Monday, December 01, 2008

much to say thanks for

thanksgiving was another reminder that people here do not always honor the american tradition of having a "day off" on thanksgiving day :) don had reminded us earlier that he usually worked half of the day on thanksgiving... this year we all worked half the day as well. if you have read the other blogs you will know that about an hour into our lunch preparation we got a call from san pedro where they were worried about a retained placenta in a lady who had delivered her baby the day before. leslie packed up, and her and duane flew out to help them... they found a perfectly healthy mom and baby, and quickly had the placenta completely out. offering the reassurance that andres and the midwife in san pedro were looking for, they saw a few more patients and then were back just in time to carve the turkey and finish up leslie's specialty dressing. thank God for His grace and protection over this mom, her newborn little baby, and duane and leslie as they flew.

meanwhile here we had another consulta... a little soon-to-be mom who came in bleeding at about 36 weeks. being a pretty cut-and-dry situation, we knew that there was really nothing we could do here and that they needed to go to the hopsital. after doing an ultrasound and finding a still living baby, i started to discuss with them the emergent nature of this situation and that it was imperative that they go to the hospital immediately. as i started in on all this, they got a phone call from the guatemalan doctor who works at the government health clinic here in town. he had seen them also and asked them to come here to get an ultrasound and then they would discuss it further from there. i was able to talk with him also, and we discussed the situation both arriving at the same conclusion that they needed to go to the hospital as soon as they could. this in and of itself was an answer to prayer as we always hope to be able to build a relationship with the guatemalan medical staff around us, and find ourselves in a position where we are working with them instead of against them. after i hung up the phone, lori and i were able to pray with this family, laying it all in God's hands again. we still wait to know the outcome for this young girl and her baby.

and while the women were holding down the fort medically speaking (hehe), the two older allison men and the ficker men were all working hard over at the airport to get things in order there with planes, motorcycles and septic tanks. needless to say, when we all were finally able to sit down to eat, it was a much appreciated meal and another testimony to God's grace and protection as not a single bit of it was burned despite the fact that i was in charge of watching over about half of it in leslie's absence.... yes, God does still perform miracles in today's generation :)

friday brought us to san pedro where we had a pretty low-key clinic, able to see everyone and be back home around 1:30 in the afternoon. we were grateful to find all of our patients relatively healthy with no major emergencies and be able to finish and return home in the early afternoon; it was also a sign that setting up regular clinics even a couple times a month is not a far off possibility if we would be able to do them in this amount of time... something we have longed for for a long time now.

clinics this weekend were also relatively low-key as we saw about 50 in canilla and an amazingly low number of only about 60 in san andres. also free of emergencies and too many complicated consultas, i was unsure whether to simply be grateful or take it a sign to pray even harder for the people that were not there; with the fiesta that was celebrated there this past week, we found many people passed out drunk in the streets and heard of at least one accident that involved the death of a little child. we had a conversation with a guatemalan friend of ours earlier in the week about this time of fiesta, and she told us that people will save up all of their money throughout the course of the year and then spend all of it - thousands of quetzales for each family - on drinking, new clothes and other things for the celebrations. please continue to keep this town in your prayers as well as the churches and leaders that they will persevere and stand strong in their faith.

as christmas now approaches even quicker, i pray that you find yourself surrounded by family and friends and the important things in this time of year, not getting too caught up in all the commercialism and materialism that beckons so easily.