I am back from a delicious dinner and just before I fall into bed, I thought I'd post a little update about how our day went. I don't have time for photos, and honestly, didn't have a lot of time to take many. I will try to have some up later this week, maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.
Our first clinic day was at a community called El Cedro. FTC has a feeding centre there. Five times a week they feed 83 children! Amazing. We set up in the school of that community, taking over classrooms and changing them into Dental, Medical, Pharmacy and Distribution areas. We were able to give some hope to 604 medical patients and 65 dental today. 669 people felt the love of Jesus and were given a brighter tomorrow. It's incredible what 25 Canadians, when joined with local El Salvadorans can accomplish! God is so good, allowing us to serve in such a wonderful way.
I heard a couple heartbreaking stories just tonight over dinner. One woman hasn't been sleeping well because her two brothers were recently shot to death. We gave her something to help her sleep. Another woman told of being shot in the head, while riding a bus through a gang fight, just a couple years ago. She was holding her baby, spent 8 days in the hospital and part of the bullet is still in her head! I know that both these women will feel better, no matter what their symptoms because someone was willing to listen to them. We don't just give out meds, we also hand out love.
If you've spoken to me about this trip before we left, you'll know that I had a goal of doing some counselling with patients, explaining in Spanish what their meds are for and how to take them. I had been doing some practicing before we left. It turns out that only one of our Canadian team is actually doing the counselling, my husband, Chris, because of the way we set things up with our two translators. So I may not reach that goal this time. We'll see, but I'd be okay doing it this way.
Speaking of translators, Flor and Douglas are incredible! We get all the medications together, put them in nice neat piles on a table and they explain everything to the patients. They are on their feet as much as the rest of us and they're talking almost non-stop. Almost all our translators are Grade 12 students from a local school and I have to say, we are pretty blessed by them.
I spent the whole day on my feet, filling prescriptions. No bagging drugs for me this time around, although I think I'll need to take a few breaks and do just that tomorrow. My legs and especially my feet are so very sore right now. Hopefully a good night's sleep will take care of that and I'll be raring to go for our early departure, 7am!
Now I'd better get to sleep. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for me, my husband and our whole team!