Up in the Mountains

Today we moved our clinic up to El Pepinal, a small village up in the mountains where health care is not as easily available. It is nestled in between three volcanoes, two of which are still considered active. We drove up in two vans, with our tables tied on the top. The scenery on the way up is spectacular. There is terraced farming on steep hills with coffee plants growing under the shade of the banana trees. There are orchards of avocado trees. Cows and goats are herded through the main street up the hill.

We set up shop in the hall of the Catholic church. Tim, Karen and Heidi went in first to assess the space and determine best how to set up. They are very experienced in this work and had our medical bags all packed up the night before. Karen runs a tight ship which keeps the pharmacy well stocked and running smoothly. Tim watches patient flow and adjusts our processes as the need changes. When Dr Elry is called back to town for an emergency, Tim changes our translators to rotate to where they are needed  at that moment instead of staying at one station all day. This works very well. He is a leader that tries to watch for ways to make everything work better - the definition of servant leadership. The world needs more of his type.

Mothers brought their babies and children concerned about rashes, abdominal pains and unhealed wounds. Everyone was given treatment for parasites. Heidi, our experienced OB nurse, saw two women who are possibly pregnant. By dates one of them should be six months pregnant, but Heidi couldn’t hear the fetal heartbeat by Doppler ultrasound. She will return tomorrow to have a pregnancy test and we are praying that God is watching over her. Liz, the pastor’s wife, packed delicious sandwiches for us to eat for lunch while out in the field.

Marty, MOST’s Executive Director on his first mission trip, is impressed with the team’s flexibility in morphing into a mobile clinic. “It’s like a MASH unit,” he observes. Seven medical bags packed with medications and supplies, ten MOST team members, five translators and Dr Elry packed into a van and an SUV. We will return tomorrow.

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. Isaiah 49:13

Those who are gracious to the poor lend to the Lord, and the Lord will fully repay them. Proverbs 19:17