Monday, May 13, 2013

All things to all people


A two syllable word, yet it holds so much meaning.  It can mean mold-able, or pourable.  If you apply it to a human being the meanings are endless ( no pun intended). 

I had the opportunity to go on a medical mission trip this past week with another ministry we are on the board of, Amazon Reach.  One of the translators was not able to go last minute and I was asked to go.  It turned out to be a great opportunity to be fluid.

Fluid in the sense I could go.  Fluid in the sense I could be put into any situation to help translate.  Fluid in the sense of adjusting to the living conditions (sleep in a hammock, possibility of no showers, and no privacy).  Fluid in the sense of being all things to the people in the community.

The team that went was from all over the world.  There were 5 South Koreans (2 from the USA actually), 5 Brazilians, 1 from Barbados (in the Caribbean), 1 from Germany, 1 from New Zealand, and 2 from the USA. 

I loved it.  Felt like I was back at my MK school, PACA.

We traveled about an hour by boat.  Most of the communities we passed had wooden huts by the river and everyone gets around by boat.  Keep this photo in mind to compare it to the last one.  The extreme differences will amaze you.  Fluid.

The first thing we did was set up our hammocks.  This community had electricity and running water.  We were able to stay at the local elementary school.  Some people slept outside.

That afternoon we helped out with the children's program.  The following 2 days they had double the amount of kids.

The next morning we set up medical care.  This is the "triage" and "pharmacy" area.  I helped here filling out "fichas"/ info sheets and translating for the gal that was taking blood pressure and blood sugar tests. 

The lady that did dental saw over 25 patients while we were there, extracting teeth, filling cavities, and doing cleanings.  Check out the dental chair!

Future doctors?

Day 3 we were off to visit families in the community.  I was the whitest person there.  And this after getting tanner than I usually am!!  Oh well.

Day 4 the German gal and I visited this family.  The grandfather has been sick and rarely gets out anymore.  I shared Psalm 145 with them and prayed.  I left them the New Testament I had and hopefully they will continue to read it.  So, not only am I the whitest, but the tallest.  But they were so accommodating.  Love Brazilians.

Remember the photo with the huts and canoes?  This is what we saw on our way back to port in Belem.  The extreme difference in lifestyle is astounding.  And the difference in distance is only 6-10 miles!!

Fluid.  All things to all people.

There is so much to learn about the river communities and the people in Belem.  They live in the same area, but most don't even connect with each other.  We hope to be the bridge to connect the two so their own will be willing to disciple these young Christians.  And many on the islands/communities have some form of religion, but most have syncretism - belief in Jesus with the addition of other beliefs.

We appreciate all who pray for us, support us, are involved with us, and stay aware of our happenings.  We love it!  Nothing like having an encouragement team behind you to keep you going.  So, thanks again for being part of our lives.

Psalm 145:13b-16
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.