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Pastor Dave was a little under the weather, so Nan Peters led devotions. Our team mantra is “Flexibility is the key.”  Sometimes this means stepping into other roles even when we’re not prepared. We should expect the unexpected. We can make plans, but only God is in control. Nan challenged us today to be watching for surprises and to see how God is at work.

Nan shared a quote from Henri Nouwen:  “Give me eyes to see and ears to hear. I know there is light in the darkness that makes everything new.  I know there is new life in suffering that opens a new earth for me.  I know there is a joy beyond sorrow that rejuvenates my heart.”

We arrived at the Obras Hospital at 7 a.m.  This was our first day of surgery, and our orthopedic and gynecological teams completed 15 procedures.   Way to go, Team 654!

Glenda, one of our gynecological patients, had a difficult surgery to remove a large tumor measuring 22 cm., the equivalent of being 6 months’ pregnant.   She is 27 years old, has three children (that all required C-sections), and had been experiencing a lot of pain and bleeding.   Another concern was the fact that she is a Jehovah’s witness and cannot receive blood products.   The surgery by Drs. Chhutani and Crable required a large incision from the pubic area to the breastbone. The procedure went well, but Glenda was in a lot of pain afterwards. Dr. Bonasera worked with others on the anesthesia team to provide a TAP block to relieve her pain.

Drs. Apel and Peters operated on a young boy, Amilcar, age 5, to correct an elbow deformity.  This operation will hopefully give him the ability to use his arm normally in the future.

Two other young boys were born with 12 toes, six on each foot. Drs. Apel and Stehly operated on Esdras (age 7) and William (age 9) to remove the extra toes, providing better mobility for these active young boys.

For these children, not only are deformities corrected, providing them a better quality of life, but they can look forward to acceptance by their peers instead of being perceived as different.   There is nothing more crushing to our surgeons than turning a patient away and not being able to help them.

In the Dental Clinic, Patty provided cleaning and care to 14 patients.   This is double the normal case load at home.   Kudos to our Dental Team!!


Over the next few days, I will be introducing our team members, including the role they play in Guatemala and where they work back home in the USA.


Jim Gill, MD – Dr. Gill first came to Guatemala in 2002, and that commitment has continued for 19 years.  Last year, Dr. Gill stepped up to lead our team.  He works at the Baylor Scott & White Frisco Hospital.

David Freeman, CRNA, DNP – Col. (Ret) Freeman is another veteran with the Guatemalan team and has provided anesthesia care to Faith In Practice patients for 12 years.  He has partnered with Dr. Gill to serve as a Mission Coordinators.   He provides anesthesia care at home for Baylor Scott & White hospitals.


Peter Apel, MD – Dr. Apel joins us for the first time from Roanoke, VA, where he is an orthopedic surgeon at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  He specializes in pediatric and hand surgical procedures.

Melissa Bailey, MD – Dr. Bailey joins us for her 4th medical mission trip. She has served in the missions field in several Caribbean islands as well as in Africa.  Her home hospital is Baylor Medical Center Frisco.

Sheila Chhutani, M.D. – Dr. Chhutani practices with Gynecological and Obstetrical Associates in Dallas and is the President of the Medical Staff at Presbyterian Dallas Hospital. We are excited that she has joined us for a 2nd year.

Quanita Crable, MD – A graduate of the University of Kansas, Dr. Crable is an OB/GYN who works at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She is a part of our gynecological team for the 4th year in a row and we thank her for the wonderful team members she has recruited.

Dennis Eisenberg, MD – A gynecologist in Frisco at Texas OB/GYN, Dr. Eisenberg joins us for his 4th trip.  We welcomed him back last year after a 10-year hiatus during which he was raising twin boys.

Ted Peters, MD – Dr. Peters has been providing orthopedic solutions to Guatemalan patients for 19 years. He specializes in hand and arm surgery for both adult and pediatric patients in Grapevine, TX.   He is also on the board of the Casa de Angeles orphanage that we will be visiting on Friday.

Stehly, Eric, MD – Dr. Stehly works with Dr. Peters in Grapevine, Texas.   He is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder surgery.  This is his first trip to Antigua with Faith In Practice.


Melissa Dishman, CNM – Eight years ago, Melissa joined our Faith In Practice team in the 2nd year of her nursing career.  She serves in the role of OR Director and assists in the PACU.  She recently achieved her master’s degree and is a Certified Nurse Midwife.   She works with MacArthur OB/GYN in Irving, TX, assisting with women’s OB/GYN care.

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