The team from Gastonia, North Carolina, led by board member Russell Patterson, traveled to the town of El Zapote, Yoro, Honduras. This town is located a few hours east of the HBDM compound and the team enjoyed a few rainy days there. In fact, it rained almost the entire first day that the team arrived so they had to unload all of the equipment in a downpour. It was certainly something no other team has ever had to do before. Fortunately, though, the rain didn't keep the team from giving their all and serving this beautiful town.
Throughout the week, the team saw an unusually high number of wounds and skin problems including burns, vascular ulcers, abscesses, scabies, and more. There were two patients in particular who arrived on first day of the brigade with very severe wounds that the team had the chance to "deep clean" that day and then follow-up with the next two days of the brigade for dressing changes. One of the patients was a very poor elderly women with a vascular ulcer. She shared with some of the team members that she kept chickens in her home and that selling their eggs was the only means of income for her and her husband. Tearily, she told them how recently one of the neighbor's dogs had killed some of her chickens and now she didn't know what she was going to do. Even in the midst of her situation, however, the woman offered to give the team one of her remaining chickens in return for the care for her wound. This story was shared with the team and that afternoon, one of HBDM's staff members showed up with 5 chickens that a team member had purchased to give to this woman. The next day, a few people had the chance to deliver the chickens to the women's home, to meet her husband, and to talk with them about their deep faith in the Lord. It was both humbling and encouraging to see the generosity of this couple in the midst of their poverty.
The week was busy for team members serving in every area of the brigade. Children's church had too many kids to count, the church services were almost always full, and there was a constant line for the medical and dental services. One of the special parts of the week for many team members was being able to watch a couple who had never been on an international mission trip before share the gospel one-on-one with patients after they passed through the medical stations. Though out of their comfort zone, this couple had such beautiful hearts for the gospel and compassion for the people. They gently yet boldly shared the good news and even had the chance to preach to the local church in an evening church service. The team was certainly empowered by their obedience to Jesus and were reminded to be bold with the gospel wherever they are, whether in a country overseas or in their own households.
It was a great week in the field, and between Russell, another board member named Larry Garland, and a few other comical team members there was never a shortage of laughter. The team laughed with (and sometimes at) each other and also laughed alongside their Honduran brothers and sisters, for laughter is a universal language. This week will hold a special place in the memories of many of the team members, and HBDM is surely thankful for this team, their commitment to Christ, and their humility in serving the people of Honduras.
Professions of Faith: 183
Medical Patients: 1475
Prescriptions Filled: 6527
Dental Patients: 251
Teeth Extracted: 334
Children's Church: 650
Glasses Given: 290