Medical Mission

Meeting physical needs as well as spiritual

Medical needs in this area are many. Several medical and dental mission teams have come here over the past couple of years and it has been amazing to see how God has worked in many lives. Not only is the health of Honduran individuals greatly improved, but each missionary’s life is also changed as they see how their efforts have such an invaluable impact. The rewards are many: a cry exchanged for a smile, a fearful face replaced with hope and gratitude, health restored and pain removed.

Pictures and Medical Mission Updates


Since moving from San Pedro to live out in the mission center among the people, we are more involved with trying to provide medical care. Recent medical teams discovered several seriously ill people that need immediate care. This has taken the ministry in a new area: trying to find charitable hospitals and/or doctors who would provide the necessary surgeries, medications, ultrasounds, etc.

I took a 19 month old “blue” baby” for an ultrasound and was in the process of appealing to get him surgery in the states. He, Hector Daniel, died last Thursday. We need to get a better. faster system. We are so encouraged that these medical teams come down, but we need medical care provided long term and a system for help for these very ill people to receive care.

As most of you know, Gary and I do not publish our needs, but we DO publish the needs of the people here. When a medical team leaves they leave a list of the seriously ill patients, many of which need costly follow up care: lab work, MRI’s, and surgeries. One little boy has a broken arm that was not set properly and now he can’t bend his arm. We are in the process of trying to find a charitable hospital and/or doctor who would be willing to provide medical care, but much of the expenses for the lab work and x-rays come out of our pocket. So far this has been hundreds each month. If you would like to contribute towards the medical expenses of these individuals please designate your contribution and send to our Gathering Hearts address.

We praise God for His working in one of our medical efforts. A year and a half ago, there was ward after ward of A year and a half ago, there was ward after ward of hydrocphelus babies just waiting for a shunt to be provided in the government hospital in San Pedro.. Gary and I and another family in Tulsa took the challenge of providing shunts. Last week, while visiting that ward, it was down to just a few babies in that ward. This shows how a “little” goes a long way.


Dr Jim and Betty Jo Green brought in a medical team January 8th – 16th. One of their main goals was to take medical care into the “jungle” area of El Sauce. This is one of the more impoverished villages and in spite of many attempts, there has been little or no medical care for that area. What a blessing it was for this team to be willing to go out in this “campo” village and set up a clinic for two days. It was not without it’s challenges but they were determined and God rewarded their efforts. Nearly six hundred patients were seen in both El Sauce and the mission center that week.

Dr. Green outside the Mission Center exam room with his translator, Melissa
Mrs. Green made it all happen
Dr. Paul Krautter with Aaron Simpson setting up a makeshift exam room in El Sauce

While part of the team held clinic in the center, the other team went out to El Sauce. What a blessing to get medical care out in that remote area. Setting up exam rooms was a challenge.

Mary Anne Cary works with Rosa Blakeburn

Mary Anne Cary sets up registration and Rosa Blakeburn triage in a rough area. They saw 125 patients that day. In the background you can see patients waiting to be seen.

Gary translated for Dr. Krautter
Nurse Helen Morie, with translator Gabriel
Marci in the pharmacy with Melissa
Wilma taking vitals
Marci, and Wilma with Julia Thomas, Baptist Chapel, came with the BC team but she helped out in all areas

UPDATE — May 2009

Thanks to you who donate to the shunt project. Since many pregnant women here lack proper nutrition during pregnancy, there are a significant number of hydrocephalic babies born that just lay in a hospital bed waiting for shunts. We have been able to provide shunts for some of these needy infants.

One of the babies that we hope will be able to receive a shunt soonJuan Armijo is another shunt recipient

Over fourteen shunts have been donated since last June. Not only have eleven babies so far received shunts, but also a young boy, Franklin Portila, received a shunt. Franklin was shot in the head in downtown San Pedro last December. We had shunts on hand and this boy’s life was spared. Thanks for your contribution in touching the lives of the children in Honduras.

Franklin Portila in the hospital after surgery

UPDATE — March 2009

Thanks to a Children’s Sunday school class from a church in Lincoln, Nebraska. Many children in the community were given much needed medicine!Another special event was handing out the vitamins and parasite medicine donated by a children’s Sunday school class at a church in Lincoln, Nebraska. We want to give special thanks to that group and hope to visit their class soon with pictures of the distribution. We announced to our friend Flor ahead of time that we were coming, and by the time we arrived there were dozens of pregnant ladies and small children who were badly in need of help. There were so many in fact, that some had to wait until we could purchase more and return another day.

dozens waiting
Cheryl explains what to do and not to do with the vitamins


Dave Sperow and his wife, Marty, head up La Cima Ministries which regularly bring dentists and physicians to Honduras.

