This last week we started something that has been years in the making. It has been on my heart for quite a while to do some community development type things. I had so many ideas of things I wanted to do, but no idea how to implement those ideas. And I have been so busy homeschooling my children, taking care of a baby, taking care of a home, working with the Sunday school ministry, plus my own endeavors such as trying to learn the guitar, getting some sewing done, and basic hospitality (parties, baby showers, dinners, etc) that I honestly didn’t take the time to really investigate answers to my logistical questions.
So…God was working, even when I was busy. A missionary friend named Tracy passed along to me a book titled “Cuidando la salud de nuestros hijos en casa” (taking care of the health of our kids at home…more or less). This book was a textbook or guide of sorts to a class that was given at a hospital in Atlanta in 2000. In it is all kinds of subjects ranging from cough to burns to bites to fevers and describes in detailed laymen’s terms what they are, how they are prevented, and how you treat them at home. It is a FANTASTIC resource. This little book got the ball rolling.
We used that book as a foundation and we started a class at our church for women in our community (especially those indigenous women that work in the market close by) given by doctors in our community covering a series of topics including those described above. Brynne, the CAM intern that is living with us this summer, made up a flier giving out the information. My friend Stephanie and I spend about 30 minutes one morning passing out around 30 fliers to the women in the market.
For every family represented, we give a portion of food as a thank you for their attendance and to motivate them to come. This week it was a pound of beans and a bag of salt and each week we will give something along those lines: beans, rice, oil, sugar, corn, etc.
We held our first meeting on Thursday at 3:30pm and a member of our church who is a doctor gave the talk and discussed first aid, allergic reactions, and bites. We had 3 women come and they all seemed very interested in the information, taking notes (those that could write) and asking questions. They assured us that they will be inviting more women to come next week. I was just thrilled. There is so much that I desire to do and it seems that the Lord worked this as a first step. I left very encouraged. This could be a fantastic outreach for our church as well as a tremendous help for the women that receive the information. Many of the poor here rely on home remedies (some are fantastic, others…not so much) or they take their children to the public hospital for a cold or an eye infection. Let me just say that that hospital will most assuredly cause more harm than good unless you are in a life or death situation. It was a prescription from that hospital that caused Gladys’s (my house helper) infant grandchild to die. (see here for the story)
Anyway, we are excited. Please pray for this ministry as we are hoping for a greater attendance in the future, as well as an opportunity to show the love of Christ to these women in word and deed.
I’m a dork and didn’t take any pictures this last week, but am going to try SUPER hard to remember my camera for the next one. The only bummer (sort of) is that Brynne won’t be attending because she is going to be teaching an English discussion group to a group of high schoolers at a local private school. She can talk about anything she wants to, so pray for that as well!