Every Crafting Wellness team strives to collaborate with the communities they serve to create sustainable healthcare. The Guatemala Medical Mission Team expands their efforts to new rural communities each year. Their most recent mission saw over seven hundred patients with conditions ranging from dehydration to skin cancer. Yet it is not the numbers of services provided that these teams remember, but the individuals they meet. Long-time team member, Minji Woo, recounts one of her most treasured experiences from her most recent mission:
Last year we had a man walk in on the second day of our clinic with a severe case of gout. He was never treated for it and suffered from extreme pain and disfigured hands, feet, elbows…pretty much all joints due to uric acid built up. He was unemployed because he could barely walk or move properly.
When the nurses and doctors touched him with smiles, he was shocked that we weren’t disturbed by him as most people have been for most of his adult life; ever since his body started to disfigure.
There was very little we could do for him but at least we wanted to give him some corticosteroid injection for pain; something like that is very expensive in Guatemala. We had already run out of our team money so our team members collected personal cash to buy it.
Since the patient can’t work or take care of himself, he was homeless and hadn’t eaten for days. I walked around with a bag asking for food from our members. Everyone gladly handed over all their snacks. With some water, personal hygiene products, and donated clothes, we were able to give him a bag full of supplies.
He was very emotional and said he had given up on his life and thought God had abandoned him. Then he heard some doctors from the US were in town and came by without any expectations. He said he has never felt so much compassion and love from strangers before. I’m not a religious person and we are not a religious mission team but some of the Christian members prayed with him and he felt calm and happy. He said he’ll be back to see us every year as long as we continue to visit the town.
I get very emotional every time I think about that man. Small things we do for these patients mean so much to them and that’s why I keep going back. I can’t wait to see him again this year.
To most people, this is no “small thing”, but for Minji and her team members it is just a tiny piece of the love and compassion they have for the people they serve. They cared for this man when he had lost all hope and gave him piece of mind and happiness; that is no “small thing.” Thank you Minji and all of the member of The Guatemala Medical Mission for your BIG hearts!
Learn more about The Guatemala Medical Mission:https://www.mdfinstruments.com/crafting-wellness/guatemala-medical-mission-team/
Support Minji’s Mission: https://www.gofundme.com/8ewidg