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Medical team makes deep impact in Honduras
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
July 27, 2010
5 MIN READ TIME

Medical team makes deep impact in Honduras

Medical team makes deep impact in Honduras
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
July 27, 2010

EL TABLON, HONDURAS — She

wiped her face with her cream colored blouse but the tears kept coming.

She sat sideways in the

white plastic chair to face Larry Doyle, who held her hand and prayed with her

while she waited with her grandchildren for their medicine.

She is a Christian, but her

son, who is dying of cancer, is not. Doyle blinked away a few tears himself

after their prayer.

One by one families came

through the doors of Iglesia Bautista Restauracion and waited in line to see

the doctor. Some walked miles to get to the free clinic. Some children enjoyed

saying “ah” for the doctor and having him listen to their heartbeat.

Others, like Jared, seemed

frightened at all the excitement. Jared buried his head in his mom’s shoulder

and she held his shirt up while the doctor pressed the stethoscope against his

back.

Respiratory problems are one

of the most common causes for clinic visits. Many came to be treated for

illnesses caused by parasites, a result of dirty drinking water.

In Honduras, a poor country

of 6.6 million, 80 percent of illnesses could be prevented if clean drinking

water was accessible.

Nearly 1.1 billion in the

world do not have clean drinking water and according to the World Health

Organization one quarter of the world’s population lives in developing

countries with water shortages.

BSC photo by Melissa Lilley

From left: Jordan Teague (First Baptist Church, Salisbury), Maegan Marlowe (Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, Hiddenite), Bria Marlowe (Sulphur Springs), and Debbie Teague (FBC, Salisbury) sort medicine at a clinic in Honduras.

Doyle and a Deep Impact team

of North Carolina Baptists did their best to comfort. One rubbed a little

girl’s back as she sat in her mother’s lap and tried to receive a breathing

treatment through a nebulizer.

She gently waved the tube

back and forth under the girl’s nose so she could inhale the medicine, trying

to help soothe her and end her screaming and squirming. Doyle moved around the

room, talking with those in line and helping explain how to take their

medication.

The free medical clinic is

one of six mission projects carried out by Deep Impact participants in

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. High school and college students and youth leaders from

across North Carolina spent a week in July ministering in rural areas in the

country’s capital city. Deep Impact began 13 years ago at the North Carolina

Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell in Brunswick County, and in Tegucigalpa. This

is the third year Deep Impact expanded to include camp weeks at other

locations. Deep Impact events were also held in Red Springs, Greensboro,

Shelby, Fruitland and Eastern Canada.

Doyle, a former missionary

in Ecuador and now director of missions for Piedmont Baptist Association, has

been to Honduras with Deep Impact several times, helping build the very church

where the clinic was held. He and his wife also were on-site coordinators for N.C.

Baptist Men the year following Hurricane Mitch.

Doyle said Benjamin, the

pastor of Restauracion, told him how the clinic provided opportunity to get to

know the people in his community. The church’s evangelism coordinator, Rosa,

certainly took advantage of the clinic.

Thursday was the largest

turnout with 157 patients, and Rosa shared the gospel several times with people

waiting to see the doctor. “This clinic lets people know we care about them,”

she said.

Sometimes the Deep Impact

team provided medical solutions that seemed too easy.

Doctors “prescribed” simple

over-the-counter cough medicine and vitamins. Or pain reliever for a woman

whose shoulder hurt sharply when she bent over to scrub her clothes.

But, for the people living

in the village of El Tablon, nothing is as easy as it should be. They cannot

run to the pharmacy for basic items to treat a cough or an ear infection

because they have no money. It’s hard to avoid water-borne disease when all the

laundry, bathing and drinking water is contaminated.

Rob Williams remembers the

first time he saw parasites on someone’s skin. Williams, a physician’s

assistant from Faith Baptist Church, came to Honduras in 2001 and worked in the

medical clinic.

Williams has learned to

treat things he doesn’t see in his Faith office, such as parasites and scorpion

stings. “I came back this year for the same reason I came on the first trip,”

he said. “I am reminded that God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve.”

Williams worked alongside

Antonio, a Honduran doctor who has worked in years past with North Carolina

Baptists.

Antonio lives in Tegucigalpa

and decided to become a doctor when he saw so many people hurting in his city.

“They broke my heart,” he

said. “I had to do something.”

One couple came back later

in the week to get medicine for their son who has Hepatitis. Doyle prayed with

the couple and when he finished, the dad was in tears. “I knew he was hurting,”

Doyle said. Doyle shared the gospel and the boy’s parents prayed to receive

Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. For the people Deep Impact

ministered to through the medical clinic, little “somethings” added up to

something big.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Lilley is a

researcher and writer for the Baptist State Convention. More stories and photos coming soon.)