The saying goes that "a picture is worth a thousand words" and well, we feel this could not be more true! Check out these great pictures! Our hearts are full!
"Truly I tell you, what ever you did for one of the least of these my brotheren you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
We spent today at Anini, an orphanage we have visited on previous trips. We all started together at the house with the babies and the children with the most severe disabilities. Speech was thrilled to find previous trip education was carried over and they were feeding kids in an upright position and putting wedges in their beds! We were able to observe the meal time routine and assess for further need. Speech was also able to educate on some basic interaction/ language facilitation. Caroline and Kelly teamed up to provide education on infant massage and positioning for the babies. Allison, Charity and Mike assessed the children and their wheelchairs and were able to make adjustments to improve position and comfort of the children in their chairs.
A highlight of the day was when two little friends from house 6 who have been wheelchair bound, were able to walk up to each other with assistance! One of the boys kissed his hand and instead of blowing a kiss to his friend, he touched his hand to his friends mouth as a sign of true friendship!
We were so happy that we saw carryover from previous trips and the staff was very helpful and eager to learn. We will return there tomorrow to continue seeing other children we were unable to see today!
Thank you for your continued prayers!
**Pictures will be coming soon, please check out the video on facebook for now!
"This project was in the Lord's heart before He put it in mine."
A perfect quote from a parent at the school for Autism we visited today. Charity, Paige and Kelly visited the School for Autism this morning and were amazed by the teachers, students and facility! We were inspired by their creativity and resourcefulness with making homemade equipment from everyday items. They were so gracious and we feel like our work there will be carried over after we leave. We visited a new orphanage this afternoon with great needs and met with caregivers, therapists, and staff about several of their children.
Caroline, Allison, Sophie and Mike went back to a school this morning to visit with a couple parents from that school. Mike was busy adjusting wheelchairs all morning while the rest of us were able to meet with some teachers and give ideas for group therapy activities for 2-5 year olds to implement in their classroom. That afternoon we visited Mama Carmen's Orphanage, where we were able to love on a child we have visited every time we have been in Guatemala, Caesar! Mama Carmen commented he has been talking about our visit for weeks and she said that he was so happy, because this was his day!!! We configured an adaption to his wheelchair to add a tray so that he can play with his friends and interact with his two "buds" who were attempting to help Mike break down his wheelchair for adjustments. While Mike spent the afternoon fixing two chairs we were able to do some therapy techniques and strengthening activities on the mat for a couple hours.
We ask for prayers that the caregivers we visit tomorrow will be receptive and open to suggestions.
Today we saw over 100 kids at a community clinic held at a local school before 1:00pm! Complete chaos broke out early as more kids than expected showed up around 8:00am. Initially, we started out with two PT/OT stations and two speech stations. But due to the large number of kids waiting for us, OT's and PT's separated after an hour to try and reach six families at once! God is good and He placed the kiddos in front of the right therapist today, even with our group separated.
Some highlights from today.....
Caroline and Allison saw a boy with Autism brought by his grandmother, who was flapping and running around the gym. They were able to place him on a physioball, reluctantly at first, to help him rock and bounce with more control, and by the third trial he was bouncing independently and demonstrating less self- stimming behaviors! His grandmother was so grateful. She asked for our picture and was tearing up!
God also provided perfectly for Charity when she took a piece off of one child's brace that wasn't necessary and was able to apply that piece to the very next child's braces! Amazing, how he provides when a tiny piece of fabric could have been easily lost in two minutes but was required for the next child she saw!
Kelly was able to provide a little girl with a bright pink thumb splint. The little girl was thrilled to have a splint in her favorite color and left the station waving and blowing kisses.
Speech was able to give group lessons to reach more children. Paige was able to take a large group at once and educate multiple parents on eliciting communication through Milieu therapy. Sophie was blessed with the opportunity today to help more than five children with severe to profound hearing loss! Each child was eager to participate and their parents were actively willing to learn, making the experience truly remarkable.
Mike was able to provide families with three chairs and modified 4 others to increase positioning. God provided the perfect chair for a small girl with spina bifida who looked too small for any chairs! Through Mike and Leo's wheelchair skills and an hour and a half of work, she had the perfect chair to roll out of the gym in!
Thank you for your prayers. We felt them today amid all of these families! We shall be visiting two new places tomorrow, one with an Autism Clinic and a new orphanage. We will also try to see more families that we were not able to get to today as well as visit the first orphanage we worked at in Guatemala, Mama Carmen's!
"Teach me and I will forget
Tell me and I will remember
Involve me and I will learn"
- Benjamin Franklin
We started off our day at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala lecturing with a packed house! Diana estimated more than 300 people, they were sitting in the aisles and standing by the door! The TEAM covered everything from efficient swallow techniques, sensory processing, range of motion to wheelchair positioning! Sophie was the champ of the day presenting her speech lecture in Spanish.
We realized half way through the lecture that we forgot all our lab handouts at Anita's house. We called Anita just in time before she left for a soccer game and she brought our handouts 10 minutes before labs started. God has perfect timing.
For the labs we separated into disciplines and demonstrated specific techniques. The labs were well received. We were adamant to have only 25 people per lab, but in Guatemalan spirit we had twice as many students as expected, with many sitting on the ground. Speech and occupational therapy ran out of handouts. PT was able to demonstrate strengthening on a specific kid, OT was able to demonstrate sensory activities and give treatment ideas for using everyday items available in Guatemala, and speech provided education on a communication system.
No trip would be complete without a Wal-Mart run, so in northwest Arkansas style we braved the Guatemala City Walmart. We wrapped up our day with dinner cooked by Anita. She made us a wonderful American meal with homemade tortillas from across the street.
We ask for prayers for all the families at the community clinic we will visit tomorrow and that we can touch every child and provide each with helpful information!
We received great blessings today with all of our luggage fees getting waived at the airport, including a 103 pound tote that held Mike's tools. Thank you Delta Airlines! We made it to our first flight with time to spare, however the second flight we barely made it before they closed the gates! Thankfully, we arrived with all our luggage and equipment although, Charity tried to take another Guatemalan man's walker that was gait checked as well...whoops! Upon arrival in Guatemala City we were greeted by old friends Leo, Diana and our driver Juan who rented us a huge bus for all our equipment!
Diana's mother made lunch with a homemade Guatemalan dish Pepian and homemade tortillas as well! We are so thankful for friends around the world. We spent the afternoon organizing 19,000 copies of paperwork for our lecture tomorrow and for the week here in Guatemala. It was a long afternoon but filled with laughter in Diana's mothers beautiful home and time spent catching up with friends. We found out at the end of the day that our lecture of 200 attendees will most likely be closer to 500 attendees and that our labs of 25 people will probably be closer to 75 people tomorrow. Diana's dad summed up that news perfectly- "complete success!"
*Please continue to pray for our TEAM this week as they work educating and loving those they serve.