The team from Waco, Georgia traveled to El Zapote, Santa Barbara, located about two hours west of the mission. The team had only nine members this year, but this did not limit their generosity or the amount the Lord was able to do through them.
El Zapote is the hometown of Pastor Alexander, the local pastor of the Assembly of God church located right outside the HBDM mission, called Mount Sinai. Pastor Alexander had been asking for a team to travel to his hometown for a while, but since El Zapote is so small, all of the teams have been too big to travel there until this one. Pastor Alexander joined the team for much of the week, and was even invited to preach at the local Evangelical church one night. He gave a wonderful testimony about how, as a child, a woman in the community had taken him to church every week and because of that he received salvation in his early twenties and was called to be a pastor a few years after that. He had left El Zapote before giving his life to Christ and was able to give a testimony of the Lord's faithfulness in his life to the church in which he grew up. The woman who had taken him to church was present at the service as well and the power of Lord's faithfulness and good, good plan was evident as they both spoke about the Lord's guidance and grace in their lives. The Lord is surely good and he often uses us in ways we may not even realize.
The team was able to see many medical patients for being such a small number and two unique medical cases stood out during the week. One was a young boy who has had vascular deformities in one of his arms since birth. He had already had one surgery but needed another surgery to fix some of the problems, in addition to most likely needing life-long check-ups for the issue his whole life. The other patient was a man with skin-cancer who had large, infected sores over part of his face that had been untreated for years. The team was able to clean the wound and provide some treatment for it, though his case is severe and he will need intensive treatment for the cancer. The team felt led to give money to the mission for both of these cases and HBDM is in the process right now of following up with these patients and supporting them as they pursue further medical care. Please pray for these patients as these are issues that are not easily fixed and neither patient is well-off financially.
It was a great week for the team and they were able to minister to most of the town of El Zapote both spiritually and physically. They team gave away shampoo and lotion to each patient, in addition to a piece of clothing, toy, or a baseball hat, which were an especially big hit with the men. Additionally, the team, all of whom went to the same church except for one member, was able to form close bonds with other believers in their church of whom they knew very little about before. At the end of the trip each member stated that one of the most impacting parts of the week was the fellowship with the other members of the group, both team members and HBDM staff alike. The Lord calls us to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ and the team surely did both with those in El Zapote and among themselves.
Professions of Faith: 33
Bibles Distributed: 360
Medical Patients: 665
Dental Patients: 189