Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our Diary

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Our Diary
As we lifted off from Guatemala City this morning, I definitely felt a mixture of emotions.  Giddy might express how excited I was to go home and be with Tim.  However, I was also a bit weepy.  There is much for me to process about this trip.

Our devotional focus during this mission week was a large piece of fabric on the floor.  It was actually a really nice piece of suit fabric as the closest fabric store in Xela was a telaria (fabric store).  

Our journalist, Erin, waiting at the
hospital for the bus to take us
to Antigua.  Dangling from her
finger is one of the crosses that
Faith in Practice gave to each
discharging patient and team member
Each day I spread the cloth out in the middle of the floor with a lit candle provided by the resort.  I introduced the day's theme from our Providence Health International reflection booklet.  The first morning after being at Hilario Galindo, I instructed people to form small groups and talk about what Sunday was like for them.  After Sunday, however, we shared as a group, feeling comfortable and safe with one another.
What word describes your experience yesterday?  Where did you encounter the holy?  
Where did you feel you planted seeds or built foundations?  
Where did you come up against your biases or feel your passion?  

Below are the words of the Providence Health International/Faith in Practice Surgical Mission #388 2014.  The words are in no particular order as they were placed randomly, encircling the candle which was our reminder of the sacredness of our task.  Some of the words occurred more than once as some things are worth repeating. Not surprising, the five core values of Providence organically found their way onto the list: excellence, respect, compassion, stewardship, and justice.  

Anxious          Ready                    combined effort               above & beyond
respect            confidence             talent                                good guacamole
cheerleader     linked                     supportive                        hugs
fulfilling         difficult                  control                              impressed
humbling        feliz                       pediatric                            preparation
fun                 skills                      joy                                     excitement
humble          collaborative          relief                                  gift
adaptable       compassionate       perseverance                    professionalism
essential         systems                  blessed                            sense of humor
fulfilling         adaptability           multi-tasking                     communication
efficient         team work              awesome                          perseverance 
terror             good drugs             service to humanity          great
safe                empathy is hard     follow through                 new
trusting          secure                     connected                        earth shaking
diligence        improvise               relief                                grateful hearts
calm               blessings                stewardship                     excellence
sigue              helper                     anticipation                     comfortable
holy               justice

On Friday, we traced our hands on the perimeter of our devotional cloth/banner.  Most of us wore a bit of the permanent marker on the edges of our hands as a result.  We signed our names with many of us including the name of the hospital where we serve and perhaps a word or two.  Some felt inspired to add works to the body of our "diary."  Our team leaders are now in possession of the diary and will find it a suitable home somewhere in the Washington Region of Providence.

Good bye Guatemala
As good-byes were exchanged during our layover at Los Angeles, I felt proud and terribly connected to my 28 teammates.  We did good ministry and good medicine this week.  I felt the spirits of Blessed Emilie Gamelin and Mother Joseph embracing us as we embraced each other. While we came from many faith traditions, were were united as People of Providence.  I hope the good sisters of Providence who have gone before us were proud.

My dear sisters, allow me to recommend to you the care of the poor in our houses, as well as those without. Take good care of them; have no fear of them; assist them and receive them. Then, you will have no regrets. Do not say: ah! this does not concern me, let others see to them. My sisters, whatever concerns the poor is always our affair.  Mother Joseph, 1902

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