A few days ago I went on an afternoon stroll with a small group of ladies and our goal at the beginning of this hike was to make it to a certain electric pole and then each day after, we would go a little further until we eventually made it to the top of the giant hill. As we were walking (and sweating A LOT) we decided that we were going to keep going and push through until we made it to the top and man were we glad that we kept walking! We made it just in time to see the sun setting over the top of the mountain and it was absolutely beautiful!
Here’s a look at what’s been going on here in the jungle:
▪ On February 20th, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. He was the first jungle baby of 2018! The number of pregnant ladies that we attend has increased since the opening of our L&D ward, so we are anxiously waiting for more babies to be born this year.
▪ In March, we hosted our first midwife conference at the Jungle Hospital. Our goal in hosting this meeting was to equip them with the tools they need so they can safely and knowledgeably deliver babies. Dr. Martin and Dr. Amy Wood, a neonatologist from the states, facilitated the event which included teachings and exercises so each midwife felt comfortable with the entire process of delivery, from beginning to end. Ultimately, we would rather all ladies go to the hospital during their delivery, but we know that deliveries happen frequently at home. We had a great time and each midwife walked away with a bag full of what they need for an entire year.
▪ The first medical team this year was a group from City Hope Church who was also joined by three Canadian families for a total number of 46….YES, 46 people!! It was an incredible week of ministry which included three medical brigades and five school visits. Many people who joined us from this team had never been to Honduras before…..seeing them experience missions/Honduras for the first time was so refreshing! It was like I was seeing it all again for the first time.
▪ For the last few months, we’ve been taking care of a patient who had a diabetic ulcer on his foot. The ulcer had reached the point to where the medical professionals in La Ceiba told him that amputation was his only option. Through some acquaintances of Dr. Martin, this particular patient was told about the Jungle Hospital and he decided to come up and see if there was anything we could do to help him. On his very first visit, his foot was severely infected and the ulcer was so bad you could see all the way down to his tendons. My first thought was, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ulcer that bad.” Dr. Martin immediately said, “We’ve got to help this guy.” We cleaned and debrided the wound and started him on some strong antibiotics and educated him on how to take of the foot at home. As he was leaving, Dr. Martin told him that he’ll be back to playing soccer in no time! He came back each week for more wound care and antibiotics. After two weeks we began seeing improvement and it continued getting better week after week. It’s been three months since his first visit, his foot is almost completely healed! Through lots of prayer and many painful visits, he can now rest easy knowing that he’ll be able to continue working and live with both of his feet. Due to his miraculous recovery, we’ve had 4 more families come visit us from his town and more are expected to come.
▪ I absolutely love it when jungle family comes back to visit! Mark and Heather Younger, who lived and worked here for 6 years, brought their family for a week visit! It was so incredible to have them back in the jungle (even if it was for only a week) and to hear about their goals and dreams for the future. During their stay we finished putting the drop ceiling in the dorm, completed a few other handy projects around and visited a school to provide vitamins and albendazole. I miss them already and can’t wait to see them again.
▪ Our second medical team of the year came from River Valley Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. This visit was the first medical mission for this church and they knocked it out of the park! From the first moment they stepped foot on campus until they reached the airport on day seven, they were so eager to serve and willing to do so in any capacity.
So much has happened this year, yet there is so much more to come! Stay tuned….