Crossing of the teams

Yesterday, the transition from one Providence team to the next took place as the public health team from the Northwest crossed paths with the surgical team from Southern California. Each group’s tasks so incredibly different, and yet they are both grounded in the same spirit of service, compassion and love. Sister Colleen called to mind the continuity of care that occurred between the two groups in the realization that the public health team worked with a family that had had a surgical operation by the very same organization that the surgical team would shortly begin work with. It sent shivers down my spine as I considered the intimate connection of the relationships that had been built in the homes of families from one team and the craft of the surgical team that would provide such healing to the wounds and needs of the very same communities. The mandate of this initiative- to expand beyond our borders to address the health needs and improve the healthcare capacity of Guatemala- is indeed a challenging one. It requires the commitment and skills of many people throughout our healthcare system. It requires the collaboration of many moving parts both within Providence ministries and with our international counterparts. It requires us to understand the needs of our NGO partners and institutions, carefully identifying opportunities for us to share our talents. However, in this short time we have been here, it is clear that Providence staff are both excited and competent to rise to this challenge. There is not a doubt in my mind that this multipronged approach that Providence Health International will take will not only be successful, it will truly change lives. In fact, it already has. In two short weeks, 35 families now have stoves with adequate chimneys and ventilation to help prevent respiratory illness, over 60 surgical interventions will be provided to relieve extensive pain and suffering for individuals unable to afford the healthcare support they need and deserve and 40 Providence employees have learned from and been touched by the people of Guatemala. More pictures and stories can be found on our other bloghttp://faithinpractice.org/blogs-and-media/340

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