Medical team makes deep impact in Honduras
    July 27 2010 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    EL TABLON, HONDURAS — She wiped her face with her cream colored blouse but the tears kept coming. She sat sideways in the white plastic chair to face Larry Doyle, who held her hand and prayed with her while she waited with her grandchildren for their medicine.

    She is a Christian, but her son, who is dying of cancer, is not. Doyle blinked away a few tears himself after their prayer.

    One by one families came through the doors of Iglesia Bautista Restauracion and waited in line to see the doctor. Some walked miles to get to the free clinic. Some children enjoyed saying “ah” for the doctor and having him listen to their heartbeat.

    Others, like Jared, seemed frightened at all the excitement. Jared buried his head in his mom’s shoulder and she held his shirt up while the doctor pressed the stethoscope against his back.

    Respiratory problems are one of the most common causes for clinic visits. Many came to be treated for illnesses caused by parasites, a result of dirty drinking water.

    In Honduras, a poor country of 6.6 million, 80 percent of illnesses could be prevented if clean drinking water was accessible.

    Nearly 1.1 billion in the world do not have clean drinking water and according to the World Health Organization one quarter of the world’s population lives in developing countries with water shortages.

    BSC photo by Melissa Lilley

    From left: Jordan Teague (First Baptist Church, Salisbury), Maegan Marlowe (Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, Hiddenite), Bria Marlowe (Sulphur Springs), and Debbie Teague (FBC, Salisbury) sort medicine at a clinic in Honduras.

    Doyle and a Deep Impact team of North Carolina Baptists did their best to comfort. One rubbed a little girl’s back as she sat in her mother’s lap and tried to receive a breathing treatment through a nebulizer.

    She gently waved the tube back and forth under the girl’s nose so she could inhale the medicine, trying to help soothe her and end her screaming and squirming. Doyle moved around the room, talking with those in line and helping explain how to take their medication. 

    The free medical clinic is one of six mission projects carried out by Deep Impact participants in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. High school and college students and youth leaders from across North Carolina spent a week in July ministering in rural areas in the country’s capital city. Deep Impact began 13 years ago at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell in Brunswick County, and in Tegucigalpa. This is the third year Deep Impact expanded to include camp weeks at other locations. Deep Impact events were also held in Red Springs, Greensboro, Shelby, Fruitland and Eastern Canada. 

    Doyle, a former missionary in Ecuador and now director of missions for Piedmont Baptist Association, has been to Honduras with Deep Impact several times, helping build the very church where the clinic was held. He and his wife also were on-site coordinators for N.C. Baptist Men the year following Hurricane Mitch.

    Doyle said Benjamin, the pastor of Restauracion, told him how the clinic provided opportunity to get to know the people in his community. The church’s evangelism coordinator, Rosa, certainly took advantage of the clinic.

    Thursday was the largest turnout with 157 patients, and Rosa shared the gospel several times with people waiting to see the doctor. “This clinic lets people know we care about them,” she said.

    Sometimes the Deep Impact team provided medical solutions that seemed too easy.

    Doctors “prescribed” simple over-the-counter cough medicine and vitamins. Or pain reliever for a woman whose shoulder hurt sharply when she bent over to scrub her clothes.

    But, for the people living in the village of El Tablon, nothing is as easy as it should be. They cannot run to the pharmacy for basic items to treat a cough or an ear infection because they have no money. It’s hard to avoid water-borne disease when all the laundry, bathing and drinking water is contaminated. 

    Rob Williams remembers the first time he saw parasites on someone’s skin. Williams, a physician’s assistant from Faith Baptist Church, came to Honduras in 2001 and worked in the medical clinic.

    Williams has learned to treat things he doesn’t see in his Faith office, such as parasites and scorpion stings. “I came back this year for the same reason I came on the first trip,” he said. “I am reminded that God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve.”

    Williams worked alongside Antonio, a Honduran doctor who has worked in years past with North Carolina Baptists.

    Antonio lives in Tegucigalpa and decided to become a doctor when he saw so many people hurting in his city.

    “They broke my heart,” he said. “I had to do something.”

    One couple came back later in the week to get medicine for their son who has Hepatitis. Doyle prayed with the couple and when he finished, the dad was in tears. “I knew he was hurting,” Doyle said. Doyle shared the gospel and the boy’s parents prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. For the people Deep Impact ministered to through the medical clinic, little “somethings” added up to something big.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Lilley is a researcher and writer for the Baptist State Convention. More stories and photos coming soon.) 
    7/27/2010 10:33:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 1 comments

Betsy Skinner
I was a part of the Deep Impact team that served in Honduras in July, 2010, but worked in a different area. Thank you so much for this look into the very important work the medical teams did. Together we can make a difference. Betsy
8/1/2010 3:46:09 PM

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