Saturday, November 26, 2016

Travel Day

A few photos of our travel day. It was full of happy surprises thanks to the best taxi driver ever. :) Off to Machu Picchu!!

End of the clinic week

That week went by fast! I've thought a few times about our group prayer before we left Springfield, in which Dr. McNeal prayed for boldness. Throughout our time in Aplao, Pedregal, and La Joya, we saw so many different people, I feel so much more capable of being able to evaluate and treat a patient.  In addition, now I think that I really can treat Spanish speaking patients without help! I strived to go into each day with a sense of boldness. Often, I'm too shy to use the Spanish I know, but I knew that even imperfect Spanish would make a big difference in patient care. 
When I decided I wanted to go on this mission to Peru I expected it to be fulfilling, but also have its challenging moments where I became frustrated with the work. One thing that has been so great about this mission is that it's shown that even though I get physically tired from the schedule, I love working with people! It was awesome to be able to see 11+ patients in a day! It has been especially nice being in an environment where we can not only physically work with them, but also where we can openly pray and aid in their spiritual health too. There were several times were I felt what helped them the most was recognizing that spiritual need.
This mission has gone above and beyond my expectations. The team we've been working with and the people we have seen have made a permanent positive impact on my life.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday clinic

Today was our second and final day in Pedregal. I worked with a physical therapist named Manuela. She works at the clinic in Arequipa mainly with kids and most of the patients I saw with her  were kids. One young girl we saw was in a lot of hip internal rotation. We were able to put a wrap on that encouraged external rotation and we made a custom jointed AFO for her. Her walking was much smoother with these adjustments. We asked our patients if they had any prayer requests and prayed with each one. Each day people open up to us about broken families, feelings of loneliness and heartache. As an encouragement I shared from Matthew 10:29-31, "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Back at the hotel our cook "Domi" made us a Thanksgiving dinner complete with 2 well prepared turkeys and apple pie. At the end of the meal we went around the table and shared something we are thankful for. Asdrubal warned us that tomorrow would be our last day together. It is tough to part with these people because they are part of our spiritual family and we've quickly made bonds with them. I thank God that while I was not able to spend Thanksgiving with family, I had a spiritual family to spend it with.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Clinic Reports Day 3

A couple of days ago, when we were still in Arequipa, I got to work with a Peruvian therapist. We got to see one amazing case. A woman came in with back, hip and knee pain. As we evaluated her, we found that she had a leg length discrepancy that was causing scoliosis and was the cause of her extreme pain. We got her a foot orthotic as well as a brace for her back. When we had her wear these, she said her pain was totally gone. I am constantly amazed that the little I know makes such a huge difference in someone's life. Truly, God has really blessed us with skills that can really impact lives. 
-From Kia  

El Pedregal is a busy place but the clinic is very clean and spacious. I was able to work with Susana and Cynthia. Today I learned the importance of quality over quantity in treating patients. One patient in particular was 8 y.o. who suffered from an MVA and was paralyzed from T10 down. She was stuck with her toes pointed down. We put her in a night splint so she can regain normal range of motion. She also needed her wheelchair brake fixed which we were able to do! We measured her for a new wheel chair as well. She and her Mom were  happy. It is a blessing to be apart of this ministry where we can express Christ love though physical therapy.
-From Bryse

Pictures from the first part of the week

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We're Alive!

We just arrived in Pedegral, Peru where we found some wifi. :) The last two days we spent in Aplao, way down in the valley. Emerging from the desert, it felt like an oasis of rice fields with a river full of shrimp! (Unfortunately we won't be there for the shrimp festival later this week!) We have a wonderful team. Everyone works together so well, the language barrier does not prevent quality patient care. We were able to provide many canes, walkers, AFOs, crutches, and home exercise programs with the materials we brought with us. As students, we had moments where we felt that all the pieces of information we've learned came together as we evaluated a patient. For instance, just last week we learned how to take wheelchair measurements, and the very first day that is what several of us had to do. Dr. Cox will be happy to learn that we taught many patients nerve slides and examined them using the methods we've practiced recently in class. It is so easy to get stuck in "classroom mode", but being out here with patients we can see how valuable and practical everything we are learning is. ¡Gracias a Dios!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Made it

We have received word that the team made it safely to Arequipa as scheduled this morning. Please keep them in your prayers as they begin their service this week. We will post more as we hear from them as the week goes on.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

They're Off!

 The team has had smooth sailing and should be in Peru by the time most people read this. They will be travel weary but excited for the adventure ahead. We will post a confirmation of their arrival to Arequipa as soon as we hear from them. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

2016 Peru Team all packed and ready to go

The 2016 November Peru team had their packing party this week, had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant, and have now finished class for the week.  So, they are all set and ready to roll out Saturday morning!  The team will be leaving Bolivar at 4:15 am Saturday.  If all goes as planned, they will arrive at their final destination in Arequipa, Peru at 6:30am Sunday morning. It will be long and grueling, but worth the journey.  Please pray for each team member's safety in the travel and for all of the connections to be made as planned.

We hope to post blog updates as often as possible this week, to keep everyone informed about what the team is doing and for sharing specific prayer requests.