I took all the portraits of the ladies this morning. We had a ball! They were so cute. Some were shy. Some were self-conscious. Some were hilarious. Some were natural-born models. They ALL looked beautiful. I'm tellin' ya...these ladies know how to dress up! I could learn a thing or two... (But I was much happier getting to wear scrubs...hee. I am pretty sure I am the only one in the group who is still letting out a little squeal of delight at getting to wear them.) Finding a non-hideous background was quite challenging. The one we used was less than ideal but the light was decent and it worked fairly well.
We saw another 35 people or so at the clinic today. Some were already lined up when we got there. It was another incredibly hot day. I don't know how some of the locals can wear jeans when it's 90 degrees with high humidity but they are barely breaking a sweat. The Gringo's are wearing cotton from head to toe and sweating buckets. And I do mean buckets.
We had one or two more patients that needed to be taken directly to a hospital. I only know the story on one of them....a young, pregnant woman whose hemoglobin was only 7. It was life threatening for her unborn child so I can only think that a life was saved today. The doctors we have are both Honduran Christians and they are incredibly good at diagnosing with very little equipment. There were many with high blood pressure. I just keep thinking...what if we hadn't come? What about all the others who can't come to the clinic? Who will go and help them?
A very touching medical story that happened today involves my little Jakey. You may remember this post from a few weeks ago, when Jake ended up in ER because of a fall. They put a neck brace on him as a precaution and he wanted to take it home to play with. When it was decided that I would make this trip, I asked him if he wanted to donate it--just in case a child in Honduras needed it. He thought a minute and then said, "Yes. I want da children in Honduras to have it." So I threw it in the suitcase.
Since I am not a trained medical expert, I did not realize that cervical collar's (or neck braces) are ever used for anything except trauma or whiplash.
When we arrived at the clinic the first day, I added it rather sheepishly to the medical area. I mean, really....were we going to have a trauma case? However, I firmly believe that sometimes God provides before we think we need something and we should not disregard a prompting from Him.
Today, a woman came to the clinic in severe pain. She had fallen two months ago and her neck pain had been increasing ever since. The doctor did decompressions on her to try to relieve the pressure on her neck and then went to ask the medical team if by any chance they had brought a cervical collar with them. To her delight, they said YES! This lady was very small, but not quite small enough for a child-sized neck brace so two members of the team used some ingenuity to enlarge the cervical collar enough for it to fit. The doctor said that putting the neck brace on relieved the woman's pain tremendously and will keep her neck up and in the correct position so it can heal.
AND...the doctor said that there are two kinds of cervical collars. If she had ordered one for this woman, it would have been the kind that Jake had. It was JUST THE RIGHT KIND! Obviously, God knew that and made sure it was a kind of brace that would work. I think I was told that the other kind would not have held her neck up high enough (don't quote me on that...). I can't explain very well how astonished the doctor was that we had that neck brace!
I could cry when I think about how I almost didn't bring it.
Yes, that is me in the corner editing the portraits during a break in the action at the clinic. I know it doesn't look like there was a break in the action, but we could only screen a few at a time so that the other stations didn't get overwhelmed. We had more room to spread out in our area so we kept them sitting there.
Another adorable little girl waits with her Mama.
Another heartbreak today was the number of older people who were unable to read or write. This man was illiterate and was one of several who had to have someone else fill out his form.
**************The portraits.... Oh I wish you could have seen the reaction when the women saw them. We surprised them by printing 8x10's for each one and framing them. After dinner, they were called up to the front of the room one by one to receive their portrait and $50 to take home. SOOO FUN!!! I felt like my heart was going to burst being able to hand them that gift. They received them just like they had posed.. Some shy. Some self-conscious. Some hilarious. We framed one of baby Linda, too, so that her parents would have a portrait of her. Her sweet little mama burst into tears. Waaah...I could cry just thinking about it.
But while they were excited about the shopping, they were most thankful for the conference because it fed them Spiritually. They climbed right into my heart and I am sad that we are leaving tomorrow and I may never see them again. ( Until Heaven, that is.)
I am so incredibly grateful that God let me come on this trip. The opportunity to minister has filled me up with a joy that I can't describe. Thank you to my precious family who let me come. I hope all is going well at home!