Blessed Feet - by Sheila
One of My favorite parts of the Honduran trip--
The 3rd day was the most grueling, but exciting day. We went to this school
in the jungle at a village to set up clinic. To begin with, we had to walk down a steep muddy path and I panicked a little. I sure thought I was going to fall and break something, but finally got down. Part of the path to the first river was very rocky and sometimes hard to find sure footing. Crossing the river was up to mid-thigh on me and very rocky and difficult. One lady who is from there and crosses all the time, came across barefoot to hold our hands and help us ladies across.
After that, the rest of the path was not bad, but there was a very muddy part of the path for which there was no way around.
We all had our tennis shoes covered in mud. Finally after arriving, we went to wash our shoes under the faucet and a lady bent over and gently began washing the mud off. It seemed like Jesus was there washing my feet..I didn't want her to do it -that was too sweet but she wouldn't stop till they were cleaned. I felt humbled. I wonder if that is how the disciples felt. I did so appreciate it - it was a lot of mud and that made it a lot easier than doing it all myself.
We then set up clinic in the schoolroom. The dentist (Dr. Damon) used a kids chair and a cooler as his chair to sit on as he pulled teeth. We had the patient lay on two tables pulled together for the dental chair. Kids were watching through the bars and lined up outside along with adults.
It was an incredible day...to see so many people and be able to help them. When we were nearing the finishing point for the day the same lady who helped us cross the river barefoot came to us about her feet. They were red and cracked. We prayed for this lady also and all I could think of was that His word says Blessed are the feet of them who carry the Gospel...I prayed silently "Make her feet blessed..she works so hard to help bring this event about."
Even she and some of the ladies had prepared a wonderful Honduran meal for us. It was amazing and they were the tastiest beans you've ever eaten with homemade tortillas, eggs and delicious Honduran coffee. The Love of God was all over the place.
On the trip back it poured down rain and we got drenched. I left my wet tennis on so I could walk through the 3 rivers. It was easier to go back up the steep slope than going down. When we got back from that trip the showers were not working because of very low water pressure so everyone had to wait. Later as water was gathered, some was heated on the stove then poured in a bucket to be scooped up for a shower. One by one we took our showers...
The Gift - by Brenda Clark
For me God was all up in this from the beginning. Just the mention of a mission trip to Honduras perked up my ears as well as my spirit. I felt God’s protection and peace over me and the entire team. Even when we had to cross “Indiana Jones” style swing bridges. Yes, missing planks and all; and over a river way below in the pouring down rain!! Who said I was afraid of heights! Not me!! Even when 15 of us piled into a minivan for the 20 minute drive to where we unloaded for the 45 minute to 1 hour hike up that mountain to the village to do a clinic. I felt complete strength and peace during the trip up and down the mountain to the small village of “Paraiso” (Paradise).
The faces of the children in the villages as well as those visiting the clinic will be imprinted in my spirit forever. Many of them had never seen a doctor or nurse before and were very scared, but we loved on them all and my heart melted with compassion for them. Many grandparents brought their grandchildren that, for many different reasons, were raising them. One such grandmother told me the story of her little 9 year old granddaughter that she had been raising since she was dropped off to her as a baby. The little girl’s father died and this grandmother’s daughter dropped the baby off to her and never contacted either one of them again. So sad, but this little girl had such a sweet loving spirit and loved her grandmother dearly, I immediately fell in love with both of them. The situations and needs do not change much from this country and throughout the world, just the geography.
Before leaving to Honduras, my 4 year old granddaughter donated a little stuffed animal to give to a little child. I had explained to her where I was going and what we were going to do. I told her that she wouldn’t be able to go with me but that she could still be a part of it by sending something of hers to give to a child. I asked God to let me know who I was to give the little Chick to and here she is …….Merary, a little 2 year old that just stole my heart with her sweet smile and big brown eyes. All afternoon we heard the little chick “Peeping”. It was a sweet sound to my spirit. My granddaughter, in turn, also learned a lesson in giving and helping another child less fortunate than herself. She keeps her picture on her dresser in her room to remind her. The bible says that if we teach them while they are young, they will not forget these small gestures of kindness and of giving and will be a part of them always.
