Thursday, February 25, 2016

We are done!!!

Last clinic day! The morning started with Dr. Boyles and Brenda in surgery with a 4 year old. That surgery went quickly, and we saw 20 patients before lunch. Dr. Franklin's "high" came when we restored the smile of an older gentleman. After lunch we packed our supplies, deciding what to bring back home and what to leave in Guatemala for our next trip, in about 8 weeks.

Brent was not as busy as he would like to be. We were told by someone who comes frequently  with Refuge that it was unusual for the podiatrist not be be swamped with patients, since they don't often get a podiatrist to come.

Weather today has been cool - it felt to be in the low 70s by afternoon. We walked into town after we had finished packing.  Most people are very friendly, smiling when you smile at them and saying 'hello' in English. Several of the kids asked for 'candy' - using the English word. We told them we were dentists and candy was bad for your teeth!

It's been a great trip - we've made a lot of new friends and there have been some very interesting stories to hear. Our team has worked really well together and we are still friends. :-) It's been a blessing to see relationships continue to grow.

But...we are all ready to be back home! Iced drinks, our own beds and pillows, and tap water we can drink. Oh, and being able to flush toilet paper. It's the small things.

Thanks for praying for us and for following our journey!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day Four

I know you've heard this before - but it was another busy day at the clinic! We thought we would be taking a little girl to surgery, but the family never showed. David started the day with fillings and extractions on a special-needs child. It seemed to be pediatric day today - we saw a LOT of kids. One set of twins, Benjamin and Noah. They were 4. And they both had a set of lungs!!!

The highlight of my day was getting to assist Brent in surgery. He did a plantar fasciotomy and removal of a heel spur. Getting to assist my own son was a tremendous blessing and probably not something I'll be able to do again - especially in the states!

We saw a total of 64 patients in dental today - not quite as many as yesterday, but many of the patients we had today took a long time - either screaming kids or patients who had difficult extractions, or had a lot of work to do. We finished at almost 6 today - an hour longer than any of the other days so far. We worked hard today!

Tomorrow will be a short clinic day. We'll stop about 2 and pack up our supplies and equipment, then head for Antigua Friday morning.

We are spending time tonight playing games before showers and bed. We've been sleeping well, but we all miss home and family. Keep the prayers going up!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day Three

Another crazy day in Guatemala! At this point, your prayers for energy and stamina are greatly appreciated! Today was another busy day. We started the morning having a 4 year old sedated in our clinic room again. He also needed 6 teeth extracted. After some slightly anxiety-provoking moments, extractions were completed and he was taken to post-op to recuperate. Tomorrow we have yet another child to take to the OR - this time a three-year-old

Total patients we saw today was 68 - 22 of these were cleanings, the rest fillings and/or extractions. Brent had 3 surgeries today, and has another scheduled for tomorrow. So far, there have been 27 surgeries, the medical clinic has seen over 300 patients, and we have seen 188. Now you know why we need your prayers!!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Day Two

What a day!!! This morning we saw dental patients non-stop until lunch. The afternoon was a bit slower. We thought we had the day wrapped up and were going to enjoy a little downtime before dinner. Until we had a mom stop by and ask if we were going to be able to help her 6-year old daughter, a tiny little girl with pink plastic glasses. The little girl's name was Ashley, and she is a sweetheart. Because of a diet consisting of a great deal of sugarcane, she needed 6 teeth extracted and some fillings done. With the extent of work she needed, Dr. Franklin and Dr. Boyles decided to see if we could take her to the O.R. and have her sedated. O.R. agreed, and we got everything ready on our part. Dr. Franklin was working on her, and I (Jody) was assisting.

There were some issues in O.R. so it was decided to sedate her in our clinic room and work there. Now. Working in the clinic here is nothing like working in a U.S. Dental office, or even at HOPE Clinic. We have to bring in everything we need, and we often have to improvise. Ashley was not completely out, and even though she was given a local anesthetic, she was awake enough to be trying to put her hands up, and moving her head around. We had some difficulties keeping her suctioned, but Dr. Franklin was able to get all 6 teeth extracted and the 2 fillings done.

