It was such a blessing to have River Valley Church from Minnesota here with us for a week! Some team members have visited the Jungle Hospital before, but for those that hadn’t, leaders Max and Angie Lundeen made sure everyone was well prepared for what the week would look like. I don’t know that anyone was actually truly prepared for the downpour that occurred the entire hike back from Los Limpios on Thursday, but when you’re in the middle of the jungle, sometimes you just have to keep walking through the storms that come along!
Not only were we able to bring medical care to our patients with the amount of medical providers and translators this team had, but we were able to provide them with dental care and muscle tension relief, too, as we had three dentists, a dental hygienist, and a massage therapist. With twenty-seven members, the possibilities of what we would accomplish for the week seemed endless.
When Monday morning arrived, we observed everyone waiting outside of the gate, and we then knew it would be a busy yet great day, and that’s exactly what it was. Patients were wanting in and kids were ready to play! Providers and dentists alike worked hard all day to give adequate care to each patient that came into the hospital, and what a great feeling it was that we were able to benefit such a large number of people. The kids made picture frames with their own photo, made balloon animals, and participated in other arts and crafts, which is a great ministry in and of itself. After clinic, we gave them a tour of the new property, providing them with information as to what is to come for the future.
Tuesday, we traveled up the mountain to the village of Toncontin to hold a medical brigade in the school. When we got back, a necessary trip to the river took place, and everyone seemed to be grateful to have that period of relaxation.
Wednesday, we went to the church in El Naranjo, and when we arrived, every seat was filled with people eager to have us help them.
Tuesday and Wednesday were very similar in style. With a full bus and happy hearts, we traveled up the mountain to Toncontin on Tuesday, and enjoy some time at the river swimming and riding the rapids. Wednesday, we drove down to El Naranjo. We had a great number of patients each day that were eager to have us help them. They were wonderful days full of ministry.
Thursday was our hiking day to Los Limpios, a village that is a two hour hike up into the mountain. Every member of the team tackled this day like no other. Not only was it a wonderful clinic day, but even though it rained the entire way back to Rio Viejo, everyone was still their happy selves, just a little more wet than before. What an adventure that was! Welcome to the jungle, right? We also had our infamous lip sync battle this night, and it was full of so much excitement and talent. After all of the fun concluded, everyone got ready for their fun day and last days in the country.
Friday morning, the team headed off to the city to take part in some well-earned fun of snorkeling or zip-lining. The amount of love, generosity, and devotion everyone had continued even on the beach, as they had a time of baptizing others in the ocean. It shows such a great message to others. After this team, it was time for dinner, their closing meeting, and then bed, as Saturday morning came early and was full of travel.
River Valley Church, we thank you for your ministry to others with the different gifts and talents God has given each one of you. Each day, everyone gave their all. We also thank you for a week full of experiences we hope you never forget. This is what jungle living and ministry is all about!