An Iowa farmer and business owner, 6 doctors and…
a rural clinic in Canilla del Quiche Guatemala.. Last year Duane and Leslie Ficker of Adonai International Ministries (AIM) were in the bodega getting a few supplies they could fill the free space in their airplane. We talked about their dreams and the region they serve in. I told them it sounded like they need to start a local hospital. They started their research, talked with Tim Spurrier and Foster Ortiz at Hospital Shalom in Peten. Later last year I was invited by Mike Brubaker then with Orphan Resource International to preach to a group from Iowa. After the service, Joe Holschlag shook my hand and started a conversation. The usual questions, what do you do, how long have you been here, etc. Somewhere in the conversation he mentioned a new group of doctors in his home town region that were looking for a place to serve. The Ficker’s came to mind. I explained a little to Joe and this Iowa farmer followed through and called those doctors. Over the last year I have met with Drs. John and Shea Epperly and several emails between all parties. Things are starting to smoke.
First I want to say something about Joe… less than one in ten people who promise to do something when they go home do so. Joe landed in Houston on that return trip and called Dr. Epperly. He has further worked on collecting supplies and not sure yet what all is going to come of it. But what a blessing so far. The Epperly’s and their partners have formed a nonprofit in the USA called DOCS for Hope and are working out their plans to provide continuous coverage for the current clinics Adonai has, plus working towards a hospital. Please click the link and read their history. Money has been provided to purchase an eight acre lot in the neighborhood (literally walking distance – run of course in an emergency).
Joe returned to Guatemala with the Mennonite team this month to work on another orphanage project with Orphan Resource International. They graciously allowed us to borrow Joe and another friend Deter for two days, so we could go to Canilla and see Adonai’s work there. We met Duane Ficker at the La Aurora International Airport, he packed us in the plane, filed flight plan and we were off. I think Duane had us in the air using just the white painted end stripes on the air strip in Guatemala City. Over the city and pointed ‘home’ in 22 minutes, instead of a six hour drive over tumulos (speed bumps) and pot holes. I did find out that flights mid day have their set of tumulos and pot holes even when you are well above the earth. We were blessed with Ficker family hospitality. Friday evening was filled with discussion, food and prayer. We walked over to the property under contract and had another prayer meeting.
Saturday morning a burro (Democratic Party Alarm Clock) braying woke me up. Duane was already up and greeting patients by the time I got dressed. I went to the clinic and preached before breakfast. What a joy. This area was epicenter to an extended civil war. There is a higher than usual count of widows and orphans due to atrocities during that war. Duane and Leslie have been here for about 15 years and have developed relationships with a people that justly did not trust or care for gringos (USA supported the government forces). These folks are hours away from good hospital care. Racism exists in degrees, add the desire to be cared for close to family and the distance ‘between oases’ and there is a great opportunity to plant a Christian hospital here. More discussions, more lists of things needed and it looks like Vine International will be helping to start a new Christian Hospital. Please check out the ministries that have partnered together for this project. This hospital will actively share the need for Christ for years to come to 60,000 souls in the immediate area, but an estimated 800,000 t0 1 million in the extended area. Consider how you can help.
There are two areas where good medical education occur at the university level. Guatemala City and Xela have medical schools. They mostly serve Latino populations. There is a Christian University here that has expressed a strong desire to start first a nursing school and as quickly as we can get in operation, enough medical doctor coverage then start a medical school as well. Several key people both missionaries and nationals have expressed their desire to stand with this work. Frankly this is an exciting project. Look forward to what God is going to do. More stories to come from this project.
Photos of this past weekend linked here.
We thank you for your continued support.
Cindy and Dennis McCutcheon