Tomorrow, Dr. Boyles and Brenda will be treating a 4 year old in the same situation. It should be an exciting start to the morning!

Brent had a much busier day today than yesterday, and will be taking a patient to surgery tomorrow.

Weather continues to be beautiful, and we continue to be well-fed. Prayers are still appreciated for good rest, energy and stamina...and that we continue to feel the presence of God here.

We miss our family - and love you all!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day One

Everyone arrived at the compound safely - Dallas group (including Brent and Dr. Elbert Franklin, the other dentist on this trip) made it Friday evening, and we arrived to the compound about 3 PM. It was a LONG bus ride!!! It was good to see some of the same people we've met on previous trips - and lots of new people!

Today was our first clinic day. We worked with a Guatemalan dentist who is working as our translator. She was very helpful! Between operative and hygiene, we saw about 65 patients; most of them were indigenous Mayan. We saw some kids; some of them were very calm and relaxed. Some of them were the complete opposite!

Brent saw 6 patients, and already has one scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. We're hoping word gets out and he is much busier tomorrow. It's not common to have a podiatrist here, so most of the local population does not know that is an option.

Nights are cool. When we got here Saturday, they said it was the coolest it had been in a long time - in the 40's. Daytime is warm, about mid-70s and the sky has been clear and gorgeous.

Please remember to pray for us - today was not difficult, but we know that as word gets out, we will have more and more patients. Pray for strength and energy. Pray, too that we will be a reflection of God not just to the people we are treating, but also to the others serving here.

And don't worry about us not getting enough to eat - the food is absolutely delicious!!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Treating Guatemalans from Teeth to Toe

It's that time again! Dr. David Boyles, Karen Davenport, Brenda Schibi, and I (Jody Banks) will be heading to the big airport in Houston tomorrow at 6 AM, flying out to Guatemala City. From there, we will take a two hour bus ride up into the mountains to the village of San Raymundo. This is our 4th year at this particular compound where we will provide the dental component to a medical mission.

Last year, David's daughter, Dr. Regan Prewitt, came and provided dental care. This year, I am blessed to have my son, Brent, join us. Brent is a podiatrist in Ft. Worth and will be caring for Guatemalans who walk many, many miles; often barefoot.

Please be praying for safe travel. Almost all the medical team flew in from Dallas; their flight arrived safely and right now they are making their way to the compound. We should arrive in Guatemala a little after noon, and at the compound in San Raymundo a couple of hours later. We will spend the afternoon getting our equipment uncrated and set up to begin treatment.

Pray for our energy levels to remain high tomorrow, and for the patients who will be coming in Sunday morning. While most of you are worshipping in a church, we'll be worshipping in a hospital. :-)  We have seen God work in many ways in the past while here, and we are excited to be a part of His work.

I'll try to update daily...but no promises! :-)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Uganda - Friday

Uganda Friday

Well we finished up clinics with a very busy day! Some of the highlights were a very difficult lower third molar extraction (hardest one of the week), a woman who brought out her "mammary gland" to feed while extracting her tooth and some fillings that saved a few more teeth. I also learned that each culture has its own translation, for instance, if you call someone "dude", it means "butt". oops :-)

This morning, we were able to attend the "devotional" time with the workers (about 60). Their passion is an inspiration, even at 7:30 am. Not all of the workers are believers, so it is a good outreach. Our ladies have been a great asset to the  ministry in their abilities to minister to the children and teach the ladies. I have been blessed to be a part of this group!

We concluded the day with a service with the kids - awesome!!! Close to the "high" for the week!! Their sincere praise to God was so inspiring. Then the McPhee family came and sang their famous hippo song for us.

 As we finish our "ministry" part of the trip, we are all tired but very content. We look forward to "winding down" in the next few days. There is a safari lodge that we will be taking some tours with, so that is going to be a treat! I hope to be uploading some pictures soon.

RG has a great network of support, volunteers and workers, they all become like family. So there are some tears as we say goodbye.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support