Praise the Lord for Health Teams International and blessing this mission with resources and volunteers with such compassion for serving the lost and needy of Honduras.
Check out the pictures below and be sure to read the daily log and commentary from Mimi, Arianna’s sister and a member of the Honduras missions team, describing the amazing examples of how the power of the Lord is actively producing modern-day miracles around us every day.
Mimi’s Daily Log
Hello from Tegucigalpa, Honduras!
Today was sunny and HOT. With an average temperature of 86°F, we were all sweating and dying in the heat while the Hondurans weren't even breaking a sweat—insane. My roommate, Emily, and my room is officially the "devotional room" so everyone comes over at 5:15am to start the day in prayer and sharing of testimonies. Breakfast is at the hotel too—greasy and watery eggs, toast, chorizo, beans, and queso fresco/blanco (not sure). I just stuck with the eggs and toast/tortillas.
The drive was about 1.5 hours long—we didn't go in the mountains where the super poor people live. We get to ride in these army trucks that you see in the movies, where they sit on metal benches in the back. We also had some soldiers making sure we stay safe with big M-16s (given to them by the USA) in their hands. The place our medical equipment and medications will be for the next couple days is in a village named Chandala, where the people can afford transportation via donkeys, livestock, agriculture, running water, and electricity. Many of them have fillings for their cavities, so it's not that bad. Many Hondurans are already Christian, which is awesome, unless we go to the more rural and poor areas of the country. There were a ton of widows that showed up, based on their difference in last names compared to their children. These women looked so much sadder and aged compared to married women with a united family. My heart goes out to them and I hope they find comfort through Christ after what we share with them. There were a few teenage mothers as well–one was 13 and 7 months pregnant!
So many people got their teeth pulled today with weak anesthetics. Talk about willing to go through the pain! My roommate was the only dental hygienist on the team, therefore had to only see each patient for about five minutes—nowhere close to the average time she would spend on American patients.
Today I just wrote names and ages and directed them to the next available doctor. As the day went to a close I learned how to measure blood pressure and use the equipment, so it is possible I will become a nurse for the team during our time here.
Day two was twice as crazy as yesterday! Twice the number of people came to see us, and these were the more local Hondurans in the area. Yesterday the people had to walk about 3-4 hours to get to our site. Today I helped my partner Samantha measure blood pressure and pulses since there were so many people. I was blessed to run into a Honduran nurse who had an extra blood pressure cuff and stethoscope for me to use during my time here in Chandala. We saw about 370 patients together!! It was so hot out we were both sweating like crazy…especially since we had to see every single medical patient before they saw a doctor. Talk about hectic.
This time the soldiers rode in the trucks with us, sitting near the edge of the truck to provide more protection. The guns that they possess are very heavy. I jumped down from the truck to the floor and my leg hit one of the soldier's guns—it hurt and the soldier laughed.
The most successful thing Samantha and I did was initiate the "prayer room" for anyone who wanted prayer over any health or life issues they have. It started with these two boys that were carried to us by their parents due to something that removed their ability to walk—they used to know how to walk, so a big possibility would be polio. One was completely incapable and the other was okay, but walked really funny. Samantha had me find her husband, Rocky, to pray for them after seeing one of the doctors.
Rocky believes in God’s power being revealed through prayer, which is something I have never seen so clearly and immediately before. Bringing these two Honduran boys was the start of something amazing that happened during our time here in this country. He brought the pastor that is hosting us, Luis, to pray in Spanish to these boys in a separate room—once they finished the completely lame one was getting some feeling in his legs and the other was able to walk normally! The next awesome one that we sent over was a 97-year old man who was deaf (assuming it was due to old age), and after they prayed he could hear normally again. And his son-in-law that was with him to be his ears witnessed this awesome healing and gave his life to Christ as well. Talk about miracles! Praise the Lord for His amazing and unequaled power!
We have one more day in Chandala, and then we'll be moving to a new area for another 3 days.
