Monday, February 25, 2019

A delightful visit

Todd and Liz Miller  visited Belize and Jesus Deaf Church in November 2017. It was a wonderful thing to have them and to have them come and minister to people in the church.
Todd, Anissa, Ty and Judah at a waterfall in southern Belize

Liz was unable come this time. Todd came with his children: Anissa, Ty and Judah.  It was a delight to have them participate and learn a bit more about Belize.

Nathanael, Anna, and Michael waiting at the airport

Friday involved them participating (Todd teaching) in Bible study and with the kids.  Todd was helpful in reminding me that the kids area needs to be a Deaf centered area. I am still trying to navigate this with my limited ASL and the mixing of languages that happens.  I would appreciate any insight on this front.
Todd teaching on Friday night

Saturday people from Jesus Deaf Church, Todd and most of our family visited Maya ruins. Lamaini ruins are Nathanael's favorite and the closest geographically.

Anissa, Judah, Ty and Todd at the Laminai Maya ruins

Sunday we had church. Nathanael preached. I taught Sunday school.
At the top of one of the temples, Miller kids, Davis kids, Misael and Krystal

After church, Selah and I made pupusas. Joanna, a woman from El Salvador and Selah's Spanish language tutor has taught Selah how to make them. (they are a native El Salvadorian food). The Millers enjoyed them. Ty even attempted to make some of his own.
Ty and Selah. Selah is an expert at making puposas

Mon-Wed we got to explore the more Southern parts of Belize with the Millers. We took them on one of our favorite hikes to a beautiful waterfall/swimming hole. We also hiked in a cave, and swam in the "blue hole" (inland blue hole, not the one in the ocean)
good time hiking and swimming at the waterfall

Saying goodbye was difficult.
the blue hole in Stann Creek

Thank you Millers for sharing your time with us!

The last picture together

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Not the same trip

January came and it was Abigail's turn to go to Kids Konnect. She was excited! She was deferred this fall as we decided Zion is old enough to attend.  We were also blessed in that Todd Stone allowed us to ride from the Belize City airport instead of waking up at 4am.  The sleeping a normal amount certainly is a huge benefit.
Abigail at the airport

Abigail and I rode the bus from Orange Walk to Belize City at 9am. We hung out at the airport, talked to Todd, and watched as people arrived. It is always fun to see old friends and meet new ones.
I took a picture of this person's ticket so I would remember the number when going to the registration desk(don't worry it's not a medical number and after registration isn't associated with the person at all)

Wednesday evenings are spent orienting, and sorting. Meds, equipment and people are assigned to correct places. I am ever amazed at the efficiency and organization of the Kids Konnect staff. They have it down to a science!
unloading the medical equipment at Pomona

Abigail and I did clinics in both Silk Grass and Pomona on Thursday and Friday.  Abigail was a people mover, she also counted meds. I enjoy helping out wherever the need is. I usually start in Triage, do some interpreting, and help with patient flow.

Abigail hanging signs at Middlesex, San Augistine School

In Silk Grass we met a young lady. It was a pivotal moment for me. She was Deaf. Both Abigail and I attempted to sign with her but we got little to no response. She had spend 3 years in the Mennonite school in Spanish Lookout (from ages 11-14), but otherwise didn't go to school at all. She spends most of her days at home. No one in her family signs. She doesn't socialize with Deaf in her community. Nathanael did send a video from Orange Walk of mostly gestures asking basic questions. She finally understood enough to spell out her name for us.
Abigail got to hold babies a few times this trip

 If I am honest it was helpful to me. I sometimes get caught up in the daily grind, wondering what I am doing here. I still struggle with ASL. I ask myself if there is an impact?  Communicating with her reminded me that she is a reason we are here. We want Deaf to have access.

Nathanael interpreting Zion, Josue and Zephaniah watching

Access included Nathanael coming to Stann Creek with 5 Deaf from our church. It was a good time, abet a long trip (3 hours drive each way). Nathanael interpreted for the women who were able to get reading glasses.  Alma has had a missing ligament from birth. Julie (the PT) and Dr Harrel provided braces, a cane, and exercises that should help reduce her pain. They all got adjusted by the chiropractor, which I think was especially helpful to the hardworking women of the church.
Triaging some people from our church

My ongoing job is to check if exercises are being completed and medicines are helping. It has also given me a reason to visit a little more with people.

Alma gets a blood sugar taken and Misael watches 

We were honored that the team from Kids Konnect helped make Jesus Deaf Church so welcome.  Thank you for making this an "atypical" trip, for allowing us to be a part of your family.
Abigail was thankful for new and old friends! (even photobombers!) :)