Dave Sperow is now a dentist in Lexington Kentucky, but was formerly a missionary to Honduras. His wife Marty speaks fluent Spanish as well as several other languages. Their team really had a heart for these people. Dave’s heart is definitely missions AND missionaries. In February, he brought a team of four dentists and three physicians who attended to patients from this area. Not only has David given his medical skills here but has helped missionaries with their security needs here in Honduras by bringing in security agents to help us access our security needs. Currently we are making a list of supplies needed to finish the security for the mission center and our apartment. Do pray we could finish this phase of security.

This medical team had more of an adventure than they anticipated when a fire broke out in our electric wiring! It took some time to put it out and then we were without electricity. The team just turned on flashlights and kept on going. Fortunately, there was a local electrician who could replace the wiring and connect us. If you remember, though, it took years for us to legally get connected to the electric company. We are having to start that process all over as we need a second meter for the area where our students do welding and carpentry.

dentist workingAdele Oakley (center) and her mother Shanda, accompanied Dave's team and helped translate

The main room of the mission center was full of patients, dentists and their assistants. They brought portable dental chairs to add to the regular clinic we have.


Group photo

Dr. Isaac Hotz and Dr. Amy Ford, physicians from Greely, Colorado brought a team of six to hold a medical clinic in the Mission Center January 10thth through the 18. With them came Dr. Kennon Kirk, resident physician in his second year, Rosemary Thompson, who ran the pharmacy, Laura Peverley, medical assistant at a Spanish speaking clinic, and Mark Strauss, former EMT who came to help with the pharmacy.

This team was such a blessing as they were willing to do whatever was needed to have a successful clinic. Isaac helped us with Dr. Green’s first medical clinic in the Mission Center. Isaac was tutored by the late Todd Fields in mission work here and has such a passion for the people. Isaac and Amy, who serves in a Spanish speaking clinic in Greely, both speak Spanish, thus neither needed translator! Later in the week, the team went to Lynell Field’s compound to hold a Medical Clinic in cooperation with the local church. Dr. Renee Kusler was to join them, but while following our van, she was hit broadside by another car causing her Land Rover to roll! Praise the Lord, no one was hurt. Many people were helped at this Medical Clinic as well.

Dr. Amy Ford and Dr. Isaac Hotz

On the last day of the clinic, we had more patients than we could ever see. Laura, who normally is very quiet, literally had to do crowd control outside while triaging. This sweet, quiet medical assistant held her own in difficult crowds. We called her the ‘silent roar.’ Our translators ended up having to serve as part of the team and had to assist in all areas as well as translate.

Crowd waiting to see a doctor

We are so grateful that this team was here to help a young man, Juan Lopez, who had been attacked with a machete. His father was killed and his brother had to be hospitalized and lost a lung. Do pray for Juan as he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. This emphasizes the need for a nurse practitioner to work in the medical clinic to do follow up on some of these patients, as well as be able to help patients between medical doctor’s visits.

Juan Lopez had an infection set in after a machete attack. Isaac Hotz had to perform some emergency surgery

The Pharmacy is always a critical part of all the medical missions. We grateful for the help that Moe Rouse, from Cincinnati and Pat McEvoy, a legal consultant from Chicago, were for our group while visiting our Mission Center. They helped in setting up the Pharmacy on the first day. Moe has also been instrumental in getting shunts for numerous hydrocephalus babies.

