Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Dominican Republic- Part ONE

This trip was PACKED with many things in it's 16 days.  Here is the first update on what happened...which is really only part of the first week.  There is still Haiti to write about and all of week 2 among things. But for better or worse here we are 

Where do I even start? This trip was beyond challenging for me and through a lot of those challenges I was beyond blessed in all of it. Even in the times that I didn’t feel blessed.

Looking back it’s odd for me to think that there was a point in the trip that, had I had the opportunity I would have left and come home. But around 3 days into it, when I was bitten all over by mosquitoes, swollen from those bites- there were about 100 of them- hot beyond belief and not feeling well in general I would have left (if we hadn’t been 5hrs away from the airport). However I am so glad I didn’t leave, because I would have missed out on seeing and experiencing God do some amazing things in the course of the 2 week trip. And to be honest I NEEDED to be there. Not just to work or lead but I needed to be there to reconnect with God, to hear his voice and feel his presence. Yes it was a hard trip. One of the hardest I’ve ever been on (I’ve never wanted to leave before) but it was worth it. I feel reconnected and refreshed in my walk with God. And the bites have almost all healed and I’m finally catching up on my missed sleep as well as enjoying, probably for the first time ever the summer heat in Arkansas with the 101° temperatures not feeling quite so warm to me. :o) Now let’s get to the amazing things that God did in & through us on this trip.

Week one was full of Medical Clinics. We would start these around 9 am and usually register people all day ending around 4pm. Most days we had clinic we would see around 100 people. The people would range in age from days old (we saw 16 day old twins one day) to the very old (I remember seeing one slip with a person in their late 80s). They were treated for a number of things, though probably the most prevalent would be malnutrition or parasites. We could give them vitamins, or anti parasitic medicine knowing that once the vitamins other meds were gone they would more than likely be back at the same point they started in due to lack of nutrition and parasites in their food or water. There were some cases that were a bit more extreme, like the paralyzed teenager we saw in the first clinic, I believe she had had a stroke at one point and it left her unable to walk or move much at all. It’s hard to see them like that when you can’t really do anything to help them. Maybe you’re now thinking why do clinics at all then? If they will get what they had back or they are to extreme for a clinic to be able to help them, what’s the point? Well, besides the fact that they do finally get to see a doctor, and have someone to tell the problem to and help them figure out what’s going on PRAYER is a part of every clinic we do. Once a patient (or family) has seen the doctor they then take their prescription to the “pharmacy” and while they are waiting for it to be filled (everyone gets vitamins or a toothbrush at least in most cases) they are taken to the prayer station. This is when the spiritual portion of the ministry takes place. We make it a point to pray with everyone, for whatever they would like: their family, their health, finances and more often than not the conversation turns to knowing Christ. Many of the people who come to the clinics to get their physical needs met end up walking away knowing Christ; which means more than ever having a physical need met.

Joe my "little Brother" & I- ready for the Drama
Taking Pitcures - It's kinda what I do

Above: At the Pastor's House...Day One. Below: Lots of work = Very tired.

Working Regrestration at one of the Clinics
My buddy Brent & fellow leadership team member- I'm blessed to have worked with him the last 3 OTTOM trips.

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