Luke 9:2 Ministries September 2019 Medical Mission to Honduras
Sept. 4 – 8, 2019 (submitted by Bart Perkey)
Ten “missionaries” traveled to Honduras leaving early Wednesday morning on September 4 in route to Tegucigalpa and ultimately to Cofradia, Honduras. Seven team members flew from Nashville meeting three more in Atlanta who had flown from Birmingham. Their purpose was threefold: resupply Dr. Jorge Ponce with medicines, treat up to 600 patients at three clinics held in association with local churches, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ by word and deed.
The Team Experience is the best word to describe this team of ten missionaries. All had been on similar medical mission teams in Central America and Africa. Eight of the ten had served previously in Honduras with Dr. Ponce. Their experience showed as each clinic proceeded smoothly and efficiently.
In addition to the team members from America, local Honduran interpreters including Sister Letsbi (our hostess at the Cofradia mission compound) two of her adult children (Nellet and César), George Ponce (younger son of Dr. Ponce) and others provided invaluable assistance. Brian, the older son of Dr. Ponce and an advanced medical student, served as a provider on our last clinic day. None of the clinics would be possible without the pastors and church members at each location who were present in great numbers in matching shirts ably preparing the rooms, setting up equipment, and directing the flow of patients during the day.
Team members from the United States: Name, Profession, State, L92, (Experience)
Katelyn Burrow, Engineering student, AL (First Time)
Rick Copeland, Retired law professor VA & FL (Previous)
Charlotte Cramer, Retired NP professor AL (Previous)
Eddie Davis, Pharmacist AL (Previous)
Susan Davis, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner AL (Previous)
Elaine Hagler, Pharmacist AL (Previous)
Pat Robinson, Retired Pediatrician TN (First Time)
April Seay, Nurse Practitioner AL (First Time)
Steve Stroud, Retired Care Giver TN (Previous)
Bart Perkey, Retired PH administrator TN (Previous)
Day One: La Paz La Paz is the capital city of the La Paz Department of Honduras. The town, founded in 1792, has a population of 46,264. It is located on the Comayagua River in an area that has mountainous terrain with thick jungle cover. It is an hour and a half drive from Cofradia. The route takes you back to the outskirts of Tegucigalpa and then northwest along a wonderful, new, four lane divided expressway through high mountains and then down to a fertile valley.
A small church, pastored by Letsbi’s sister, hosted the clinic at La Paz. She greeted us warmly and we proceeded to set up the clinic in a partially finished block building with a good roof but no windows or running water. There were lights overhead. A member of the church interviewed each family completing the questions on the triage bag. Patients proceeded to the screening team (Rick, Steve, and Katelyn), which measured and recorded weights, temps, and blood pressure as appropriate for all the patients. The medical team (Dr. Ponce, Dr. Robinson, Charlotte, April, and Susan) then examined each patient, dispensed de-worming medicine as appropriate, and wrote the prescribed medications on the triage bags. Patients then went to the pharmacy where Eddie, Elaine, and Bart filled their prescriptions.
A total of 138 patients were treated in La Paz. The clinic finished about 3 pm. The team then traveled to a church located on the highest point in the city for a nice view and bathroom break. In front of the church was a small plaza with a covered sitting area and canteen for snacks. We enjoyed relaxing after a good first clinic day before returning to Cofradia.
Day Two: La Sabanetilla (Talanga) The second clinic was held in a church in a small neighborhood just south of Talanga, about an hour drive from Cofradia. The pastor and his assistants were well prepared and excited about us coming. Dr. Ponce shared the gospel prior to the opening of the clinic and 8 people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. 193 patients were treated.
Day Three: Guaimaca The same church in Guaimaca with whom we have worked now for several years sponsored the last clinic. As always, everything was set up well in a partially finished block structure and more than a hundred patients were lined up when we arrived. This was a much longer day finishing at about 5 pm. We saw a total of 227 patients. The pastor also reported the gospel was shared personally with 32 patients, 31 received prayer, there was one profession of faith, and 9 miracles reported.
Each evening there was debriefing of the clinic day. Each morning a team member read scripture and shared a devotional. Team members drew close to one another. The trip proved productive, inspirational, and tiring with some team members driving long distances during Sunday night to return to their places of responsibility on Monday morning. All were grateful to have the experience of serving with Luke 9:2 Ministries.