Sunday, February 28, 2016

Colombia #8- The People of Brisas del Mar

As life is beginning to slowly find its groove again back here in the USA, I want to continue writing these stories while they are fresh. I haven't blogged so much in years, but I'm enjoying sharing the stories with anyone who wants to read it, as well as smiling as I remember the people and the events.
 Today I go back to stories of the people of Brisas del Mar. Again, every person there touched my heart. Every person has a different story, but unique to helping me have a new perspective.

 Jon.  Jon was our construction leader. He works for the church in Colombia and travels around to different places. He's originally from Medellín, and he's seen and experienced so much. Jon was incredibly patient in explaining the tasks to our team. He didn't speak English, so he'd give us an overview in the start of the morning, and our translator Paola, would let us know our jobs for the day. Jon worked alongside us, and he was patient in explaining things when he would see we might need redirection. He was great with hand motions and showing when he couldn't tell us in our own language, and I got to know him a little better through trying to bounce around when he'd need some translating and Paola was in a different location. He's seen and experienced so much. He learned his traits of construction by watching others and reading and as a natural talent from God. (I asked him how he knew so much, how he learned to do construction).  He was innovative with tools and resources. He made a level out of a tube filled with water (which I got to work closely with him on, and let me just say, it's way more time involved than a level you would buy here, though it does get the same result). He knows how to do things that seem backwards to us as Americans, but for them, everything is a resource, so we trusted his expertise even if we didn't fully understand. Jon works hard, with an easy-going temperament, which I admired greatly because of all the guidance on which our team relied on him. Jon had Zika virus, and we would not have ever known that with how hard he worked through it.
Jon, our construction site leader

Pastor Luis, Pastora Nubia- This is a very special couple. They actually came over from Venezuela, but they love the people as their own. They lead the community with their love and service, and it's evident the community embraces them as much as I did. Pastor Luis never stopped. He was always moving, always helping, and always smiling. He was fun and interactive with all those around him. He was so kind, so understanding, and I loved having conversations with him. He never missed a beat, including hearing a door lock at midnight, and coming out in his PJs to unlock it so the team member would not be stuck outside. His love for the Lord shines through his actions and words. Pastora Nubia served the entire time we were there. She was busy preparing food for us, busy serving the ladies of the village, and busy caring for every person around her. She was more reserved in some ways, but when she spoke, everyone listened. Her tears of gratitude moved me to tears on more than one occasion. I felt like I've known her my whole life.
Pastor Luis and me

Christina, Merce, Glasoline, Leidi (pronounced Lady)- These young ladies (along with Mileth, who I already wrote about) were amazing. They would serve us all of our meals. We went there to serve them, but they took pleasure in serving us. They brought us our food, cleared our tables, made sure we always had adequate needs met at our meals. These girls helped with the little children at all of our events, helping to rally them and quiet them and break them into organized groups. The girls would go out into the village and spread the word anytime our schedules changed so that the village would know to come to our events. And they laughed with us. I love these girls. Their smiles light up everyone around them, and their kindness in all of our conversations made me feel a part of their community. I miss these girls!
Merce and Me
Merce and Christina
The gang. I don't know all the names but in yellow were the core group leaders. in yellow, L-R Edwin, Christian, Leide, Merce, Christina, Mileth

Christina, Merce, Glasoline, Mileth

All the Children- Of course I could not learn every name, but their joy and excitement and eagerness to be around us changed my perspective. We hosted a carnival for them and we had basic games like ring toss, or getting the ping pong ball in the cup or knocking down the tower of cups. They didn't win prizes doing these games (like here in the US) but they didn't care. They laughed and played and returned to the games time after time. Each of us had a game we "directed", but each of us also had some little child come alongside us and essentially help us run the game. I had one little girl picking up my rings and holding them and handing them to the next person. The simplest moments matter. We did facepainting and temporary tattoos there as well, which they loved. They mingled around us all week. They were a beautiful group of kids. Eager to learn, always wanting to take pictures with us, and hungry for fun and good times. The simplest of things to us was phenomenal to them. They taught me  less is more.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Colombia #7 My Team (Part 2)

To continue the journey of all that the different team members brought to the table and what they taught me, I want to share about the other half I couldn't include in yesterday's blog (because for pity sake, I know you guys can only read for so long!)
 As I said yesterday, everyone brought something unique to offer. I loved getting to know each person so well and the more I got to know them, the more I learned how God works in really awesome ways.

