The aroma of rich Honduran coffee assists us out of our bunks each morning.  Coffee is a key crop here and we are packing 200 pounds back to the states.  The beans we buy here will serve to make coffee at COR’s coffee house in the narthex.  It is a wonderful blessing to support the local vendors AND share the richness of this dynamic bean.

The trip is winding down.  The excavation team (4) has a mere 24 Aleve remaining, so we are blessed that the digging will be over after today’s exertion.

The diggers had a brush with hysteria when they arrived today.  Early on, it was decided that the MOAT was several feet away from where it actually should have been!  Not to be discouraged, the group took a break to tour the teaching, medical and dental areas while the pastor, foreman, architect and interpreter recalculated.  In the end, the moat remains and the dig team got to see all the rest of the functions in action. God works in mysterious ways!  Our final day consisted of expanding some footer columns and tying rebar that will reside inside those footers.

Each day when we arrive in Ciudad there a long line women and children seeking medical and dental attention.  Today was no exception and the staffs jumped into action.  The patients fill out information cards and are processed through triage.  We have collected several hundred patient cards that will be vital as medical teams continue to serve ciudad.  Doctors Julie and Natalie saw another 60 patients today. Maladies include rashes, ear aches, hypertension, abrasions and depression.  Jeanne did an inventory of the medicine on hand at the conclusion of the day.  It is our goal to use that data to develop a clear understanding of the ratio between: number of doctors, hours worked and specific prescriptions filled.  That information will best arm future medical missions to know their capacities and build their inventories.  There will be a Dr. on site at the church in Cuidad intermittently, and her pharmacy will now be well fortified.

Carrie may now aspire to be a dentist.  She has served at the hands of Karen all week, and maintained a perfect extraction ratio of 1/patient!  (Some did have none, while others had multiples).  I witnessed an extraction and can attest to the superior bedside manner of both Karen and Carrie.  There is no salve for pain quite like supreme confidence and bright smiles.

The “teach the teacher” mission raged on today.  I was lucky enough to see songs, rhymes, recitation and memorizing.    Dan and Ann have made incredible progress and will stay another week to continue this great work.

Since it was our last functioning day in Ciudad, we broke early and took time to pack up our medical and dental supplies.  This group established a new connection with a Blue Valley soccer club, and was blessed to bring 7 soccer balls.  Justin donated 3 American footballs, so it was not surprising that SOMEHOW we got locked into some sporting action with the local children.  My assessment of the skill level is that the average 10 year old plays at approximately varsity high school level.

The greatest irony of international mission work is that the role we bring with us is seldom the role that we play.  We have assembled a team with specific (and not so specific [diggers]) skills.)  I know that each had a definition,  agenda and expectation of their role here.  While the experts  have clearly lived into their expertise, we have also morphed  into roles that we might never  expect.  I speak for the group in saying that being the arms and legs of Christ molds and shapes you.  The smiles you share with children, the selflessness you exhibit within the group, the faith that you bolster via lessons changes you.  Done right, these trips allow you to do not only what you came here to do, but also to do what we are PUT HERE TO DO.

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