Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The View from Kelsea - God Directing Our Steps

April was a more relaxed month for us as a ministry; it was a time for us to work on projects that can’t be done during the busy team season. I went home for a week in the middle of April to reset my tourist visa and came back with two of my very close friends that I’ve known for almost my whole life. It was a great opportunity for them to get a little taste of what Sowers4Pastors does, and what I have been doing for the last 3 months.

Kelsea and friends

On the Tuesday of their stay, we had planned to travel three hours to the Honduran frontier, near the border of El Salvador, to check out a hospital in Gualcinse. One of my friends is a nurse and we wanted to show her the hospital in hopes that she would consider helping the already present doctor and nurses there. However, even the best laid plans are subject to change…she got sick. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise though.

Because of the sudden bout of sickness, we postponed the trip until the next day. While we were resting, Russell was in correspondence with Kim Hall, our stateside sponsorship coordinator, and she told him about a ministry in Erandique run by a Honduran pastor and his North American wife. This ministry established a school where deaf children are taught sign language so they can learn to communicate with others and receive the Gospel. Unfortunately there was an issue with their funding and they were in need of back-to-school supplies. Well, as it turns out, we had a stash of extra backpacks from the sponsorship program and Erandique, which would normally be an hour and a half out of our way, was right on our way to the hospital.

Deaf student with new backpack!
So Wednesday morning, bright and early, we loaded up 14 backpacks into the bed of the Hilux pickup truck and headed off to Gualcinse. We made a stop in Erandique to drop off the backpacks and met Juan and Jennifer who run the school. We got to see the church where they hold both services for the community and classes for the deaf students, and then they invited us into their house for coffee.  As we left, we marveled at how great God’s timing was to put us in contact with these missionaries at the exact time we were headed their way!

From there we drove about an hour more on beautiful - but bumpy - mountain roads. When we arrived at the hospital in Gualcinse, I was struck by how neat and spacious it was. There was a clean, large parking lot and a nicely kept flower bed in front of the building. As we walked in, we were greeted warmly by Elvira, the hospital administrator, who proceeded to give us a tour of the facilities. The hospital was established by North American doctor, Leslie Shaw, but sadly he died from cancer not long after he got it up and running.  With his death, the funding dried up and the once fully operational hospital became just a medical clinic.

Gualcince Clinic

The wing that is currently not in use was intended to be a maternity and surgical ward; there is a delivery room, an x-ray machine, a surgical suite, recovery rooms, storage rooms, a conference room and living quarters for one or two nurses. Elvira showed us the equipment that had been donated by medical professionals in the U.S. and told us the intended purpose of each room as we entered it. It was both sad to see how the equipment and facilities had deteriorated from lack of use, and encouraging to note the potential that the hospital has to become something great again.

As we finished our tour, we saw the functioning part of the hospital and met the local Honduran doctor, two nurses, and three pharmacy technicians that are on staff. Currently, the clinic serves the community through giving regular checkups and distributing medicine at wholesale prices to treat common illnesses. They also have the capacity to give ultrasounds, which is a huge asset to the surrounding areas. Altogether, we saw that this hospital is doing great things for the community, but it could be doing so much more! We left Gualcinse that day brainstorming about how to connect U.S. medical personnel and funding with the hospital we had just visited. My nurse friend was inspired and we remain hopeful that soon we will see the hospital grow and flourish to its full potential.

Our little day trip out to the frontier turned out to be successful and encouraging. It was a reminder that God is always directing our steps and that he has a plan that is bigger than we can imagine. We pray for God’s plan to prevail in the lives of each child that received a backpack and we also trust that he will work to establish his purpose in the hospital at Gualcinse.

 - posted by Kelsea

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