I’m Therese Kiernan, and I have the privilege of serving as the Gill Team photojournalist for my 10th year!
Our last Faith in Practice trip was in February 2020. At that time, we became aware of something called a “coronavirus” that was spreading worldwide, but none of us could have predicted that a month later we would be in lockdown in the US and the virus would become a “pandemic.”
Faith in Practice was forced to cancel all village and surgical teams, and it was quite a while before any teams were able to resume patient care. In late 2021, our Gill Team began making tentative plans to return in 2022. As 2021 ended and the new year began, another challenge emerged called “Omicron.”The same COVID variant surge that swept through the US also spread through Guatemala.
Thankfully, that surge was short-lived, and we got the good news: Our 2022 Gill Team was a go! Planning that usually takes months was done in a few weeks. Our slogan has always been “Flexibility is key.” That has never been truer.
Saturday morning, March 26, we gathered at DFW Airport for our flight. We had some wonderful assistance from DFW Airport personnel, including goodie bags and food vouchers.
Hugs were exchanged with friends we hadn’t seen in two years, and we met our five new team members: Dr. Rocky Adcock from Texas, and Dr. Sahil Vohra, Patricia Blankenship, Eric Davis, and Sara Nathan, all from Virginia.
Prior team members (not traveling with us) came to see us off: Dr. Ted Peters and wife Nan, Debbie Jobe, and Mark Kiernan, as well as our Team administrator, Susan Carrillo.
There are many changes this year from prior years. COVID protocols are in place for the safety of both patients and the team. We were all COVID-tested before departure, and our patients are COVID-tested prior to treatment. Our team is half the normal size (17 people). We are serving orthopedic patients, and are blessed with very talented adult and pediatric surgeons.
We look forward to seeing God’s plan unfold over the next week and seeing prayers for healing answered in amazing ways.