Today was the last day at that same site and was somewhat slower. Since most of the people came during the first two days the medical and optical rooms were pretty much done around 11:15am! So I got to hang around with Samantha, her husband Rocky, and the physicians/nurses and all that good stuff. We already ran out of toys for the kids, so I brought the bag of pretzel M&Ms to give to them. They loved it.
My roommate Emily has been packed everyday. She got to pull 4 teeth today, which she was really excited about since hygienists don’t have the opportunity to do that back at home.
It poured during dinnertime today–good thing we left and arrived at the house right on time. I heard that sitting in the army trucks while it's pouring is not fun at all. Hopefully it won't rain at all tomorrow during the drives. Apparently the next site is only about 10 min away from the first site so it won't be too bad.
One of the last ladies waiting for a doctor had a hurting knee and ankle because she fell last night. But Rocky came in right on time and prayed for the pain to go away—it worked! I finally got to witness first-hand the awesome power of God that's been revealed this whole trip. It was crazy, in a good way.
New location! La Labranza is much cooler and less sweaty compared to the previous place.
There were about 5 blind people who showed up to either the medical or optical rooms—all were sent to the prayer room and were able to see after praying for them! They weren't having insanely perfect vision but they didn't need glasses to find their way around. Awesome! And one of our translators had a bad shoulder and was healed after being prayed over.
Samantha and I did the usual job today, and it wasn't as hectic as the first two days we had at the other school. But at the end of every day her husband would talk to us about all the amazing miracles happening to people who come into the prayer room. In addition, many Hondurans were being saved—glory to God!
It poured on our way back to the house, and we were all getting kind of soaked since the roof of the truck has some kind of cloth material and the water was dripping through it. I guess I can’t leave this country without experiencing how it feels like sitting in the army truck when it’s pouring out.
God's still working with us!! Can’t wait for more miracles to come! Praise the Lord!
Today was a lot cooler than the past few days. The people in the town got some smoke going so it repelled the mosquitoes around the whole school–I'd rather smell smoke all day than be paranoid about those biting insects. Samantha and I saw 210 people in total today!
Before the medical room got set up, a lady came and had insanely high blood pressure. She's hypertensive, ran out of medicine a few days ago, and walked all the way to our location—obviously it didn't treat her too well. Dr. Nelson Escobar was helping her as the only Spanish-speaking doc (and our translators were missing temporarily) when she passed out. While he and Rocky carried her to a desk to lay down he said that she will probably die. But as we helped her stay cool and bathed her in prayer, her blood pressure dropped and she regained consciousness…and survived! Praise the Lord and His saving grace!
Tomorrow is the last day in La Labranza and with our translators, which is sad. We'll be getting mostly new ones next week. We've all gotten really close to them so it's sad to see them be gone after tomorrow.
I can't believe it's been a week already! It's been such an amazing experience so far.
Today was pretty busy since it's a Saturday and most people are off work and school. There were no extreme cases today, so it was pretty calm and steady the whole day. Towards the end of the day I noticed that a mother took her little daughter to get her eyes checked out—one twitched constantly and she was always in some sort of shocked state. Due to limited resources and medications, all she had been given was child multivitamins—which won't help heal her. I really felt that the Lord was tugging on my heart with this little girl (probably about 3 or 4 years), and so as soon as they were done seeing one of our doctors I grabbed one of our translators and asked if I could send her to Rocky to pray for her. The mother said okay and we took them over to the prayer room, and Rocky had me join him in praying for this little girl to get rid of the twitch in her eye and be calm in emotion. Sure enough, the twitch was gone and she seemed a little more relaxed! It was such a blessing to be a part of such a healing.
For dinner we invited the translators over to eat and spend the last night with us—it's crazy how close our team got to these guys in only six days. We all spoke to each other and admitted we will all miss each other. But we'll be making sure to keep in touch! Many of them are my age, so I was able to get along with them throughout the week. Not only were they a huge help in communicating with the Honduran people, but we also had the opportunity to teach them some English words as well—a win-win situation. We're so blessed to have such amazing people be a part of our mission trip and lives.
