Día uno

It’s still dark but we hear a few roosters start to crow, a truck honk outside the compound, and a motorcycle rumble by. Day one, dia uno, of our clinic. The water in the bathroom turns back on at 6am, (it is turned off every night at 10 pm). A lady next door is washing laundry in the lake, and a fisherman heads out with his nets. The lake in front of the clinic in Amatitlan looks nice with greenery growing up from the bottom, but it is sewer water draining down from Guatemala City upstream. There are chemicals in it as well. The little boy on the other side shows us the fish he has caught after his swim in it.

How do people live like this? Where are the protections for these people?

After a delicious breakfast prepared by the doctor’s wife, we open clinic and see 50+ in the morning. Leg wounds, diabetes, lots of coughs, a mosquito stuck in someone's ear,  bulima-all kinds of conditions. A sign was posted outside the church we use as a clinic to let the community know that we are here. The resident doctor, who is a general internist, general surgeon, podiatrist and obstetrician is also an ordained pastor. Now that his brother, also a pastor, died in January of COVID, he is responsible for his church in Guatemala City as well as his own. And the clinic in Guatemala City.

How does he manage to handle all the responsibilities? Where does he get his strength?

It is through his faith in God that he accomplishes so much. He walks with Jesus, and trusts in him.

The people we serve are gentle, the kids are quite well behaved, but everyone looks tired. Is it physical and/or emotional? We pray with them for health and healing, and God’s protection for them. That is the most powerful thing we have to offer them. Our medicines can go so far, but in a world with so many challenges, highlighted by what we are witnessing, God’s mercy and grace is the strongest medicine of all.