Paula Lou. I had the privilege to share a room in Cartegena with Paula Lou. Going into the trip, I did not know her at all, but I am so glad we got paired as roommates. We also got paired as bedmates in Brisas. Therefore, I had a lot of opportunity to get to know her. I became comfortable with her from the get-go. Our first night we talked about anything from our children to our life stories to ways of studying the Bible to journaling and so on. She is special and played a good role in my trip. She was always making sure I was taking breaks as needed and worried about how much (or how little) rest I was getting. She was looking out for me, and I knew it. She listened with interest to my wordy stories, and cared about my heart's desires. Paula Lou would shovel and dig with us, but often found her heart drawn to the children of the village. She worked hard to speak words to them in their language and she gave all she had. Paula Lou got tagged with that name because there were 3 Paulas on the trip, and that became the way of distinguishing her, and it stuck. Her quiet spirit encouraged me and made me laugh. When I think of Paula Lou, I smile. Her compassion runs deep and was evident in her quiet gifts, her hugs, her love, and her interest in everyone around her. I had fun watching her learn to dance the Colombian way (and she did very well, I might add!). We had some late night talks, and she was so gracious to me as each night when she was in bed before me, I know I clumsily climbed over her as I crawled my way to the other side of the bed. She left an imprint on my soul forever.
Paula Lou and Paula with the "palas" (shovel, in Spanish)
Me and Paula Lou

Paula Lou, me and Paula on the way to Alto de Julio
Paula Lou and Michael

Keith.  Keith's name was hard for the Colombians to say, but I loved how they really gave it effort to say it right. Keith was always smiling- always! He was so efficient with the wheelbarrow (which, mind you, was pretty rickety and unsteady.) He never complained and always had a word of encouragement to offer to anyone and everyone around him. Keith was always working to say things in Spanish, and I enjoyed watching him interact with the people in the village. He was never the center of attention, but always held a presence that offered a smile or a word of encouragement.
Keith, wheelbarrowing 
Keith with the children

Michael. Michael was our team leader. It's hard for me to get the right words to explain him, because he is a special person. He has a heart so big for the village of Brisas, and his passion and love overflow to all of us. The kids there love him so much.... they flocked to him from the moment he stepped off the bus that first day. He always had kids around him. He doesn't speak Spanish, but he gives it his best effort and that is appreciated so much. He speaks love, and they understand that just as much as their own dialect. He helped in any way he could, but he also let others lead. He loves the staff of Brisas, and that was evident in his hugs and his words to them. He loved our team, too. Michael did an incredible job piecing together the details  for our trip. Everything was well organized and beautifully executed thanks to his efforts for months on end. I first contacted Michael back in April of 2015, having no idea exactly how the Lord would lead or the bond that would come through our friendship. God opened up some wonderful doors when he connected me to Michael. Michael (along with a few others) is teaching me to stop apologizing for stuff all the time and that I'm loved for who I am. He was a great team leader; he's become a wonderful friend. His love and service are evident through his words and actions.
Michael displaying a piece of our construction project
Michael and Paula with the kids

Michael and Paula with the kids
me and Michael

Eric. Eric was hilarious and brought a lot of laughter to the team. His humor was often said with a serious look, which made it even funnier. He started out quiet, but his love for the Lord shone through in his service. Eric happened to be the team member whose name I got as the one to pray for (we all were assigned a prayer partner) and in another blog I will share some crazy cool stories for how God answered some neat prayers in this guy's life in regards to this trip. Eric worked relentlessly in the ditches, always eager to jump in. He'd quietly bring the water bottle or fresh glass of lemonade (also another blog to come... who knew lemonade could taste so amazing?!?) when it was his turn to pause and another's to be in the hot sun. He loved the children, especially his buddy Sebastian, who would follow him around a lot. His service to jump in wherever necessary spoke volumes to me. He was a great listener and he had strong, but quiet, determination. One of many stories to be told about Eric on this trip was how while he couldn't speak Spanish, he always tried to jump in with them wherever he could. One night the doctor and a couple of the teens were playing a game. They asked him if he wanted to play. It was clear by  my listening to them that it was a game made up with their own rules. At times a play would be made, and they would go back and forth about it until they concluded what was right. Paola rolled her eyes at this, but Eric watched and chose to jump in on the next hand. Listening to them was hilarious, as they kept changing things as the game went. In the end he won and then Glasoline (one of the ladies) decided she was done. He came out of his comfort zone more than once. It was cool to see God working in and through him on this trip.
Eric with the pick
Eric, Juan and Me, digging for the cistern

