Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Year Comes to an END!

It is dark out yet our star of peace, with DOVE shining bright, adorns the adjacent building as I drift into sleep.  2012 is coming to a close in less than a week.  Time moves on so quickly at times with so many happenings in our lives and world; we barely have time to take note. I have neglected my diary that I kept for so many years.  I am 69 years now; I have been back in Mission since 2006.  Prior to that I served in Guatemala for 17 years. I have witnessed great changes. Homes were once made primarily from bamboo with roofs of dried banana leaves; now the majority are from block and two stories.  There is little land available to cultivate. Lights are now available is most homes, if only one light bulb, replacing candle light.  Mobile phones and internet cafes are part of reality for the younger generation.  Cars and buses fill the road ways as do the famous TUC TUCS, or three wheel taxis.  Long gone is the healthy custom to walk for sometimes miles to reach ones destination. First dirt roads replaced the mountain paths but now paved roads, with pot holes, are becoming more common. Motor bikes also fill the roads as they weave in and out of cars and pedestrians.

Missionaries are also fewer in number then in the sixties when our Mission began.  Vocations and local managed churches are a reality.  Once Latin America was considered a Catholic continent; that too has changed as protestant evangelization made its way into all the mountain villages, towns and cities. The World was changing around us and we adapted our lives to the changes.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR OUR CLINIC?  We are partially dependent on others for donations in order to care for the poor.  There is no health care or medicaid here. As one put it; if you have money, you live; if you don't you die.  Help sir as we go forward with hope, prayer and caring of others. The Clinic was founded in 1966 so we have witnessed many health improvements in the population despite the extreme poverty. We have had the generosity of Ophthalmologists who come twice a year for Cataract and other eye surgeries. Our clinic serves now over 15,000 patients a year. The most common diseases are diabetes, malnutrition of children under 5, tuberculosis is making a comeback, AIDS more common.

It has been nice to have friends here from El Salvador; Susan, CSJP and Marie Carmen visiting for the Holidays.  Our town Fiesta of Santo Tomas is over.  13 B'aktun is over and the WORLD did not end as predicted.  One from clinic commemorated the dawn with candles and prayer for family, friends, and the Clinica Maxeña..

Farewell 2012.  Blessing and JOY to all friends and Family. May 2013 bring peace and joy to all people.

Love Sheila