Well it's Monday, our first day for opening the Healthcare clinic. We were up early for breakfast, devotions and loading our gear onto the bus. It was a gorgeous day with a little cloud cover to hold some of the heat back. We arrived in a local barrio that is outside of Managua and on top of a hill. As you can see by this picture , the medical clinic was constructed by the members of Verbo church a few days earlier. It's actually quite nice compared to some other digs we've had in the past. There's a nice breeze that flows over the mountain which keeps us all a little cooler.

As you can see the Doctors have stations set out in the middle of our accommodations with their translator and their patients. We have 24 members of Verbo church helping us every step of the way. They are great brothers and sisters in the Lord. Everyone who sees a Doctor also speaks with a Counselor, who tells them about Jesus and His gift of eternal healing.

Sally Lawler , is one of the first smiling faces they see. All of the people are brought from a lower level receiving area up to the clinic for the initial Triage. Here they get weighed; blood pressure is taken and a brief history is taken. Often a hug is thrown in for good measure.

Doctor Marilee and Amanda Van Deman (MPPC Member In Mission) love to work with the Mamas and the Bambinos. Healthcare in Nicaragua is a "family affair". Everybody gets checked and everybody gets loved for the Lord.

It's not uncommon to see the Doctors consult on various third world symptoms and the appropriate medicines (I used to say drugs, but that's a little frowned upon in Latin America). They have to identify the problem and then figure out what medicine best helps the patient based upon the 12 duffel bags of medicines we've brought to our pharmacy.

Did I mentioned that we have a fully functioning Pharmacy with literally hundreds of medicines? We expect that during this healthcare outreach we'll fill over 1,000 prescriptions with some very powerful medicines brought from the U.S. As you can see, it often takes a large groups of Pharmacy Techs, Nurses and Helpers to process every medicine in English and Spanish with descriptions of dosage and time for usage. Added to this exciting experience is the wonderful sauna effect of working in a barrio house. Candidly, we are very glad to have a home with shelves, lights and a fan or two.

Lastly, and definitely not least, is our Public Health training. As you can see by this picture, we have the kids come help us with colorful pictures to explain the basics of washing hands, wearing shoes, worms, toilet skills and things we'd consider so basic that it's hardly worth mentioning. Much of the third world would cut their health problems by 35% to 50% with just good Public Health practices.

We are reading the Purpose Driven Life as a team. The first line of the book says, "It's not about us" and we couldn't agree more. The Lord Jesus is doing a special thing in and through us. And you are all our partners. Thanks for your prayers; they mean so much to us. You are in our prayers as well and we look forward to another day where we can serve and enjoy our Abba Father.

The 2004 Nicaragua Healthcare Team