FIP Guatemala Medical Mission
Sitting at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, I was observing a unique group of people. They traveled from the North, South, East, and West of the United States. I was introduced to them, and we boarded the plane for Guatemala. These were medical professionals, giving up a week of their time to provide surgical intervention to the people in Reu. We boarded the plane with anticipation, excitement, and some apprehension about a successful medical mission. We landed at the airport in Guatemala, worked our way through customs, gathered our luggage, and headed for the bus. It was a 3-hour ride to Antiqua where we were going to spend the night before heading to Reu on Saturday morning. We were served a wonderful dinner, oriented on the agenda for Saturday, and informed it was best to attempt to sleep since breakfast was at 6:00 am and the bus was leaving at 7:00 am. We all crashed in our beds hoping for the best on Saturday. We met for breakfast and were introduced to the 23 members of our team’s origins, team 348 Raymer. There were surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, surgical techs, OR nurses, PACU nurses, chaplains, a blogger, and interpreters. They came from Oregon, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, and Canada. Some have participated in up to 7 medical mission trips and most of us were first-timers. As diverse as we are, we share the drive and stamina needed to put in long hours to complete our mission. More importantly, we all have a compassionate heart to improve the lives of the people of Guatemala. By our willingness to serve we are following God’s commandment to love one another. We boarded the bus again for a 4-hour ride to Reu where we had a tour of the Hospital Hilario Caliendo and an orientation to the agenda for Sunday, We were shown the Mercy House where the patients were staying until the day of surgery (COVID precautions). You could sense their joy and anticipation as we walked by. They were all smiles and waving to us as we passed. They had hoped that they would be getting the help they needed. Finally, at the hotel, we had time to relax and get ready for dinner. Again, another opportunity to fellowship and hear more personal stories. Suzanne commented (with a big genuine smile) how she loves to be the interpreter and hear such wonderful stories from the local people. The chaplain (Joanie) provided a wonderful devotion and did a blessing of the hands and prayed for our mission. It was a beautiful evening to relax and enjoy the beauty surrounding us. It was the perfect way to prepare for Sunday, Triage day.