Providence Presbytery’s Mission Trip To Honduras

Posted on May 13, 2013

Providence Presbytery’s Mission Trip To Honduras
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Eight travelers from Providence Presbytery visited Honduras to work with long-time colleagues, Tim and Gloria Wheeler, who are PC(USA) missionaries who also work with Heifer Project. The group delivered checks from the 2012 Dimes for Hunger offering to both Heifer Project and Project Alternatives, a ministry that works with children, youth and families in the large market place in Tegucigalpa.

The main objective of the trip was to offer dental services to the Santa Cruz community in Lempira province. Heifer selected this remote community high in mountains of western Honduras, close to the border with El Salvador. A travel team had never visited Santa Cruz.

Long lines greeted us when we arrived at the clinic in Santa Cruz. The clinic was started with funds from USAID and is operated by the Honduran health system. A doctor and optometrist visit several times during the year.

People waited patiently for their turn to see the dentist. One elderly woman walked 10 miles to see the dentist! He pulled most of her teeth.

The dentists saw approximately 65 patients in two days. Each had at least one extraction. Multiple extractions were the norm. Dr. Prescott pulled 18 teeth from one patient.

Everyone was most appreciative of the attention and care that the dental team provided.

Unfortunately sickness hit the group and we could only work two days instead of the scheduled four.

Heifer has requested that we provide fluoride treatments for the children. Approximately 125 children received these. When we ran out of the fluoride, Joe Guyon brushed teeth using a fluoride toothpaste. Children waited patiently in line for their turn. Those at the head of the line came from the school – note the uniforms. Each child received a tooth brush and a small tube of tooth paste.

Thanks to all those who donated these for the trip. Adults who were treated by the dentists also received a tooth brush and tooth paste, as well as pain medicine if needed. On Wednesday the group moved to Trinidad in Copan province. Those who were ill were able to rest comfortably. Those who were able visited several communities to hear about the work that Heifer Project does to help the people learn to work together, gain life skills and self-confidence and to improve their ability to feed themselves . Several families have received Heifer animals. Many families have planted a variety of crops that help improve their nutrition.

This is one of houses in the Cerro Azul community in Trinidad that teams from Unity Presbyterian Church has helped build. Oscar [in the red shirt] told us how the people learned to make the bricks for the houses. Now that he has this skill he is able to help others and also earn some additional money to provide for his family.

The farmer at right lives in the La Cumbre community. With the help of Heifer, he developed a worm farm in the compost pile to add nutrients to the soil for his crops

The Honduras travel team is grateful for the support of the Presbytery and their churches. We give thanks for the work of the Wheelers, Heifer Project, the PC(USA), and Project Alternatives for all that they do to help improve the quality of life in Honduras. We can assure you that your Dimes are appreciated and used well.

Want to know more or have a traveler visit your church? Contact Barbara Kurz at the Presbytery Office.

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