This summer, we had so much help accomplishing the ambitious plans that God made for us. We not only had our summer interns, also known as “J-Team,” but we also had one-month volunteers, two week volunteers, weekend volunteers, and even a 10-day visit from Heather Younger and our “jungle baby” who is now a rambunctious little boy!
We were blessed to have Dr. Trey Melker of Baton Rouge, LA join us for an extended stay again this year! He came to spend three weeks serving at the hospital, filling in for Martin so he could take a missions trip with our ministry pastor. He worked alongside our nurses for two weeks and then joined Martin and the team from Healing Place Church for his third week. Dr. Trey has kept our doors open so many times and allowed Martin time away from Rio Viejo while still providing much needed health care for the patients in our area. He also provides our staff with much needed laughter (he has the funniest stories EVER!) and great food. He is one of our favorites around here and we love it when he comes to serve!
Just as our busy summer season was beginning, our Heather and not-so-little Will came back for a little visit to help orient the new J-Team and visit with their jungle family. We got a chance to love on our little jungle baby and visit with Heather before she had her new little girl in August. Heather is an amazing asset to our HHG team, even though she now lives in Baton Rouge. She continues to support our mission and vision, helping via the internet with media needs, building new websites, and even hosting fundraisers. She still does an incredible job with the orientation for our new volunteers and even flies all the way to Honduras to do it! Thank you for your dedication to our ministry Heather and what fun it was to spend time with our little Will! Thank you for traveling with a toddler all the way from Louisiana to Honduras just so he could spend time with us. What a special time it was!
Traveling along with Heather on the same day were two very important gentlemen from City Hope Church in Daphne, AL, Larry & Kent Bradley. Our internet has long been a source of headache and the punchline of many jokes around here. The term ‘welcome-to-the-jungle’, is used a lot as our staff and team leaders lament at how difficult it is to depend on it for communication. But all of that changed when Larry Bradley began working on a plan to solve our router problems and get the signal from building to building with a wireless system. We did all the planning via emails and he brought his brother Kent along for help. They loaded the entire system in a few suitcases and came down for a long weekend to install. And it works!! We now have a wireless system throughout the property, even in the back of the hospital! We need to work on getting a faster speed from our provider, but when we do the Jungle Hospital now has the infrastructure to handle it. Big thanks to Larry & Kent and to City Hope for sending them our way!
Our one-month visitors were such a helpful task force during the intense summer weeks:During the month of June, we had two PA students come work a clinical rotation with us: Amber Kienlen and Angela Lewis. Not only were they a great help during clinic hours and medical brigades as they practiced applying their knowledge, but they were also servant-hearted and willing to help us with the daily work around the HHG campus! They were our first students from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, but hopefully not the last. We are enjoying our partnership with LMU and look forward to hosting more PA students in the future! Arriving with Amber & Angela were twin brothers, and medical school students Galen & Gavin Mills. Galen came for a six week stay as a part of our J-Team and had just finished his first year of medical school at the University of Washington. Galen had just finished his second year of medical school at Loma Linda in California. What a joy it was to have them here together for two weeks serving at the hospital and on medical brigades! During a few of our medical brigades we even hosted two medical school students from Penn State College of Medicine, Ben Abney & Eric Balaban. It was a summer of teaching for our hospital and staff as we hosted medical students, PA students and college students interested in missions and medicine. Something we have always dreamed of doing has become a reality!
During the month of July we had two more volunteers come serve. Making the switch on the same day of Amber and Angela’s departure was Britt and Terri Williamson, a mother and daughter duo from Loxley, Alabama. What incredible servant-hearted people to work with! Terri, who took time off from her full time job at an Orthopedic Surgeon’s office, helped during clinic and brigades, painted at school remodel projects, taught health education, cleaned & scrubbed, and any other job we put in front of her! Her daughter, Britt, joined the workforce with J-Team as an honorary member. What a blessing it was to have them here. We could not have accomplished so much in July without their help!
With so many exciting plans and our crazy schedule this summer, the Lord expanded our work force using some incredible people who were vital to this summer’s success. We can’t thank our summer volunteers enough for giving their time and service to helping us accomplish such incredible things for the Kingdom this year!