"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God."
This past week the Florida Hospital Tampa mission team served the people of Cayo District in Belize, at the La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital. Our merry band of 12 provided orthopedic and cardiology consults along with general medicine, physical therapy assessments/interventions and, where applicable, surgery. Dr. Richard Gray and Dr. Richard Silver led the team in seven surgical interventions, none of which would have been available to the patients otherwise.
Some 400 people of the towns of San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Spanish Lookout, the villages of Billy White, San Jose Succoth, Eden High school and Billy White school came to the clinic and received insight and help.
In addition to the clinics, the team hosted a two-hour radio call/text in program each night that we called Doc Talk. We averaged about 20 call/texts each of the four nights, and eventually meeting many of these people in the clinic. Some folk travelled as much as three hours to visit Dr. Gray, Dr. Silver, Dr. Charles Lambert, and Dr. Matthew Greenwood! Travel is very difficult in Belize but when you have hope of receiving help you find a way to get there!
Also, thanks to the efforts of some Tampa friends we took 2,000 toothbrushes, which were gladly received!
I also met with 20 pastors of the Cayo region to introduce Creation Health and the model of a Congregational Health network. They are energized by the opportunity to cooperate with the hospital to bring hope to their people.
When you go on mission you hope to make a difference. At the beginning of the week I asked the team what they wished as an outcome. ”To be really tired by the end of the week” was our consensus! While everything planned for did not pan out, we adjusted on the fly…each person working over 12 hours a day made a difference one patient at a time.
As I sit in the Miami airport waiting for the last leg of our trip home I can say we are indeed tired…a good tired!
In closing, I want to share a text message, just as it was received at the radio station the last night just after the team had left and made their way up to the mission building:
Am a soldier
Tnk u 4 helping my people
May God blss u guys