God is good, and He blessed us abundantly during the orthopedic surgery trip to Honduras. Even before we had left the United States, God was preparing for our arrival in Tegucigalpa. Political unrest and medical strikes placed the trip in jeopardy, but two hours before the planes were scheduled to depart we received the OK to come from our contacts in Honduras. The adventure was blessed beyond measure. Over the course of the week, our surgical teams completed 15 knee replacements and 10 hip replacements. The team was able to witness and pray with numerous patients and staff throughout the hospitals.
For me, the most significant part of the trip was building relationships with our patients. After operating for the day, the whole surgical team ventured to the wards to round on the patients from that day and the previous days. On our second day of rounding, we visited the knee patients. One lady, I was surprised, was dressed nicely in a blue, flowery dress. She looked tired, but other than the large bandage on her knee, there would have been no indication she had knee surgery the previous day. Her hair was neatly styled and pulled back. She was the fourth patient we visited on the ward and by no means the last. We surrounded her bed in our white coats and she welcomed us with her smile. She spoke in quiet, fluid Spanish. Through the translator, she thanked us, asked God to bless us and thanked God for the gift she had received. I held her hand for the group picture and after the photo, she spoke to me saying, “Thank you. You all are beautiful like the angels because of what you have given me.” She continued speaking to me in fluent Spanish. While she spoke, I was able to interpret some of her words while the Lord filled in the gaps. I heard, “You are God’s lanterns to shine through with His love and light. Thank you. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed me.” In that moment, I was overwhelmed by His omnipotence to orchestrate all the events to allow us to be here, amid the strike and unrest, uncertainty and discord, to help these particular people. I was humbled and honored to be a small player in the team’s efforts. I bowed my head and thanked the Lord for the opportunity to serve on such a wonderful medical team, the chance to give of my time to come see these beautiful people, and most of all for the joy and thankfulness of the patients. It is difficult to put into writing the experiences of this trip, but if I was to summarize the trip in a phrase, it would be “blessed beyond measure.”