Our first full day in Honduras. This country, like every country around the world, has its unique traits (like the taste of its tortillas compared to tortillas in other Latin American countries) as well as the more globally ubiquitous aspects (Coca Cola signs everywhere). I love its beautiful green, rolling mountains and warm, friendly and open people.
Today, my colleague, Bryce Alan Flurie, and I started bright and early at 6:45 a.m. when the hospital’s executive director, Ruth Castro, picked us up in the big white CURE van to take us on the 15-minute ride to the hospital.
Our day started out on a pretty good note. Every morning at the CURE Honduras hospital, patients and staff members gather together for a few minutes of worship and a word from Aracely de Castillo, the hospital’s spiritual director.
After dismissal, we took a quick tour of the hospital grounds.
What strikes me about the CURE hospital is how small it is compared to hospitals in the U.S. You can take a tour of the entire place in about 10 minutes. However, this is a place that has treated more than 7,000 kids since it opened early last year.
The hospital complex is beautiful, with specific buildings dedicated to specific functions. You can tell a lot of thought went into the hospital’s design. Among my favorite spots is the open air waiting area. By about nine in the morning, it is full of moms, dads, babies, big brothers and little sisters waiting to be seen by the surgeons. The cafeteria is a close second; the food tastes amazing!
After our tour, we went with Aracely on her rounds as she met with parents and patients before surgery. These were intimate times of prayer, counseling and just talking.
I caught a few moments of Aracely sitting with a mom and her daughter, who was about to have surgery for clubfoot. As daughter and mom held hands, Aracely put her hand on the little girl and prayed softly. All of the sudden this room, despite the cries of a nearby baby and the busy chatter of the medical staff, had become their own private oasis of calm. You really see what we mean when we talk about the “spiritual” side of healing for our patients and their families.
The rest of the day, we interviewed patients and their families.
Two of them we saw while at the hospital.
And, of course, I want you to meet them.
When she was 10, she developed a tumor on her leg. She soon couldn’t walk and missed out on everything that was important to a girl of that age. Playing hide and seek, running, jumping rope.
Today, the tumor is gone thanks to CURE Honduras. She can now walk and jump rope. I think that’s a pretty cool way to start her teenage years!
But then you hear the 17-year-old girl tell her story, of how she was embarrassed to show her feet. She lived her entire life this way. Even when she went to the beach, she tried to wear shoes as much as possible. She came to the hospital depressed, unsure of herself, and far from God.
But she said she left the hospital with a renewed relationship with God. The bunion on her one foot has been removed. Another surgery will soon follow on her other one.
You can bet she’s looking forward to walking barefoot on the beach!
We also traveled to the town of El Progreso to meet one of the most amazing kids I’ve ever interviewed for CURE. But you’ll have to read that story later in the week.
Until then, God bless…