Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Descubriendo Nuevos Horizantes - Discovering New Horizons

True friends are hard to come by in this world, but every now and again you find fate and luck standing on the same corner waiting on you.  The recent Durr's-Christ Connection Team to La Esperanza, Honduras had the pleasure of getting to know a very humble and energetic medical doctor named Delmer Montoya. Delmer has been featured in Bruce McFadden's blogs on several occasions, and he certainly deserves the extra publicity.  Before we met Delmer in the San Pedro Sula airport a few weeks ago I had heard great things about him...After working with him for ten days I know they are all true!  The following are Dr. Montoya's thoughts and reflections on our work together earlier this month.

From back left to front left: Brent, Brian, Delmer, Michael James, Tom, Doris, Lauren, Butterfly

 Ha sido un privilegio para mi el poder haber compartido durante este breve periodo de tiempo, con un grupo de AHMEN conformado por el Dr. Tom Camp, Mary "Maripos" Capps, Michael Franklin, Brian Price, James Iverson, Lauren Watkins, Brent and Doris Brady, and Byron Morales. Es la primera vez que observo un grupo formado en su mayoria por gente joven.

It has been a privilege for me to have been able to share this period of time--albeit brief-- with the AHMEN group, formed by Dr. Tom Camp, Mary "Butterfly" Capps, Michael Franklin, Brian Price, James Iverson, Lauren Watkins, Brent and Doris Brady, and Byron Morales. This is the first time that I have observed a group composed of mostly young people.

El viaje a la esperanza fue todo un reto por diversas razones, pero lo mas emocionante de todo fue que ibamos a un lugar nuevo donde ningun otro grupo habia estado antes, no sabiamos que podriamos encontrar. El grupo en si fue grandioso, todos nos incorporamos al trabajo de manera espontanea y cada uno pudo aportar sus conocimientos y habilidades para realizar la mision de manera efectiva. En estos pocos dias el grupo pudo formar lazos muy fuertes de companerismo y amistad, de los cuales no me cabe duda perduraran por mucho tiempo

The trip to La Esperanza was a complete success for several reasons, but the most exciting of all was that we went to a new place where no other group has been before. We didnt know what we might find there.
Because the group was so amazing, we could work together to accomplish the job in a spontaneous manner, and each team member was able to contribute his knowledge and abilities to realize the mission
effectively. In just a few days, the group was able to form strong bonds of companionship and friendship, which will undoubtedly last for a long time.

Al llegar a las diferentes comunidades donde brindamos atencion medica nos encontramos con un mundo diferente pero con una constante comun, eran personas que necesitaban atencion medica y no contaban con los recursos economicos necesarios para asistir a un centro hospitalario.  Sin duda alguna la mano de Dios obra a travez de nosotros siempre y cuando nosotros lo permitamos, y que bonito es saber que con
un pequeño gesto o accion que hagamos podamos influir de manera positiva en la vida de otras personas.

Upon arrival at the different communities where we offered medical attention we were met with a different world, but a common theme was that there were people in need of medical attention and did not have
access to the economic resources necessary to be treated in the local hospital. There is no doubt that the hand of God was always working through us as long as we allowed it to, and how beautiful it is to
know that a small gesture can influence other people's lives in such positive ways.

La segunda etapa de la mision se llevo a cabo en Utila, el viaje fue emocionante; es un lugar de una belleza increible y realmente fue una experiencia que todos los miembros del grupo disfrutamos al maximo.
Me llamo la atencion de sobremanera el observar como en una pequeña isla llena de turistas, comercio y servicios; es posible encontrar pobreza extrema.  Es increible como a escasos 2 bloques de la calle principal se pueden ver casas en condiciones deplorables, con los niños jugando entre aguas estancadas
y basura; es como pasar de un mundo a otro.

8 yr old girl running home to show her mom her new treasure

The second phase of the mission was carried out in Utila. The trip was exciting. It is a place of incredible beauty and it was an experience that the members of the group truly enjoyed. What sticks out to me
most was the observation that as a small island full of tourists, commercial enterprises and services, it is still possible to encounter extreme poverty.

Con la presencia del grupo en la isla de utila se fortalecieron relaciones con lideres comunales con los que se pretende trabajar en conjunto en el futuro para mejorar de alguna manera las condiciones de vida de esta comunidad.  Ademas pudimos interactuar con los niños de la comunidad llevandoles un poco de alegria a sus vidas con la grandiosa participacion de Mary "Mariposa" Capps.  El centro de salud tambien se vio beneficiado con nuestra visita al recibir una donacion de medicamentos los cuales seran usados en la poblacion mas necesitada de la isla.

Mariposa and Dr. Delmer

As a group we strengthened relationships with the community leaders we hope to work with in the future in order to help improve the living conditions of the island's disenfranchised. Furthermore we interacted with the community's children, bringing a little bit of joy into their lives, with the high-spirited participation of Mary “Butterfly” Capps. The local health center also saw benefit with our visit, receiving a donation of medicines to be used to treat patients with no money to otherwise pay for their prescription medicines.

