Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hosting campus Ministry

Friends and Family,
Greetings again. These past few weeks we have had many visitors. It is important to us that we share the treasure of mission with our donors, friends, family, and guests from our Diocese. 11 represenatives of Pastoral youth ministry of Resurection Parish and Montana State University, the BOBCATS, and their pastor just departed. They come to visit, and share the life and culture of the people we serve.

They began their visit with breakfast and being serenaded with christian music by the clinic band. The administrative team of the parish clinic then shared a power point presentation of the health program at the mission. Thier tour began in the Medicinal Plant Clinic, which is alternative Mayan medicine. There are 102 medicinal plants and over 20 nutritive plants. Most of these medicinal plants are cultivated in the clinic garden, Teas, soaps, shampoos and other remedies are made from the plants. This clinic is supervised by a chemical biologist from a Health Association of which we are a member. The students and Fr. Val then proceeded up to the Clinica Maxeña which is the parish clinic founded in 1966. The met Dr Ever who has worked in the clinic for four years. He works one evening/night shift at the local hospital. They visited the Laboratory which is managed by our Lab technician who has 25 years experience with the Ministry of Health. Many lab tests allow for accurate diagnosis by our doctor and auxillary nurses. Such tests as VIH for Aids, TB sputums, typhoid, malaria, urine and stool labs are performed daily in the laboratory. Consultation for minor ailments by our two auxiliary nurses also was witnessed by the visitors. The visited the administrative office, accounting office and the small in patient area for patients with acute illness. The clinic has space for four in patients. The Emergency Room still lacks importnat equipment but it is an important function of the clinic. They met the personell from the Mountain Clinic project at the Clinica Maxeña, which includes six mountain clinics. This project is supervised by two Guatemalan doctors and is funded by the European Union and Medicus Mundi España. In the afternoon they traveled over a bumpy road to one of the mountain clinics and shared the progress in health care in the community served, presented by the auxiliary nurse. They also witnessed the devastation from hurricane Stan in one of the mountain villages in 2005.

The next day they journeyed to ASUNCION junior, senior parish high school, initiated by Fr. Hazelton more than a decade ago. There are almost 600 students, including 125 dormitory students who come from very poor families who live at a distance. They shared sports, witnessed a program of dance and poetry of the Mayan culture and a delicious lunch, followed by class visitation. The day terminated with celebration of Mass by Fr Hazelton in their native language of QUICHE and then supper.

They shared a game of soccer with the team of the Clincia Maxeña admist drizzling rain and laughter. The Clinica Maxeña was the winning team and they gladly accepted the gift of two soccer balls and pumps. Another day they traveled to a very poor village and together with men from the community painted three classrooms of the local grade school. A trip for the more hardy was a hike half way up the VOLCAN PECUL, which was recently devastated by a forest fire. The Clinica Maxeña is planning some reforestation in its environmental project on this Volcanoe which is the origin of all water source for the lower coast where the mission is located.

The group of students and Fr Val visited different mountain villages and celebrated mass with Fr Hazy in the native Quiche language. They attend mass with confirmation for local youth at our parish church. Fr Val and Fr Hazy con celebrated this liturgy and sacrament with our local Bishop Pablo.

Pizza in the city on the night before departure ended their experience at the MISSION. Sharing the TREASURE OF THE GUATEMALAN MISSION is indeed an honor for our Mission TEAM, FR, Hazy, Sr. ANNA, Sr Mary, and myself. THANK YOU!