Eric playing games 
Eric and Sebastian

Paula. Paula is a beautiful woman of God. She's quiet  and content to not be the one talking, but I was blessed to get to spend extra time with her because I stayed at her home the night before we left for the trip. Paula was the co-leader of our team, and she also did a wonderful job leading. She directed the crafts and was great at rearranging our plans when we had nearly double the youth that showed up as we'd anticipated. Paula is funny and loving and has a heart of service. She taught me about the beauty of being me and also is working to stop my incessant apologizing habits. Paula exemplifies a woman of integrity and love. Everything she did- from leading the team, to shoveling dirt, to dancing with the teens, to organizing crafts, to praying... she did it with her whole heart. Paula happened to have me as a prayer partner, and little does she know the strength and the affect her prayers had on my journey in Brisas. She played a key role in my growth and my coming out of my cocoon, if you will. Because she and I are kindred spirits. We laughed ridiculously at times, we shared more than one occasion of crying together, and we enjoyed more than one late night talking. She is a friend for which I have been praying to be in my life. While she was praying for me, little did she know that she would become one of those answers! She, Paula Lou, Paola, Eric, James and I shared some silly late night conversations under the cabana, and on the last night when she, Paula Lou, Paola and I shared a sleeping area, we laughed and shared and it was beautiful. She exemplifies service.
me and Paula about to board the plane
Paula, Michael, and me at the beach

The Paula's and Me

Me and Paula sharing an amazing dessert

Every single person on this team, listed here and in yesterdays blog, have now become a huge part of my journey and my story and of a connection I will hold onto forever. Every one of them is unique and I love them like family. They all taught me lessons and all brought out the best in me.
Our Team! With a surprise visit from past team members, Doug and Kristen

 Stay tuned for the next blog of more of the people of Brisas, who also have touched my heart in life changing ways.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Colombia Post Trip #6- My Team

In addition to the people of Brisas (and there will be more blogs on those to come), I want to share some stories of my teammembers.
 I went into this trip not knowing any of them. Literally. I joined the group as an "outsider", though I never felt that way. However, when travel day came around, I can honestly say I had not really had deep conversations with most of them at that point. But, wow, little did I know how much of a bond we would form. Of course, we are all sharing a unique experience. But, I have been a part of many teams throughout the years, and this one was special. I can't explain it, I can only tell you it was special.  Just like with the people of Brisas, it will take more than one blog to cover the people of my team.  James and Paula Lou came in knowing eachother, Ed, Eric, Barb, Angie, and Gil came from one church, and Paula and Michael came from one church, and Keith and Michael go way back. Then there was me, coming in to this group without anyone else as a "partner". But.... I never felt that way.
  I haven't connected so well with such a variety of people in years, and their stories, their service, and their friendship will stick with me for life. So, here are a few glimpses of a few of them.

 Pastor Ed.  Pastor Ed always had a joke to tell. The first time I met him, he made a joke, but because I didn't know him yet, I sort of just sat there, unsure what to say. My response was simply "I have nothing. I don't know what to say...." But as time went on, I learned telling jokes is one of his trademarks. At the lunch table on our trip, when he would tell a joke, and I'd be sitting next to someone on the staff there,  I gave up trying to translate the jokes. What's funny to an American might make no sense to a Colombian. However, it's a wonderful trait he holds. Pastor Ed always could tell when I was being pensive, and he had a pretty good read on me, which I appreciated. I enjoyed our conversations - from books to religious facts/differences to our families to life in general. He preaches in a way that made me think every time, and his love for people was evident. As we were saying our goodbyes to the village, he came alongside me and asked me if I was ok... in an effort to choke back tears I simply nodded and accepted a hug. He meant a lot to me.
Me and Pastor Ed in Cartegena
We caught him with a broom! 

Pastor Ed captured well- center, giving a devotion and offering a joke. Team: Gil, Eric, Ed, Angie, Barb

 Barb. Barb is a woman full of determination and courage. I think it takes a lot for an older woman to leave all of her comforts behind and go on a trip like this. Barb was always giving. She made shirts for our whole team, hand sewn. (When you see pictures of the green shirts that have a heart that say Jesus on them, she made those.) She, along with a few others, sewed embroidered bags for the youth- 60 bags I believe. And they also sewed pencil bags- over 200- for the children there. Barb was always jumping in to help however she could. She shoveled when possible, and when that became too tough, she served all of us by making sure our water bottles were full. She loved the children and was always helping out. Her spunk made me smile all the time.
Paula Lou and Barb shoveling
Barb at the beach
Angie. Angie always surprised me. She tended to be a little more quiet, but when she shared or opened up, her words always caught me by surprise and delight. The devotion she offered on service will always stick with me. Angie would out of the blue say the funniest things... not even trying to be funny... but would make all of us laugh. She did a great job helping organize things for the children and helping do any and all of those activities. Angie was always working to learn little words or phrases in Spanish. She nearly was unable to go with our team, but I am so glad she was able to attend.
Barb and Angie... ready to serve always

