Here is the report from the team leader.
How Blessed Are You?
I just returned from our annual dental and eyeglass mission trip to Honduras. The Honduras Dental Project (www.hondurasdentalproject.org) is a charitable organization that goes to Honduras every year in February to give the poor people free dental care and eyeglasses.
There were 29 team members who gave their time and talents to help the needy. As the team arrived at the clinic, there were around 100 people waiting there to get help. Over the week we helped around 200 people with dental care – including tooth filings, extractions, root canals, cleanings, etc. There were five dentists available for the people, and five hygienists doing basic teeth cleaning.
We had people that had not had their teeth cleaned in thirty years. We had children with two rows of teeth in their upper pallet that had to be removed.
Upstairs was the eyeglass area. We helped around 250 people with their vision; giving them used prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, basic diagnosis of cataracts, glaucoma, etc., and advising them to see an optometrist for those ailments. We have an instrument than can scan the patient’s eyes and give us a prescription for each eye. We then match that prescription, using the computer, with over 4,000 pair of used eyeglasses that we have programmed into the database.
We had people that had not been able to read their Bible for twenty years start crying when we gave them their glasses so that they could read again. We had men that had been out of work since they could not read the mechanic’s manuals that were able to get a job again. We also had children that were struggling in school be able to see, to now be able to read their school books and see the chalk board.
We also visited a local trash dump where another charitable organization has been helping the children there get an education. Over ten years ago, Pastor Jeony Ordonez, went to the city trash dump to throw away his garbage with his young daughter, Chris. There he observed hundreds of kids, not much older than his five-year old daughter, sorting through garbage with their bare hands! Chris urged him to do something for the children. When he asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, their greatest ambition was to be a garbage truck driver – that is all they knew.
So Jeony and his wife began holding classes at the dump, and later in a field across the road under the trees. They had to pay the parents a dollar a day for each child in school as the parents were losing income when the kids couldn’t work. Over the years other organizations, along with ours, helped build the school. They now have three two-story school buildings, which include classrooms for preschool up through 11th grade (the final year of high school in Honduras), a computer lab, media room, library, offices, a nursing station, and a special education center. Additionally, the campus is comprised of a large cafeteria and kitchen, a state-of-the-art playground, and fresh water facilities for the surrounding community. For more information see www.afehonduras.org
The point of this is to let you realize how blessed you are. You have clean water – 780 million do not have access to clean water. You have medical plans, security from arbitrarily being thrown in prison, education for your children, and most of all freedom of religion. You should thank God every day for living in America. I would say that 2 billion people would trade places with you today regardless of your situation. Let others know you are blessed every day – when they ask how you are, say “I’m blessed”.