up and as I am going to sleep. I’m not sure he sleeps, and not sure Anne does either!
The weather is beautiful, windy and sunny. The scenery is indescribably beautiful as we travel to and from the village each day. The mountains seem to go on forever.
We love and miss all of our family and friends and will see you soon!
Let God’s will be done.
Sue, Jo, and Tracy
We can hardly contain our joy! Yesterday we had our first day of clinics in Chanco, in the same village where we were last year and 18 of the people who came prayed to receive Christ. Our missionaries invited Rolando, a local pastor from another area to help share the gospel and that he did. We could only share through our smiles and touch while Rolando told them in Spanish the only reason we have peace and joy.
David and Glynis also told us that the 6 year old girl Jason Gunn saw last year and who realized she had a genetic defect in her ears which caused malformation causing numerous ear aches and drainage is now scheduled to have surgery in early spring. Paula came to the clinic again yesterday and we got to meet her and some of her family who became Christians because of this. David has many long trips to pick her and her family up to make sure she could be seen by the right doctor.
God is at work here and we thank you, First Baptist, for making it happen.
We love you,
Anne for the GMT
This is a short clip of the team’s devotion time last night. Here they are singing with our IMB missionaries, David & Glynis, and with the translators they’ll work with all week!
Glenda and Hillary here. Not only have we gotten to meet amazing people, we have also gotten the privelege of eating delicious food! Be jealous!
We left the Arkansas house and have arrived at our hotel in Jocotan. The van ride was very encouraging as we passed the time sharing our testimonies with one another. It is always so awesome to hear how God works in others’ lives. Here at the hotel in Jocotan we are surrounded by beautiful mountains which reminds us that God is present with us in the valleys as well as on the mountain tops.
Tomorrow we will start our medical and dental clinic which we are all very excited about. We cannot wait to see how God uses this team to open doors that have never been opened before. Medical and dental clinics are able to reach people who ordinarily are not seen by other mission teams.
We are so thankful to be here and grateful that our church supports the Lottie Moon offering as it allows us to work with wonderful missionaries like David and Glynis. Thank you all so much! Can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow.
We made it safely to Guatemala City! Our journey was easy and uneventful. However, we have already seen Him at work. The legal paperwork we needed to be able to bring the prescription medications into the country were not ready when we arrived at Customs. If the bag with these meds had been selected for search in Customs, they most likely would have held these precious and much needed medicines. However……. God, as always, was in charge of the situation. He goes before us and He stands behind, and today He did so gloriously. The Customs official simply waved all of our bags through without checking any of them! Whew!!!
After a quick lunch at Wendy’s, we moved on to the Arkansas House. Our plans changed, and being the flexible team that we are, we will be staying here tonight and traveling to Jocotan tomorrow.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we prepare to begin the clinic Saturday. God has used the teams in the last year to really begin opening doors for His Gospel. The Chorti are expecting us, anticipating our arrival. Pray that not only will we be able to provide physical relief, but more importantly, boldly share the one most precious gift we can give, Jesus!
As a personal aside, it is so wonderful being back here. Anne and I were saying today that it is like coming home! We love it here!!!!
God Bless You!!
(Chris Wainwright, Dr. Charles Hook, Eric Matheson, Ron Stroh, Anne Hook, Glenda Owens, Hillary Holder, Jo Gafford, Sue Lambert, Heather Morrison, Tracy Waldron, Jennifer Beatty) not pictured: Alan Furness, Butch Phillippi
Our Guatemala Medical Team will serve January 23rd-January 29th. This team will be holding a medical clinic in Chanco. They will be able to meet some of the Chorti peoples’ health needs and also share the gospel with their patients. They will also have a pharmacy where the patients can get medicine. We hope that this trip will impact the Chorti people for Christ.
Please pray for this team as they travel and work in the clinic this week. Pray for unity and perseverance as they serve long days. Pray that the Lord would use them to open doors and open hearts through their work. Also pray for David & Glynis Miller, the IMB missionaries they will be working with. Finally pray that this team would be a blessing to this village, that through them the Chorti people would begin to see the love and mercy of Christ.