 Gil. Gil brought a lot of construction knowledge to our team. He was able to help accomplish a few things in Brisas that none of us would have a clue about. He helped them with the water pump and he helped them fix a generator. I am not giving those circumstances justice with words to describe how much of a help those contributions were, but mostly because if I tried to reexplain it, I would fail. He made a difference. He has lived a lot of life with so many experiences, and it was fun to listen to his stories about ... well, everything. His desire to help the people of Brisas was evident and inspiring.
Gil working on the water pump
Gil at breakfast in Cartegena

Gil and Paola in Cartegena

 James. James and I were the youngest on the team, although you'd never have known that. (James is actually a few months younger than I am.) What I mean by that is, James is a little more quiet, but full of wisdom. He observes a lot, but uses that to be able to help in knowledgeable ways. Frequently at night, a few of us would sit outside under the cabana to write about our day, but we'd all end up talking and sharing rather than writing! (James, of course, was one of those). And in those times, we'd get into some thought-provoking conversations about anything from religions to politics to schooling or jobs. Our conversations seemed to always end with a .... to be continued kind of ending because we'd get so deep but eventually I would get tired and know I'd need to head to bed. (It would be midnight some nights!) James worked hard out in the sun and was brave enough to step out of his comfort zone several times on this trip.  James' desire to serve was quiet and not in the limelight, but it spoke volumes to me and continues to do so.
Our last day- Me, James, Eric and Paula Lou endeavored out into Miami for a short time during our layover 
James and Pastor Luis

This captures our attempts to write at night
James and Pastor Ed

 This blog captures just a few of the team members, but you can see why they became so special to me. The blogs just keep on rolling out right now, and in the days to come there will be more stories about the rest of the team (Paula, Michael, Eric, Paula Lou and Keith-You guys mean just as much to me, I just can't cram it all into one or people would quit reading because it would get so long!)  As will there be more about the people of Brisas and how they stole my heart. My heart is full, and while I admit to struggling to get back into my United States routine again because of this life-changing trip, I want to recount these experiences while they are fresh. My writing them down is as much for me to have a place to forever remember these stories as much as it is for others to read about them. Stay tuned this weekend for more stories about the people of Brisas and my team.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Colombia Post Trip #5- The people of Brisas

When I'm reflecting on my trip and browsing through my photos, which I do pretty often in a day, I smile.
 The people of Brisas del Mar have left an impact on my heart. My team has left a mark in my life forever. The next few posts I want to share about all the people.
  It's hard to know where to begin, because just as is the case with the experiences, the people have become part of my life story, but putting words to those moments is a challenge. However, I want to try to give you a glimpse of their little village and of their beautiful hearts.

 I was amazed at how well they all communicated to our team members without knowing English, and the same with the team communicating with them. Everyone would use a few broken words here and there and a lot of hand motions. Michael (the team leader) had said prior to the trip, that it didn't matter that the team couldn't speak their language because the language of love is universal. But, I'm getting ahead of myself because that's a whole different blog.
  What I'm wanting to say is that even with a language barrier, communication was still fairly efficient. That being said, I must be honest and share with you that for me, speaking with them in their language was meaningful to me. I loved being able to have deeper conversations with them. And because of this, I left with friendships that will forever be part of my journey.
 The youth did a lot to help us. They would rally the children, they would go out into the village and tell them about all of our activities, they would help explain the games to individual groups because we could only translate in so many places. But I connected with one girl in particular: Mileth.
  On my first day there, as I said, we went to a funeral. While that was an interesting experience to say the least, I walked most of that dusty road with Mileth, and we chatted. She wants to be a translator one day.... similar to my own heartbeat. That walk connected us the rest of the trip. She would explain something to me when I wouldn't understand. She tried her best to teach me to dance (a lost cause and she would giggle at my attempts, but hey, at least I tried!) We sat together on a few occasions writing in her notebook phrases she wanted to learn in English and I would teach her and have her repeat them. I don't know if that'll stick, but I hope so. She is spunky and fun but has a huge heart for others. We exchanged letters at the end of the trip, and I carry her letter around with me. (cheesy, perhaps, but it really meant a lot to me...if you haven't figured out yet, words/writing/letters tend to be how I process and something I love!)So much could be said about this young lady, whom I came to love dearly.
Me and Mileth