“Train up a child in the ways of the Lord and when they are older, they will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22:6
Dr. Martin and Wendy have such a special relationship with their patients as well as those in the small communities and villages surrounding them. As one of the interpreters, I would catch things he would say to them that just would lose its context once translated. He would pick and cut up with them, and all I could do was laugh and join in with him. I have the utmost respect for Dr Martin and Wendy and pray for them and their children for the incredible and hard work they are doing in this area. God is working with this ministry and with His grace the fruitful results are beginning to show. Dr Martin’s name and clinic are becoming well known. We picked at him because we really believed his name should be PASTOR Dr. Martin Williams (Alias Indiana Jones). May God’s grace and favor continue to pour over their lives and their work.
It was an honor to serve on this team and I thank Dr. Cheri and Joe for asking me to be a part of it. Also many thanks to my team members for looking out for me and showing me grace when most needed.
To God be the Glory,
Unity in Christ
As I look back on the lessons and wins for this medical team that God put together from very diverse backgrounds there is one overwhelming quality that stands out...unity. We were special not because of any one person on the team, or even the various gifts that each had. We were special because of the unity we had in fellowship...a unity in Christ.
The picture above was taken on our third day of outreaches. We were up the mountain from Rio Viejo, approximately 20 kilometers, inside of a small classroom where we set up clinic. The small village we were in was named Paradise. And, it truly was that as we had to hike up to this region through the jungle and crossing by foot over three rivers. The view from the top was beautiful. What an adventure that tested this team! Our guide to this area and missionary host was Dr. Martin Williams
, but his attire reminded us all of a medical Indiana Jones.
As we headed back down the mountain in the afternoon rain there seemed to be a serenity to the team that words really cannot describe. I heard no complaints or fussing from the team members...except I did hear a small quiet voice inside of me say, "With unity there is peace to overcome any mountain and joy to endure the trial."
Unified in Christ,
Joseph and Cheri LeBlanc
Time, Love and Tenderness
There were several lessons learned in our short time spent in Rio Viejo by this small medical team out of Healing Place Church
. One of the more powerful lessons learned by us was watching Bobby Lormand, pictured above, as he ministered to and reached out to a small boy named Eduard. Bobby took the time to show love and tenderness to this young boy. At first Eduard was crying and fearful of being in the medical clinic. Bobby called him Amigo and took the time to get to know him even through the language barrier before attempting to exam him in a medical capacity.
What was the lesson learned? Well, it wasn't about the numbers this week. We ministered to over 400 people for the glory of Christ. And, we could have seen more had that been our focus. But, the time spent to show some love and tenderness yielded a greater harvest for the kingdom. And this team decided it wasn't about the numbers so much as it was about the one. Just ask young Eduard as his tears were drying he looked at Bobby and said through an interpreter, "I wasn't crying because of you...because you are my Amigo - Friend".
Were miracles performed by God this week...yes, and I hope to share one or two of those in a future blog. But, perhaps the greatest miracle of all is Love. Christ showed His love to us on the cross so that we could be free to show His love to others.
Because He does indeed Live and Love,
Joseph and Cheri LeBlanc
Honduras Medical Team
On June 28, 2008 we left for a week long adventure into the mountains of Northern Honduras to a region called Atlantida in a small village community named Rio Viejo where Healing Hands International Ministries
is based out of serving the nearly 15,000 people there. Dr. Martin Williams and his wife Wendy lead Healing Hands International Ministries and were our hosts for the week.
The vision that God has given Dr. Martin and Wendy to reach the people of the region is one of not only focusing on the people their but also one of focus on the teams that come to be a blessing. This was a special time and place where God's Holy Spirit ministered to all who were there and it truly was a time of being more blessed to give than to receive by this team. I will be posting more details of the trip in the coming days and weeks but I first wanted to post a picture of the team and a list of their names. From left to right we are: Sheila Sauve, Cathy Talley,RN, Dr. Damon Hughes, Charis Scichowski, Cherie Hodges, RN, Bobby Lormand, RN, Joseph LeBlanc, Sydney Johnson, RN, Dr. Cheri LeBlanc, Brenda Clark.
For the Glory of Christ we lifted up His cross to the hurting of Honduras and were touched ourselves in ways we may never be able to express but we hope to do so with pictures and words in this blog.
Because He Lives,
Joseph and Cheri LeBlanc