Camasca – Thursday, October 29, 1988
Today I woke up at 3 a.m. with a stomach ache. I have been doing well with the food until now. The village dogs howl until 1 a.m. and the chickens start crowing about 3:30 a.m. so I keep waking up early. I never knew a village could be so noisy at night! After the clinic started, I had to run through the crowds to the only toilet a block away. So thankful I made it in time. I thought I would be crushed in the mob waiting to see the doctors outside the village school. It’s a good thing I’m a head taller than most people here. I just kept saying, “Permiso” (excuse me), and the crowd parted for me.
This afternoon, the mission director came to the clinic and told me they found my suitcase and he put it in the women’s house. During a break, I went to the house to bring back some more gospels of John to hand out. I gave the rest of them to one of the helpers to hand out tomorrow and next week at another village they are serving.
I am sad that this is my last day to work with the group who is going to another village on Saturday and staying the second week. There is no telephone or telegram to communicate with Dr. Pete in the next village. Judy and I don’t even know how we’re getting to the capital city, Tegucigalpa, tomorrow. Shortwave radio contact is difficult. The mission director said we will be taken to the next town at 4:30 a.m. where the local doctor will take us with him to Teguc (short version for the capital).
I feel like I have a fever so one of the doctors gave me a new antibiotic to take called Ciprofloxacin to kill the stomach bug I have. I taught Harold, one of the general helpers, how to take a blood pressure. It’s challenging to hear in this noisy crowd, but he was a quick learner.
I gave the devotional tonight after dinner on “Christ, the solid Rock” from 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 and 2 Samuel 22:1-3. I might tremble on the Rock, but the Rock never trembles under me! How wonderful it is to trust and rest in my faithful Savior.
“The Lord is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer” (2 Samuel 22:2 KJV).
Afterward, one of the school teachers gave us a brief history of the town of Camasca which was founded in 1746. Currently, it has a population of 6000. The average annual salary is 50 Limperas ($25).
Friday – Camasca to Tegucigalpa
Judy and I arose at 3:30 a.m., but the pickup truck arrived at 4 a.m. – 30 minutes early. We were hurrying in the dark and my flashlight batteries were almost out, so I forgot my camera and suitcase wheels. The head lady flagged down our truck and took us to the pharmacy where she had two cups of hot tea and cornbread ready for us. What a treat. We both gave her a big hug of appreciation. The driver took us to the next town, Concepcion, and dropped us off at Dr. C’s house at 5 a.m. and then sped off. Dr. C came out and was rather upset with us. He had waited up for us until 10 p.m. and then finally went to bed. Our ride to Teguc came at 2 a.m. so we missed it. I guess there was a communication breakdown somewhere. His car clutch is broken, so he is concerned about driving that far, but finally decided to try it with a friend. We made good time to the next town, La Esperanza, in 3 hours.
Kathy, the wife of the mission director, lives here, but she didn’t know how to get us to Teguc. Someone heard of a school teacher going to Teguc, so she took us out to the bus stop. The “bus” was a little Toyota pickup truck. We threw our stuff in the back and climbed in with eleven locals – ten men and one woman. I sat on my big red suitcase with my other bag behind my back and bounced along for five hours. The scenery was beautiful and the sun was shining, but my back ached as my skin burned. Near the end, a lady climbed in with her little boy and a big bag of oranges she was selling in town. She smiled and asked, “Christiana?” We said “Si” with a big smile. She pointed to herself, smiled and pulled her Bible out of her bag. God overcame the language barrier and knit our hearts together in mutual faith.
We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant. Judy and I had a Coke and cookies because that is all we could safely eat with no guarantee of a bathroom. I thank the Lord that my fever and stomach ache are gone today.
Then the pickup truck dropped us off by the roadside and we waited with the teacher. Behold, a large modern air-conditioned bus stopped and picked us up! The soft reclining seat felt like a little taste of heaven! It only took 2 hours on a smooth road to go the rest of the way to Teguc. Then the teacher called a taxi which took us to the hotel where Dr. Pete waited for us. He arrived at 11 a.m. by small plane in thirty minutes from his village. He tried to contact us by shortwave radio to tell us we could also fly out, but couldn’t get through. I’m glad that we came safely via five different vehicles in fourteen hours because the Lord showed Judy and me how much He cared about us. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7 KJV).
Judy and I walked into our hotel room and were excited to see two real beds and a real shower! I couldn’t find a light in the bathroom, so I took a hot shower by flashlight. It was refreshing after a week of sponge baths. After we ate dinner, we strolled around the city park. It is hard to witness the poverty everywhere. I am thankful we were out in the country most of the time. When I came back to the hotel, I noticed the light fixture over the bathroom sink, but it took me five whole minutes to find the light switch. Judy and I laughed hard. After a week of sponge baths in the dark, I had forgotten what a light switch looked like. I thanked the Lord for journey mercies and fell into bed at 8 p.m.
October 31 – Home
We flew to Miami where I said goodbye to Pete and Judy. The abundant blessings of the trip included becoming friends with Judy, praying and reading the Bible together every day, seeing God answer prayer daily, sharing John 3:16 with over 400 people, seeing the beautiful countryside, having my faith in God increased, and meeting so many godly doctors and nurses.
This first medical mission trip expanded my worldview in a different way from my previous journeys to Europe, Chile, and China. I thank God for this opportunity He gave me to sow the seed of the gospel in Honduras. I hope I meet some believers from Camasca in heaven who read the gospels of John and received Christ as their Savior.