My last day in Brisas with Mileth

 Juan.... Juan is a cool guy. He's in his 50s, so he has seen a lot of life take place in his little village. He wears the wrinkles of a wise person, whose heart is eager to serve and to be around the people. He was very animated with his hands and even his expressions. He smiled a lot, and man, could he swing  a pick and break up that dirt unlike any of us. He wore his thin flip flops in the dirt, but smiled while he worked away. He wasn't asked to be there, he chose to work with us. He would sit off to the side and keep watch on the tools while we would all move on to the next thing. Juan was always mingling with someone. You can tell people there love him; we certainly did.
 He worked so hard. We had fun swapping words- he wanted to know what Brisas del Mar meant (translates as sea breeze, or also can be said as ocean breeze), and then he would articulate the English word over and over so as to engrain it in his mind. He'd smile and nod at our work, but there were a few occassions when I'm certain he was thinking "These crazy gringos don't know what they're doing...." but he was too kind to ever say it. He'd simply quietly get in the hole we were digging and redo something, letting us know we needed to adjust our method. The deeper we got, we found a rotation. Eric would pick, I would shovel, Jon (our construction leader) would pick again and then Juan would shovel. Paula, Gil, James and Michael took some turns in the hole as well with Juan. He likes baseball and could rattle off most of the American teams to us. He told us a story about how he learned to play and then came back and taught others when he was younger. Juan had a heart of love.

Tres Amigos, standing in the hole. Eric, Juan, Me.

Christian. This guy has a heart of gold. He was always smiling, always eager to jump in anywhere needed when he was free to do so. There was one day, he and I were shoveling in one area together and we got talking. Let me tell you that when he asked me what my job in the US is, trying to explain working for a marathon was not easy. I explained it, but I still think he was confused- and not for my lack of speaking, but because that type of thing is pretty foreign and odd to them. In the end I just said I do logistics. That was the easiest way to put comprehension to it. We talked about our different climates and how they do celcius and we use farenheit. I learned some new words in that conversation (In Colombia all the math is different- we use F they use C, we use feet, they use meters, we use dollars, they use if I am not bad at math already, I had to strain my brain or rely on Pastor Ed's conversions of numbers to get me through!) Christian brought smiles to everyone he was around. I didn't spend a lot of time with him, but he touched me in ways he'll probably never know. He's studying to be a teacher, and he works in the school. It's clear he has a heart for his village.
Me, Christian, Paula

This little girl, I don't know her name... but on a few occasions she followed me around and would hug on me constantly. I love this picture... it captures her and really the village in general because they love unconditionally. I'm sure they have their petty sibling or normal teenage rivalries, but to me, to our team, they defined love. This girl will leave that imprint on me always.

 There are plenty more people stories to come... I am so thankful I got to meet these people.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Journey of Colombia Post Trip #4- The Clinic

When we get sick here, all we have to do is pick up the phone to make an appointment with our doctor. Or, if the doctor is busy, we can go to an urgent care. Quite literally, we never really have to worry about whether or not we can be seen by a health care professional when we are sick. We don't have to worry that they will be out of medicine. We aren't concerned about not being taken care of. In fact, I would venture to say that has never even crossed my  mind.

 But for the 9 days I was in Colombia, I saw health care from a whole new perspective.

The small village of Brisas del Mar has a beautiful clinic that was built a few years ago. The clinic is funded by the church, and they serve the patients at no cost to the patient. It is a huge ministry to the area there. The next closest hospital is a 45 minute drive on dusty dirt roads. The clinic is kept clean (cleaner than the hospital that is 45 min away, and I know this because our team leader a year ago got pretty sick and ended up in that hospital).
  But the clinic struggles to have the supplies they need. Between cost of supplies (because remember they are not a typical clinic brining in a lot of income) and the difficulty in getting those things (because of cost and distance and other obstacles), the clinic is often out of typical every day items. Things as simple as bandaids, or more complex items like sutures. The clinic sees a lot of pregnant women and infants. I can't remember a day that I was there when the clinic was open that they didn't have a waiting room full, with patients spilling into the outside of the waiting area just as much. The people need medical attention, and this clinic and the staff there serve the people beautifully.

