Sabado (Saturday)

Buenos Dia!!

After a long but enjoyable week in the clinic, our day was dedicated to enjoying the beauty of the Dominican Republic and Catalina Island. Our journey began with a bus ride to La Romana and a trip down some steep steps to the snorkeling boats at the dock below. We were very thankful for sweet Momma Mandy bringing Dramamine, as the boat ride was very bumpy. We rode to Catalina Island, which we all agreed was the most beautiful beach any of us had ever seen. We had lunch and took naps on the beach and returned home tired and tan.

Upon returning to our temporary home, we enjoyed our last worship and bible study together. Coming home to the US will be bitter sweet, but we can’t wait to tell you all more about what we have seen and heard and how God has worked in our lives this week!

ImageImage

Viernes (Friday)

Image

After a night without internet service here at headquarters, we are back with a blog entry for Friday. Today, we traveled to the village of Consuela. After traversing mile after mile of sugar cane fields, our team set up shop in a local church and began our day of sharing God’s love. This village was home to many Haitian and Dominican sugar cane workers and their impairments reflected the back breaking labor they perform each day. Interestingly enough, directly behind the church stood a pig pen. Two farmers went about their work as we treated the patients, and the occasional squealing of a pig became a normal occurrence by mid day. 

One patient to which our team was able to minister presented with a chronic wound from a gun shot to the arm. A pair of our students, while treating him, discovered that he was not a Christian and shared with him some verses from the book of Romans. He eagerly expressed a desire to know Jesus but said he wanted to come to Christ with his girlfriend. Our students prayed with him and we continue to lift up he and his family.  

A major high point of our day was actually having time after the workday to interact with the kids. The children of Consuela are now joyously decorated with Mobile Mardi Gras beads! Our students enjoyed a friendly game of futbol (soccer) with the kids while others sang and played other games. 

When we arrived back at the score compound, we found out there was a patient with a wound that needed attention. We were able to clean and re-dress the wound for the gentleman who is only able to have 2 visits/ month to address the wound on his leg. It was a great blessing that we had the medical supplies available for him to take home to be able to facilitate his healing independently at home to make up for the lack of coverage for medical care. 

Our return home was met with a greeting again from the greatest “watchee” of all time (see the blog from Thursday). As a group, we decided to go out and meet the man who always helped to start our days and evenings on a positive note. His name was Miguel and he has been announced to be the happiest person we have ever known. It was evident from his greeting and willingness to take a picture with our group that he has enjoyed our ruckus as we entered and exited the complex every day. 

The evening ended with group devotions and discussions about our high points and low points of the day. It was bitter sweet recognizing it was our last day of mission work in the Dominican Republic… for this year. We’ve began discussing the future of this mission for students and clinicians, as well as all of us returning. The Lord has been so faithful throughout the week, and our love for the people of this country has grown exponentially.  

 

Jueves (Thursday)

Aye-yei-yei Mamacita!

Our journey to the site this morning took us through a different route through sugar cane fields (we even went over a suspension bridge #chadmcdaniel). We served the people of San Lucas Nursing Home and some of the surrounding village.  

Two of the most entertaining patients of the day were 100++ years old (109 and 106).  The gentleman who was 109 was joyously hallucinating and repeatedly called for his mother to let him go because he was tired.  He also spontaneously burst into song on several occasions.  The 106 year old gentleman was determined to perform his exercises and had more energy than most patients seen during the day.  

A smaller number of patients showed up today to receive the word of the Lord and therapy.  This allowed for us to spend more one on one time with each patient.  The extra time was well spent on a man who presented with significant wounds.  Two students were able to clean these, while two other students were able to pray with the man about the Lord and his quest for love.  

After lunch, we packed into our autobus to travel to another nursing home; however, due to the torrential downpour, we were unable to see any of the patients.  Hopefully we will see these patients manana (tomorrow).  Therefore, we were able to make use of the free time to support the women of Lily House.  This house was started to save young women from the harsh reality of prostitution and drugs that formerly plagued their lives.  This organization gives the ladies an opportunity to learn new trades to support their families.  Several students bought some of their delicious coconut ice cream and jewelry followed by listening to the heart warming testimonies shared by a couple girls.  

This evening we had a special dinner (Argentinian BBQ) prepared by and to raise support for the local church pastors and missionaries.  The leftover dinner will be donated to some of the local malnourished dogs in the community.  We attended church after dinner for SCORE night.  All of the organizations who are with SCORE, worshiped and listened to the word from the director of SCORE, Frank.  We ended the evening with a farewell to two of our clinicians, Ashley and Mary.  They have been a wonderful blessing to the team and people of the Dominican Republic.  They have become a part of the family and we will truly miss them.  We pray for safe travels for them tomorrow.  

Please say a prayer for our last day serving the Dominicans in the community.  

God Bless, and Buenos Noches

Miercoles (Wednesday)

Guess what day it is…..

HUMP DAYYY!  –>  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBhP0EQ1lA

We were greeted at 8:30 this morning with the greatest ‘watchee’ of all time! (see pic below)Image

Today we had the opportunity to visit the village of the Haitian sugar cane field workers in San Pedro de Macoris.  We provided physical therapy services to a local nursing home that housed approximately 40 residents.  The conditions were less than optimal; however, despite this the residents exuded joy and were so grateful for us being there.  Several residents had thromboses (aka strokes), wounds, general deconditioning, and balance issues.  We also had the privilege to witness and pray with each patient.  Numerous residents were Christians and even prayed with or for us.  The Christian community there provided the cleanest conditions possible and displayed Christ’s love through their services.

