The team from North Carolina, led by Reid Matthews, traveled to Suntular, a small town with which the Wards and HBDM have worked closely for many years. Suntular is located about 2 hours East of the mission and is a very small community with lots of children. There are many single mothers that live in the area, many of whom have five children or more and are very poor. It is always a blessing to serve in this community and it was no different for this team.
Smiling, inquisitive, little faces. This is the first thing team members saw in the morning and the last thing they saw before they headed to bed at night. From the moment the team arrived to the moment they left, children surrounded them, wanting to play and wanting to see the "white people." Though these children do not live easy lives, and are often hungry, they always had huge smiles on their faces and never ran out of energy. The team spent long hours playing with them, painting their faces, teaching them English words, and treating their medical conditions. Many of the children were also given extra food to fill their bellies after each meal due to the generosity of HBDM's wonderful staff. It brought the team joy to see the joy the children carried with them despite their circumstances, and their faces won't be easily forgotten.
This team was only thirteen members large so they had planned to see about 500 patients in the field, but they ended up seeing almost 800 patients in Suntular and over 100 more at the clinic on the HBDM compound. The team worked hard all week to see as many people as they could wherever they were. They also went out two different times in Suntular to make home visits to people who were unable to walk to the clinic. These are always special experiences for both the families team members meet, and for the team members themselves. There is something special about being invited into another's home, into their private worlds, to provide care and spread the gospel. It definitely puts our "American" lives into perspective when one realizes how little others have and how small and bare others' homes are; yet these people will gladly invite you in, give you what they have to offer, and think nothing of it. How often do we, as Americans, avoid even answering the door if it is someone we don't know? Seeing the generosity and hospitality of those who have nothing definitely changes one's view of the world and of their possessions.
It was a wonderful week for the team, even when it rained every night during the time the church service was scheduled. Hondurans and Americans alike crowded under tarps and praised the Lord, nevertheless, during these times. HBDM plans to continue working closely with the local church to support this community in a variety of ways and plans to continue taking teams to this community regularly.
Professions of Faith: 2
Bibles Distributed: 288
Medical Patients: 1080
Prescriptions Filled: 4403
Dental Patients: 104
Teeth Extracted: 115
Children's Church: 393
Glasses Given: 100