 I shared in a blog post prior to the trip that God opened up an amazing resource to be able to attain some medical supplies to take into Brisas. Not having a huge knowledge of medical supplies, I pretty much filled 6 suitcases with the little bits I had learned about the clinic. Now, I know even better. But at that time, I just filled it with a little of everything- wraps, casts, bandaids, lots of suture sets, suture removals, several OB kits and infant items, needles, blood sample kits, breathing aids (asthma is a problem there) and the list goes on. Another team member, Gil, also filled a suitcase with items like needles as well.  I knew the clinic needed items, but I had no idea until arriving there the impact these items would have. (*please don't hear my sharing this as a pat on my own back. I give all the credit to the Lord, who opened this door for me and the team to bless the clinic. As the blog closes, I will share a little more of how this impacted me, which is why I share the ability to have been able to get these supplies). 

 One of the first acts we did upon arriving to Brisas was to bring out the suitcases of supplies to give to the clinic. They were laid out on a table and the clinic staff was gathered around. Being new to this, I did not know any of the staff yet. Yuledia Alvarez, "Tía", Doctora Sol, Catherine, (and one more I am leaving out, whose name I cannot recall) lined up to listen to our team leader, Michael, share what we had brought, being translated by Paola.
 The suitcases were laid out and as he spoke, I watched. The more he talked, the head nurse, Yuledia, began to cry. To a point of quiet weeping. She cried because of how badly the clinic needed these items and how much of a blessing they were to the clinic. To the people of Brisas, who need more medical attention than they are able to give due to a lack of supplies.
Laying out the suitcases of medical supplies to present to the clinic

 For a moment, I tried to hold back my tears. It was my first day, my first hours even, and I wasn't ready to be the emotional wreck already. But I gave up on holding them in after a few minutes and just let them quietly fall. I didn't know the need there from having seen it, but Yuleida's heart and words and tears spoke it all. And I was so grateful in that moment to be able to be a small piece of blessing the clinic.
Yuleida,  Clinic Adminstrator, giving team leader, Paula, a hug

Yuledia and Doctora Sol going through supplies

Yuledia looking through supplies

  What I haven't shared in blogs past is that I have been praying for this trip for months.... I prayed about my going, yes, and my funding, but I also prayed for God to open up doors that our team would be able to bless Brisas in new ways. I knocked.... He answered. Prior to "knocking" and asking around if anyone would donate medical supplies, I had just the idea in my head that we'd take over bandages and basic over the counter items. When my name got tagged along on the team roster as helping to put together medical supplies (everyone on the team had jobs in prep for the trip) I had no idea the doors God would open. And so for me, watching them open these suitcases and be blessed was a way of seeing the hand of God in a very intimate fashion. He answered the prayers of the people of Brisas in that moment. He also answered mine. I literally was clueless as to their needs. I had no idea if what I was putting into the suitcases was needed or not. And He went above and beyond answering those prayers. Special thanks to #KetteringHealthHospitals who were a huge part of that blessing. They willingly gave to the people of Brisas.

 On day 2 or 3 of being there, Tía told me "We used the sutures today..." and I was so happy. I wasn't happy someone had been hurt, of course, but I was happy that the supplies were there so that the person could be adequately stitched.
The nurses here are getting a training class

Tía comes from Barranquilla and brings information to teach the nurses updated medical lessons. 

 I could share more, but in order to protect a little of the privacy of the clinic and its patients, I will leave the stories at that. The need there is so enormous. But for a moment in time, we got to see that need be met in a small way that spoke volumes to the nurses there which will bless the community for (hopefully) months to come.

It's crazy to think that medical care isn't available due to lack of supplies. Once again, another piece of life I take for granted. The nursing staff there is an incredible group of young ladies, whom I am blessed to call my friends now. For me, it was also wonderful to be able to speak their language and be able to talk with them a little more personally and tell them when thanked that it was completely God, and we were simply His hands for a moment. To share how this had been so prayed over for so many months. We did not take anyone on the team with medical knowledge or to go over and do medical work. But the clinic is such a huge part of the church's ministry in Brisas and it was beautiful to watch them be blessed.
  God is good. And I hope it always reminds me of His answers to prayers when I look at these photos.
Yuledia giving us a tour of the clinic

Yuledia, me, and Tia 

 In the posts to come in the next few days, I will share stories and photos of the people there I was able to meet and get to know, including my amazing team mates and the beautiful people of Brisas who have forever touched my heart and changed my perspective.