Today is Monday and marks the mid point of the trip or past the midpoint in ways.

The surgery team returned back home at 10 PM last night and honestly was a bit discouraged that they had two days that were so long, even though day two was better, it still was too long to be sustainable. Donna Gunn was sick, from food or exhaustion or both. So some of the village team joined once again to help and several surgeries were cancelled with the hope of having a more reasonable length of day. The team coming in two weeks can hopefully pick up the slack and perform the surgeries that are deferred.

At morning devotions, Jim Zartman spoke of the view walking into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday of all the palm leaves and bright clothes and the cheering crowds, but pointed out that looking at all that, the donkey could think, “hey this is all great praise for me!” If we see something great done in Belize it is due to the person we carry to the people of Belize, Jesus Christ. Give us this day our daily bread, was the theme as we prayed for the surgery team to have a good day, for everyone to serve out of their weakness or strength. Some of us are a bit tired from the pace and so we lean on Christ and perhaps greater things happen when we are depleted than when full.

The surgery team was having a good day and staying on schedule.

The youth from Normandy Church went to the village clinic but then ended up half way through the day painting the house in Patchakan.

The village team went to a Menonite village south of Orange Walk called Shipyard. It was quite a long drive on bumpy roads south of Orange Walk. When we arrived at almost 10 PM after stopping at the hospital to coordinate things, there were only 8 families at the clinic. After setting up and serving those famies a few more came in, but it looked to be a very slow day. The youth enjoyed seeing kids all dressed alike by gender coming in from recess to school, girls on right, boys on left. we passed by the church with posts on all sides for carriages on Sunday. Everyone traveled by horse and buggy and wore clothes like the set of The Witness movie. Translators was a problem as they mostly speak German and Spanish. The women speak only german. But, since the crowd was small, some of the doctors went back to offer the hotel staff a clinic day, and drop off the youth at the house to paint. The surgery team asked for a nurse as we passed by, so everyone was busy from south of Orange Walk back to Corozal serving in different ways.

The dental team had another busy day. They have a 48 foot long trailer designed for dental work and initially owned by a Presbyterian group. Now, the trailer is owned by the Orange Walk hospital for visiting teams both dental and otherwise. The hospital has also invested in equipment inside the hospital near their emergency room, that has two dental stations adjoining each other in a large room. Dr. Andrew Smith from Oregon has working in this permanent space with Kim and Caitlin Dosier assisting him. He focuses on adult patients. Dr. Gordon a.k. a. Bubba Smith and Dr. Tim Followell, and Dr. Leigh Ann Trotter have taken up the dental trailer focusing on kids with Maureen Jenkins and Lauren Fuller assisting. Michele Callahan was also assisting, but for two days is on loan to the surgery team.

Patients come onto the hospital grounds and sit under an outdoor canvas to wait for their dental or ENT turn. patients are taken to the proper location when their turn has come for surgery or dentistry.

The surgery team had a good day today and seems to be on schedule. Let’s pray that they can close up in time to be back at Tony’s for dinner at a reasonable hour. It is 5:30 PM Central time in Belize as we post this, and dinner is at 7:00 PM. The weather has been rainy in general and has cleared some last night and has been back and forth today. The evenings are quite pleasant to sit out with the gentle wind coming off the water under a full moon and bright stars.

Our devotions on Tuesday morning will take place out at the house under construction. For most of us, we have not seen the house, so this will be a chance to do a dedication and pray for the three special ladies who will move in at the end of our week.

We apologize that we have not posted more pictures, but the internet is quite slow here.  :)