We’ll have a day off tomorrow! It’ll start with church and then shopping and checking out different areas of Tegucigalpa. Then the big stuff starts again on Monday!
Our road trip was delayed about an extra 1.5 hours due to a truck that was turned over on the side of the one-lane highway, and we arrived at our new location (La Paz) late. The people are a lot better off in this new location and attended the church where we set up camp, which is encouraging. La Paz, however, has an outbreak of meningitis, malaria, and all that scary stuff. Most of us were super paranoid about the mosquitoes and flies hanging around, so we basically bathed ourselves in bug repellant and hand sanitizer while wearing gloves.
The medical and dental locations were placed in the smallest rooms in the whole place, but we receive the most patients and it's busier than optical. So everything was super cramped and stuffy and hot and it wasn't too fun. Samantha and I were sweating so much my hat and our behinds were wet—gross.
Samantha and I talked to a mom while she was waiting for a doctor to be available, and we found out her Bible is falling apart so she's not able to read all of it—she wanted to know Jesus more since she accepted Him into her heart recently. So we got her a New Testament so that she could learn more about Him and gave her daughter a little booklet about Jesus and what He did. She then asked to accept Him when they were seeing the doctor. It’s amazing how God works through us when we least expect it.
Many people here in La Paz needed prayer—from healings to salvations or rededications. Most of them go to a local church, but many of them fell away from their faith. We have been told many times how much of a blessing we were to them simply because it would draw them back to Jesus and a closer relationship to Him. And we didn’t have to say anything, but gave God all the glory!
One of the doctors, who is the injection provider for the patients, let me inject meds into the arm of two patients! It was a little scary at first but it was awesome to do.
There wasn't too much action today…it was a bit slow even though we started late. I'm not sure how busy we'll be as the week goes on, since we'll be in the same location every day. But we'll see! We just pray that more miracles will happen and more people will be saved!
We only have three more clinic days left!
A lot of kids were walking around with chicken pox today!
It's been forever since I saw that virus hanging around. More sick people visited our clinic today, which was a little scary for us since we don’t know what it is and how contagious it may be. But by the grace of God we have been protected so far, despite the lack of certain vaccines!
We only saw about 200 people today, which is a little less than the average number we see. But we only had one blood pressure cuff between Samantha and me, so it was nice to not be so stressed and rushed with having to take the vitals of patients as fast as possible. There were quite a number of healings today, which was awesome.
A lady in her mid-sixties came in today—while Samantha was taking her vitals she told our translator that “she thought she went blind because of all of the angels in the room.” How awesome! It was amazing to hear such words from a patient.
Today, Sam and I had to separate into two rooms since the medical room was way to small and crowded and two of them decided to move to an empty room. I got super lucky and one of the doctor’s translators gave me an extra blood pressure cuff and an electronic one—it made my day glorious! I was cranking out patients!
We had about 10 salvations and 7 healings today! So it was a pretty successful day. It started to pour and hail like crazy right after lunchtime. A lot of the people waiting in the dental line got soaked! But there weren't very many people in general today since we've been there a few days.
We'll be at the same location tomorrow! Hopefully it won't be slower than today, but it'll depend how many people have already seen us. We'll see!
The Honduran doctor wasn't here today, so we were all in one room this time around. The translator brought her electronic blood pressure cuff today so it made things 10 times easier. I sent some people to the prayer room, but didn't have time to stick around and see them be healed or blessed. But the one I did stay for (before lunch break)—a blind man and his mentally and physically disabled grown son—the blind man did not regain sight, no matter how many times we prayed and tried. The encouraging thing is that the man said he may not understand why God wants him blind, but if His will is to keep him blind then he's perfectly fine. It’s not something we want for him, but it’s such a great reminder that we all need to give everything to Him and trust that He knows what’s best for us.