Rose Mary Thompson and Moe Rouse helped to run the pharmacy
Pat McEvoy with two of the patients

UPDATE — November, 2008 -

Dr. Paul Dumdey, an internist, and Dr. Richard Cote, a retired OB/GYN from Woolrich, Maine, held a medical clinic from November 19th through November 21st. They were part of a larger team that had surgeries in a hospital in San Pedro Sula. Altogether, they saw over hundred patients and some of them were serious. We were grateful that Dr Dumbey diagnosed a four-month-old “blue baby” that had a hole in his heart. We are in hopes that a physician from St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma could perform surgery on him here in SAP next spring Dr. Dick Cote seeing a young patientDr. Paul Dumbdey with some of his patients in the clinic in Seis De MayoDiabetic patient attended to by Dr. Dumbey. Many of these people have no other option for medical care. Dr Dumbey taught us how to change bandages for these diabetic patients and directions for follow up care on several other patients. Dr. Rosquete, from Woolrich, Maine heads up these teams that come to San Pedro twice a year to provide surgeries and medical care. We are hoping to help them find anesthesiologists to add to their list for future surgeries here in San Pedro Sula. While here Dr. Rosquete examined our dear vo-tech sewing teacher, Norma Vanilla and would have done a knee replacement that week, but the surgery would have been too complicated for here in Honduras but offered to help us get her surgery there in Maine.

Norma was one of our daughter’s first sewing students over five years ago! At that time, we worked under a Honduran church and only permitted a limited number of students at a time in the sewing classes. Since we did not have a facility then, Jennifer worked in a yard in Seis de Mayo under a tarp. Even though Norma was crippled and it was difficult for her to walk, she walked nearly a mile everyday in the hot sun and stood at the gate of the class waiting for an opening for her to attend. Eventually, Norma was admitted, went through all three levels of curriculum that Jennifer had written and is now the faithful teacher of the classes. She needs to have two knee replacements in hopes that this would help to straighten her crippled legs.

Do pray that our appeal for not only her surgery, but the hardware for her artificial knees would be donated. She is willing to make the trip to Maine even though in the past it has been traumatic for her to travel to San Pedro Sula.

Sewing teacher, Norma Vanilla

UPDATE — October 20-23, 2008 – CLINIC IN MISSION CENTER -Medical Team from Oklahoma

Dr. James Green headed up a team for the Tulsa area to help take care of the medical needs in the Seis de Mayo area. The team consisted of Mrs. Green, Dr. Tom Pickard and his daughter Abby Pickard, Marcy Ellis, Nikki Collins, Tyler Winn and Mary Wheeler, a registered nurse. Betty Jo Green and Nikki had most of the medications listed and ready to go so the pharmacy went smoothly. Nikki and Marcy headed up the pharmacy while Abby and Mary took vital signs and did triage. What a luxury it was to not only have two Doctors, but also have a registered nurse, Mary. In spite of not having translators on time due to the floods, the clinic saw over 300 people. This team was a family by the end of the week and it was hard to see them leave.

Medical Help

UPDATE — June 2008 — Dental Clinic Fully Equipped!!

June 18, 2008, First United Methodist Church sponsored a multi-task team of nine to set up the dental clinic and do carpentry work in the upstairs apartment. It still seems surreal that there is now a fully equipped dental clinic in the rural area of Sies de Mayo…miles from any other dental clinic. The clinic now has x-ray and an air compressor, making it possible to do restorations and cleaning. A local dentist, Dr. Jose Rios, has volunteered to see patients free of charge one day per month. He visited the dental clinic and was so impressed that it was totally equipped!! Please pray that others will volunteer so that we can serve the large number of people with severe dental problems. Thank you First United Methodist for ministering to the people of Sies de Mayo.

Shunts Donated for Hydrocephalus Babies!!

Medical care in Honduras is difficult. People have to stand in long lines outside the hospital in the hot sun to get a chance to see a doctor. Furthermore, the family has to have the funds to purchase any of the medications and bring them to the hospital. One of the saddest situations is the babies born with hydrocephalus. This is caused, in part, from the lack of nutrition in the mothers. Too many times these babies are abandoned there in the hospital. There are dozens of these babies in the hospital waiting for a shunt to be donated so that they could have the needed surgery.

Thanks to Moe Rouse, in Cincinnati, four shunts for the hydrocephalus babies were donated. When I took them to the hospital, the surgeon said that the kits were incomplete. Moe and I had no idea, so it was a big disappointment. I had already told four mothers that they were receiving shunts for their babies and one mother had already made arranged for the surgery. How could we find the missing parts here in Honduras? The Ruth Paz Foundation, which serves children with health care needs here in Honduras, found the missing parts. What a blessing!

Thanks to Peggy Zuniga who found a company, who makes the shunt kits, willing to sell us the kits for ONLY $100 each!! The retail price is $400! Pictured are some of the babies who will receive the shunts. Do pray for the so many babies like them who have been abandoned.