Today was a busy day for us. We met for prayer before breakfast and after breakfast we traveled to the medical clinic for a short tour of the clinic and the preschool there. The clinic includes a pharmacy, a dental clinic and a general medicine clinic. We met the doctor enjoyed hearing about the many ways Mission Guatemala is able to impact people’s lives through healthcare ministries.
Personally, it was fun to see several hundred boxes of food from Kids Against Hunger since our church is part of a big packing day with Kids Against Hunger every year.
As always, though, it was the children who stole our hearts. During our brief visit at the preschool adjoining the medical clinic we enjoyed interacting with the kids. I was a big hero with one little boy when I took his picture and then showed him the picture. He wanted to swipe the screen so I loaded a game and he immediately started playing the game. I was obviously not the first person to introduce him to a smart phone!
Our group from St. Mark’s traveled about 45 minutes into the mountains to work at a small village that had been displaced a few years ago by hurricane damage and had moved en masse to the mountains. To get there we had to travel by a gravel road up one mountain, down another, and back up again to a height of over 8,000 feet.
A couple of people in our group worked with a dentist who was there for the day to do tooth extractions. We were all impressed by the courage of the kids and the support of the families as the kids had their examination with the dentist. Many of them had very poor dental hygiene which is sad. As part of the examination each patient was given a toothbrush and a large tube of toothpaste.
The majority of our group worked on finishing a new kitchen for the school. The old kitchen is basically a fragile wood and tin structure with an open fire inside. The new kitchen consists of a sink with running water, a large preparation table, and two wood burning stoves in a cement block structure. Our job today was to plaster the outsides of the stoves and preparation table and to prepare the dirt floor for a new cement floor as well as preparing an area in front of the kitchen for a sidewalk/porch. We finished most of the plastering and preparation and hope that we will be able to pour the concrete floor and porch tomorrow.
The drive to and from the village was a little adventurous as it involved a lot of switch backs on gravel roads with no guard rails. We are very thankful for our driver who navigated the roads with a lot of experience and confidence.