Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Jason & Jen's Medical Missions Trip to Guatemala
I wanted to pass along an email update I received from my son and daughter-in-law, reporting on their trip last week to Guatemala as a part of a medical missions project. I know that many of you were praying for them and wanted to share their report.
Dear Prayer Partners,
First and foremost, thank you to all who remembered us in prayer in our trip to Guatemala this past week. We remained safe and basically healthy in a county where you have to remember to brush your teeth with bottled water and pray constantly while on the highways. Like last year, we had a wonderful experience and probably received just as many blessings as we were able to share with the Guatemalan people. Once again, we were able to see God’s hand at work in all aspects of the trip and in the lives we were able to touch.
Our purpose in going to Guatemala was to support Maya Mesoamerica Mission which was founded by missionaries David and Kathy Doss. Its goal has been to share the love of Jesus Christ through evangelism, church planting and helping establish micro-business opportunities for Guatemalans to provide a living for their families. Our team consisted of several diverse members fulfilling different roles. David Doss led the team having orchestrated the trip and location sites. During clinic days he translated medication instructions to patients in the pharmacy. Harold Harmon is a pharmacist from Alabama. He and his wife Delores operated the pharmacy. Harold’s sense of humor and off key singing served as great entertainment to those waiting to be seen! Chris Hammond, also from Alabama, operated the eye clinic. He worked alongside a Guatemalan translator named David in prescribing reading glasses to patients. A former major league baseball pitcher, Chris joyfully shared his testimony with those he cared for. Pastor Mario, is a local Guatemalan pastor affiliated with the mission. He was key in making contacts in the villages in which we served and would register the patients at the beginning of each clinic day. Kendra Butner, a nurse practitioner, who works in Jason’s office provided medical care, teaching and was able to share Christ with those she served. Sarah Dale, who with her husband John spent the last 6 months serving as short term missionaries with the mission, translated for Kendra. We, Jason and Jennifer, were able to bring medical care, evangelistic outreach and spiritual encouragement to the patients we encountered. As often happens during mission trips, we developed new friendships and deepened old ones with fellow team members while sharing personal blessings with each other.
While there, our team served 400-450 patients hosting five days of clinic in separate rural locations each day. The clinics were located in various church or school buildings. During the clinics we saw a wide variety of medical needs most of which we could address but some severe conditions were beyond our capabilities. We wish that we could share all the touching stories with you, but are unable to fit them on this page. Some of the things that Jason found most rewarding during the trip were the opportunity to pray with every patient seen and distribute Bible’s to those seeking God. Despite the busyness of the day, we make it a point to take the time necessary to share the full gospel message with any non-believer. One young woman prayed to receive Christ and several left with seeds planted where we felt the Holy Spirit was still at work. For Christian believers, we were able to offer prayers of encouragement for them personally and for their churches. Jason also enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside Jennifer and despite language barrier see her provide compassionate care whether in the form of a wound dressing, a hug or a children’s toy. Jennifer truly enjoyed working alongside Jason and watching him share of his love for our Lord to the patients. It was a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the patients. Some would wait for several hours in hot and dry conditions to be seen, yet they would be so grateful for the care given and never did we hear them grumbling or complaining. They exhibited pure joy despite very difficult circumstances. Jennifer had the opportunity to distribute cloth diapers, carefully made by 2 very giving women from her bible study group, to many deserving babies. Another thing that was very touching was listening to patients in the eye clinic who had been unable to read their Bibles because of deteriorating vision. A simple pair of reading glasses left some with tears in their eyes, a Bible in their hands and the precious gift of being able to read God’s Word.
From the bottom of our hearts we appreciate the generous support of the church making the trip possible, along with faithful prayer partners for safety and success. We would ask you to continue to pray for those we saw including the many people whose names we wrote down who still need to come to know the Lord. Pray others will be placed in their lives to complete the harvest. Pray for those patients with illnesses we were not able to treat including chronic malnourishment, hepatitis, seizure disorders and children with brain injuries. Pray for their healing. Finally pray that God would continue to impress upon our hearts and the hearts of others the need to share Christ’s love.
In His Service,
Jason and Jennifer Snowden