After lunch, Sadrac (the local pastor in Juan Dolio and SCORE representative) gave us a tour of the village.  We were exposed to the harsh realities that face the Haitian immigrants that make their homes in this village.  Old sugar cane housing provided homes for many of the people.  Several of the homes were 1 room homes with 5 or more living in each.  Image

Many of the local children were very excited to see us. They ran up to us and jumped on our backs and played games with several of us. We played hand clapping games, soccer with a wiffle ball, and even got a few wounds in the process.  Several of the little girls had fun braiding some of the students hair and wanted many fotographias.  They wanted to come join us back at the nursing home, but were ushered away by the workers.

Image

A 97 year old patient, Jude,  we interacted with not only needed help physically, but emotionally. When we first saw him he was curled up in a ball on an uncomfortable “lounge chair”; it looked as if he had been there several hours. We began to speak with him about his main complaint which was about the bar of the chair pushing into his back.  After simple positioning, Jude began to bless us and raising his hands praising  Jesus Christo for us coming and spending time with him.

Another patient, Reyna, was a 70 yrs. old woman with an above knee amputation who wanted some exercises for her shoulder pain due to the crutches.  She was one of the most optimistic patients we’ve had the opportunity to work with, and was determined to exercise and get better, even in the midst of her extreme adversity.  She was an extreme encouragement and blessing to the students who were able to work with her. After teaching her exercises, we offered to pray for her, but she insisted on only praying for her family. She was so selfless; a perfect example of Christ.

After a long day of therapy and experiencing the village, we were able to end the evening with a great devotional time with the group sharing our “high’s and low’s” of the day. It was a great way for us to share what Christ is doing in and through us during this week.

We hope your ice cream Wednesday was as tasty as ours. We are headed to bed happier than a camel on Wednesday!

-The PT DR Team

P.S.: We miss you Duane; it’s not the same without you!

*For grammatical errors please contact Lucas :D

Martes (Tuesday)

IMG_2133Out of the mouths of babes… Today was our first day dealing with children in the clinic. We had a morning filled with crying, near pooping, and funky baby feet. Some of our students were able to experience their first real-life therapy interactions with children. Other students continued therapy and wound care in other areas of the hospital. More patients with neurologic pathologies such as stroke were seen today in our outpatient clinic than yesterday. One such patient emphatically informed us she was a christian, and insisted upon praying for us immediately after we prayed for her. We thought that was pretty cool!

Both the students and the therapists commented on the increasing level of independence that the students are practicing with. With each new patient, we are gaining more and more confidence in both our physical therapy practice and in sharing the gospel. (And in our Espanol Tambien)

The undisputed highlight of the day was a lady who prayed to receive Christ. Mandy used one of our “evangicubes” to deliver the message of salvation. A score missionary, and local pastor prayed with her and discussed some local churches for her to grow in fellowship with other believers. Needless to say we left the hospital Happy Happy Happy.

We ended the night at SCORE Night with other mission teams from all over the country. Our team enjoyed praise and worship along with a sermon from a pastor and missionary from Honduras.

Tomorrow brings another adventure and opportunity to serve the Lord.  We will be working in a village at a local church treating patients from the surrounding areas. Continue to pray for our team as well as the people of the Dominican Republic.

God Is Good… All The Time… JACK!

Lunes (Monday)

Death has no stink…. but Gangrene does. Today marked our first day in the clinic here in the Dominican Republic. This morning we traveled to the city of San Pedro to work in the regional hospital for the east side of the island. The staff was very gracious to allow us to take over the clinic and do the work God has called us to do. We were also blessed to have the opportunity to assist the doctors here in management of diabetic foot wounds. Ashley, our certified wound specialists proved to be an extremely valuable resource in directing our students and caring for these advanced wounds. Many of the students were exposed to wounds with a degree of severity they have never seen before. These experiences proved to be both exciting and saddening at times.

We have also had the blessing of connecting with a doctor from Buffalo, New York named Neil. Neil came to the Dominican to work with other doctors in family and emergency medicine. He has worked closely with our students and therapists to provide a standard of care that these people would otherwise never receive.

God’s work through us in the Dominican Republic has only just begun. Please continue to lift up the mission team and the people in prayer.

Hasta Manana

Domingo (Sunday)

Hopeness. Fearness. Death has no stink… 

Sunday morning we had the opportunity to attend the church of one of the SCORE missionaries- Juan 3:16 Iglesia in San Pedro de Marcoris. The message was preached in Espanol but a translator was present for the benefit of our team and another missions team staying with score. The message about “fearness” (as the translator pronounced it) was relevant to our experience here, and really spoke to our hearts, transcending language barriers. After church we were able to visit with some of the congregation and noticed that one of the infants present had several severe developmental abnormalities. We were already able to see God at work by placing Maria, our spanish-fluent, pediatric therapist, in that church at that time to be able to help the mother with treatment options and educational materials that the family desperately needed. God is good, all the time. 

Church was followed by an awesome trip to the beach, where several of us took time to enjoy the local climate. We spent time in the clear, blue water and relaxed on the sand. Little did we know that America Football is surprising fun with a volleyball on a sand soccer field with rugby rules. (The locals asked Luke, Evan, and Duane to join them in a friendly game). Proved to be very entertaining for the rest of us! 

We had a great Sabbath day of rest and preparation for the week in the clinic. Finished the day with Bible study and worship, and dragged ourselves to bed, anxious and excited for the morning. ImageImageImage