What a week we have had with City Hope and Celebration Church medical team. This group couldn’t have made for a better finish to our 2021 team season. Before the team arrived, we knew we were preparing for a large undertaking. It’s safe to say that there was even a little apprehension. This combo team was our largest of the summer and a large blessing as well.
From the moment Dr. Martin picked up the team at the San Pedro Sula Airport, we knew that the Lord had something special in store for our week. As we worked to prepare to host the teams, it was obvious that the Lord was at work preparing the team to unite as one and care and serve for the nationals here on the mountain. As the four hour bus ride into Rio Viejo passed, both teams, each from different churches in two different states, started to bond and form friendships.
By church the following day, we couldn’t distinguish who was from which church. Simply an incredible act of the Lord. Everyone got along so well. Following the church service, we prepared for the brigades that we would partake in during the week. The preparation was lighthearted and fun. This team had already became family and the week had only just begun.
Monday was spent in the hospital treating those who had come for consult. With more than 40 people here, our hospital was so alive. We had people on kids ministry, we had prayer warriors praying with patients for healing, we had providers experiencing medical missions for the first time, and the fellowship was second to none.
An extra special treat was that in the midst of the hospital and ministry functioning in the way that we have always dreamed of, we had executive members from Samaritan’s purse here. Having only partnered with Samaritan’s purse two years prior, we were so blessed to have Dr. Tom, Dr. Felix, and Mr. Ed join us. We were so grateful for them to experience what the Lord has led us to build here. We shared our plans and dreams with them, and Dr. Martin gave the entire crew a full tour of the hospital and the residential property where our expansion project is underway. He even showed them the first funded Samaritan’s Purse house which will provide a home for the first World Medical Missions (the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse) doctor in 2022!
The next day, we got to hike to the village Los Limpios for a medical brigade. We set up there in a local church and got to tend to the needs of many. It is always special to be the hands of Jesus and to meet these people where they are and demonstrate the love and care of the Lord. The Lord blessed us with opportunity to carry out our mission of bringing health, hope, and healing while partnering with CityHope Church, Celebration Church, and Samaritan’s Purse. What an amazing experience it was!
We could go on and on about how incredible this week was for us as well as for the team. The rest of the week’s opportunities included a medical brigade at the GiveHope2Kids (GH2K) ministry in the village of Urraco. We got to perform medical checkups on each of the families at the GH2K ministry as well as the locals in Urraco. This experience touched the hearts of many. Our dental hygienist cleaned teeth all day, and when she realized that there wasn’t adequate time to complete a cleaning for each child, she offered to do dental cleanings the following day. The team rallied around her and we were able to get every child’s teeth cleaned as well as medical checkups!
In the Cuenca Cangrejal each local village is supported by their own spring fed water system that’s located deep within the mountains. These systems are built to last for around 20 years and this year Rio Viejo’s system turned 21 years old which means it had become a bit unreliable. Through the agreement of the local water committee to provide workers and a generous donation from the U.S., we were able to provide a brand new water system that supports the entire community. This project expanded over four months and included the changing of more than 4 miles of tubes and the construction of a new holding tank. Each day the village would send a group of guys to work on the system which included carrying supplies to the work site, digging a trench to bury the tubes, and lots of cement work for the holding tank. The project was completed in July 2021 and we with the help of Iheartchurch, City Hope Church, and Celebration Church, we prayed and dedicated the system to the Lord.
We all worked hard and served like there would never be another opportunity, we also enjoyed the fellowship of one another. At night, we played games and laughed together until it was time to prepare for the following day.
We ended the week with zip lining, snorkeling at Cayos Cochinos, and relaxing by the beach in La Ceiba. Before heading up the mountain, we stopped by our favorite restaurant TipiKatracho and allowed the team to experience some fine Honduran cooking. The goodbye’s the next day were bittersweet as one would imagine, but get this: the team that started from two different churches now has a Facebook group and they are always staying in touch and sharing memories from their trip!