I met this 15-year old girl yesterday who came to see a doctor, and she seemed to really like me. But I think she only wanted to befriend me was so that she could skip to the front of lines and stuff…which is quite lame. She tried to get her prescriptions at the top of the waiting list yesterday because I was in there to help Wes and she tried again today to see the doctor again. I didn't let her do that though because I told her that it's not fair for those who have been waiting and she needs to do the same. She was definitely not happy, but there's nothing I can do. Oh wells.
Last day in the field! So sad to see it end, but it was amazing while it lasted.
Medical had two separate rooms again, which helped us finish faster and end by around 1:45pm. Pharmacy got really backed up so I went straight there to help and got it finished 5 times faster than normal, even though I didn’t know where half of the medications were.
Congestion and plugged ears have been added to my sickness today, and my stomach is getting a little wacky again. One of the doctors gave me something to take that would relieve the symptoms, and once it did I was cranking out blood pressures and taking names!! That made my last day a lot better. One of the older ladies told some of us (I was there too) that I have more energy than the whole team combined and that it was very useful in keeping the team energized throughout the week, even when I'm sick. Nice!
We had our last dinner at the host family's house tonight, so everyone got to exchange words and thank you's and all that. One that made a lot of people cry (me included) was when Pastor Luis was talking about his vision of Samantha and Rocky having a baby boy–the two have been trying for a few years to have a child, but they never could. They believed that God wanted them to do something before starting a family, and maybe going to Honduras was the thing. It was emotional.
Tomorrow will be a day of resting and having fun with the team and host family. We will be going to a lake to hang out and eat lunch, then to a waterfall spot, and then swimming at a nearby pool since the lake water isn't safe for us in terms of contaminants. It'll be a fun day, but sad since it'll be our last day all together.
The day after I arrived back in San Diego, CA the first thing I did that morning was visit a doctor regarding the sickness I received during my second week in Honduras. Every detail about my visit caught my attention. I was able to drive to the hospital, not walk. The health facility is a fancy 5-story building in a suburban city, not an old and small school or church in the middle of a small village. My doctor is able to prescribe me any medicine that’s needed to cure my illness, not giving me whatever is in stock and available at the moment. And I am able to drive to the nearest pharmacy and buy the medicine, instead of just taking whatever someone gives me due to lack of finances.
During my second day back home, I went to the dentist to get my required cleaning. While staring at the ceiling in the dentist's office, all I could think about was how spoiled I am getting dental care in America. The hygienist spends about half an hour on just me instead of 5 minutes, I get to sit on a fancy reclining chair instead of some basic plastic chair, as soon as my hygienist sees a spot of blood in my mouth she immediately rinses it off for me, and my teeth are polished with a working polishing tool. After seeing the complete opposite of how the Hondurans received dental hygiene for two weeks (the fact they even got hygiene is amazing enough for them), I will never visit the dentist the same again. I even have the opportunity to get my teeth cleaned every 6 months, instead of only during a special visit from HTI, without knowing if I will ever get them cleaned again.
The most impactful thing I learned during my time in Honduras was the connection between the power of the Lord, faith in Him, and the multiple healings through prayer. Rocky taught me that, because nothing is impossible for God, people can be healed or completely changed when prayed over in Jesus' name. But the Lord’s power and His healings cannot be revealed just through well-intended words. Faith, Rocky told me, is what separates wishful words from a legitimate prayer of healing. With all of the resources and luxuries available to we Americans, we can sometimes forget that God is the source of all power and blessings, which in turn build our pride and limits our faith. The Hondurans we met, however, are completely opposite. Their lack of health care and basic resources allows them to sincerely seek only God and His power for relief from their pains and sorrows. And, guess what happened? Over 100 healings happened in just the few days we were there! The blind were seeing, the lame were walking, the deaf were hearing, and so many more it was hard to keep track. This is nothing I have ever seen before, and watching so many Hondurans being healed through prayer was something that everyone needs to see and believe. God is alive and working in our lives, proving He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and that nothing is too big for Him. I am so blessed to be living here with all of our luxuries and no worries about when my next meal will be coming, but I must always remain completely dependent on the Lord and grateful for all that He has done and will do. Thank the Lord for changing my life during my time in Honduras!