Este nuevo concepto de mision ha sido una experiencia unica y muy interesante donde se cubrieron varios aspectos que requieren una intervencion para el mejoramiento
de la calidad de vida de la poblacion, y personalmente me siento honrado porque se me permitio ser parte de este grandioso grupo.

This new concept of mission work has been a very unique and interesting experience covering the various aspects required to approach improving a community's quality of health, and personally I feel honored to have been invited to be a part of this glorious team.

Dr. Delmer Montoya 

                                                                            Translation Services Provided by J. Marie Feindel

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Durrs-Christ Connection/La Esperanza team has just returned from an exciting missions opportunity!

No mission team is ever just alike, and this one is no exception. I learned a lot from our experience, but all perspective aside...what made this missions opportunity stand out to me was the team's relatively natural sense of altruism. How rewarding it is to see a team in unfamiliar circumstances with unfamiliar people working on such equal terms!

For all intensive purposes this medical and educational mission was also an exploratory mission. Dr. Tom Camp, Brian Price, James Iverson, Lauren Watkins, and Mary “Butterfly” Capps of Alabama and Mississippi joined forces with Brent Brady, Doris Brady, and Dr. Delmer Montoya of Honduras and Byron Morales of Colombia to build relationships across Honduras. This post serves to introduce the week.  More detailed accounts will follow.

1.) Together We Can Do Anything

Without a doubt this team helped meet the needs of three communities in the La Esperanza area. Under the joint group effort the team worked to meet the needs of around 500 community members with active and preventative medical concerns. Doctors Camp and Montoya with the assistance of EMT Brian Price interviewed patients while team efficiency expert James Iverson and I ran the mobile pharmacy. Lauren Watkins documented the medical clinics through photography and interviews while Byron Morales met with local leaders to identify local needs and capacity for future AHMEN-SIFAT workshops in the area. Of course not a single one of these three much-needed clinics would have been possible without the dedication of our in-country AHMEN representatives Doris and Brent Brady.  Furthermore, this team would have never been able to function so seamlessly without the clown ministry of Mary “Butterfly” Capps. The combination of so many strengths for a common purpose is always truly amazing to watch and a captivating trait of this team.

Laughter is the best medicine!

Beyond the medical aspect of the team's goals in La Esperanza was its success in building relationships with local community leaders. Brent and Doris Brady opened up this area for AHMEN teams through their relationship with entrepreneurs Ron and Ernesto Turner. Byron Morales of SIFAT helped to provide a palate for future cooperation between AHMEN, SIFAT, CARE, and Save The Children. We also worked alongside a very special and empowered group of women from Ron and Ernesto Turner's local hydroelectric company. Gaby and Nadia Pineda, Mirsha Monterroso, Sindi and Sayli Vasquez stand to become future community leaders with their continued devotion to local volunteership and coordinated development. This solid base of partnerships has come together with just a year's attention, and it will be exciting to watch it grow stronger into 2012.

From Left to Right: Dr. Delmer, Michael, James, and Brian

Once we left the medical component of our trip behind in La Esperanza, our team moved forward with educational efforts in Utila. For two days our team followed Butterfly through the neglected areas of the island to the public school and on to the local health clinic. Smiles were abundant and hope was in the air for a population living in poverty just out of sight to the thousands of vacationing tourists. We made balloon swords and animals with the children of Camponado and Campolacho before arriving at the local public school to deliver over 200 books to the school's library. Fruitful talks with the school's English teacher inspired plans for a 2012 Utila Education Team to lead mini educational workshops for adults and children. On our final day, Butterfly led the team to the Centro de Salud to donate all leftover medicines to Dr. Mayorquin and his goal to improve health standards across Utila. Though in most cases educational success remains unidentifiable for years into the future, this team helped pave the way for a stronger bridge to realizing the potential for educational transformation in Utila.

Doctors Mayorquin and Camp building bridges

Finally, our team worked with the women of Shalom to understand how we can all learn to communicate as partners in the development of a healthier, more sustainable Honduras. Dr. Camp, Brian, Lauren, James, and I divided into five small groups and held mini communications workshops with everyone in Shalom. Butterfly introduced each section of the workshop with a short skit before each group leader led discussion of the “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and Hows” of communication. With a main goal of helping improve communication efforts between AHMEN and Shalom, we instead ended our final day in the mission field with 20 new friends...not a bad trade if I say so myself!

From Middle to Left: Ana, Michael Yaqui, Danelia, Mery

Witnessing UMVIM's motto of “Christian Love In Action” through so many coexisting channels is reward enough. Knowing that this team helped clear the way for several new sustainably-directed mission opportunities is more than I could ask for from one trip. I want to think everyone who prayed, donated, cried, bled, and poured sweat to make this team possible. Accomplishments and mistakes both inform future success, and their combination with open hearts and minds will continue to pave the way for the type of change Jesus desires.

Thank you for everyone involved in making this missions opportunity a success!

¡Que les vaya bien!