Julia Strain being restrained and Andre’ being unrestrained on last day

As the team finishes their last day, there was a lot of appreciation for the Belize hospital support staff, and for each other. We began as strangers for the most part, and in reflecting on our expectations for the trip at breakfast, none of us expected to have such an experience where we felt God showing up in so many big and little ways. For the few who are veterans of previous Belize mission trips, several said this was their best ever team experience, and not just because we were smaller than some of the past teams. This team was very giving and serving and set a new standard for excellence in attitude and grace (according to several veterans). Some who were not sure why they had decided months ago to sign up for an extra week, or a different team, said they look back now and are so glad they came this particular week to experience this. All things, we can only describe, but it is hard to share in any meaningful way to those who are just reading the account.

We will miss Coca Cola and our lack of disciplined diet as we return home. The Coca Cola made with sugar cane is so good, and the coffee with unprocessed sugar and real cream at breakfast is not on our regular diet. We have a huge cooler in the entrance to the surgery area, full of ice that makes your hands burn as you reach in to grab an ice cold drink.

You can use a forklift for sweeping cob webs 30 feet high

The last patient was taken in to surgery and the team expects to be out a bit early today. Everything went very smoothly for these last five cases on Tuesday. Our total as we leave are twenty cases. We wish we could have done sixty, but as our first year, we felt really good to set a good pattern and learn for next year, with perhaps a second surgeon to perform a larger number during the four days.

We talked last night with some local contacts who are helping to keep an annual scholarship program for high school students going here over the last five years. If any out there would like to impact Belize in a HUGE way, they can do that by transforming the trajectory of the students here who need help staying in high school.