We've been back for a couple of days now, and this is starting to feel like home once again. I have almost all of our laundry done. Once that is completed, I can handle anything.
I've had people emailing me and asking me "how was your trip?" To those people, I apologize for my lengthy silence. Our trip was fabulous (more about that in a minute). Since we have been home, both L and I lack the will to move. I feel like I am really, really
jet lagged. Alas, Puebla is in the same time zone as home, so I don't know what our major malfunction is. Maybe the clean air has gone to our heads and we are overdosing on oxygen.
Anyway, enough about me. Puebla was wonderful. We had a really good gig this year as we set up the clinic in the same location as last year, a seminary used by the church since they don't have their own building. The familiarity with location and the church members really helped to make us comfortable and it was much less stressful. Not that this was a big concern, or why we were going to serve, but it is nice to catch a break. Here is a picture of our pharmacy (the gringos are Bruce, the other pharmacist, and Robyn, our tech/ fabulous translator).
The church we partnered with has gone from attendance of 200 to 400 in the last year, and from 10 community groups to 36. I think they are the epicenter of a revival in Puebla. I have never met people like that. Many of the church members took the week off from their jobs just to be there and help us with anything we needed. They even took people out after the clinic was over and fed them, helped them shop, whatever they could do to make us happy. They were really amazing.
The clinic saw about 1400 patients in the 4 days we were set up. That was a couple of hundred more than last year. We had just over 1000 of them come through the pharmacy (some just came for dental or eyeglasses), and when you figure an average of 3 prescriptions per person, with just 4 people in the pharmacy, you can see why we were pretty busy. Thankfully, the patients were pretty well spaced out, so we never really felt slammed. Leonardo's program for pharmacy labels worked really well, and I think it took some of the stress off of those of us in the pharmacy.
About 20- 25 people (we don't keep an exact count) accepted Christ while we there. This is more than last year, and the year before that no one came to know Him. We've been joking that we are just wearing them down. =) Seriously though, a woman came to the clinic and told the pastor's wife that she came last year and was so struck by all of the Americans that would take a week to come and work for free so joyfully that she decided to go to an evangelical church and see what that was all about. Since then, she has come to know Christ. I would go back every single year for one
story like that!
The bears were a great thing to be able to give out. My favorite thing about working in the pharmacy is that we get to hand out little goody bags with toothbrushes and soap and things like that, and we also get to give a toy to each child. We had enough bears for the dental clinic and the goody bags, so I got to see the children's smiles when they got their bears. I went thinking no way would I do it again next year, but I am already on the lookout for cute fabrics...
The construction team was able to completely paint, decorate and carpet the baby nursery, as well as build a stage for the musicians and pastors to use during church services.
In conclusion, we are tired, but in a happy, feel good kind of way. Can't wait till next November....