Welcome to our journey. We're so glad to have you!

As we prepare for, and soon embark on our journey, this blog will not only be a window into our travels and experiences, but also a way for us to share with our supporters in the good works along the way. So many people have helped make this trip possible and for that we are grateful! We hope you'll stay tuned to see what and who your support impacts. We also ask that you will continue to pray for us and the people we will serve while we're in Nicaragua.

Friday, August 19, 2011

They Didn't Have to...

...but they did and I wanted to share the story with you all. After our final patient had been seen on our final day of clinic, we all sat down to relax before lunch started with the church members. We were hot (that's an understatement actually), tired, sweaty, and depleted. To sit and be still was awesome, at least for a moment.

Not long into our relaxing, a few of the teammates who had been working with the children throughout the week, brought in a little boy who needed a wound cleaned from an injury he most likely accrued before our time in Nica. This sweet little boy silently sat on Jordan's lap while a few teammates cleaned his injured foot and bandaged him up. While he was sitting there, bugs kept swarming his ears which caught the attention of some of the PA students and Dr. John. After looking closely at his ears, they noticed a bug stuck in his ear canal and quickly got to work on removing it. What came out was not for the squeamish. Once the bug was removed, Dr. John cleaned out both of his ears, wiped them down with bug spray wipes and had me fill one last prescription to help this sweet boy with a double ear infection. As I watched them working, when they didn't have too, and I felt honored to be part of this team of people who truly do care for their patients.

After he was cleaned up, his father, Francisco, who can barely walk but served alongside of us everyday as the gate keeper for the clinic, shared his gratefulness with us. With tears in his eyes he said that he knew the Lord had sent us to them, and he thanked us for coming to their church, for serving their community and for giving care to his son. He shared that he had taken his son to the hospital a week or so ago for his ears and they didn't help him at all. I'm so glad we could help and I'm so thankful for the care and love that I was able to witness between a few doctors and a patient even after the clinic ended.

It's going to be tough to say goodbye to what we've seen and done this week, but I know it'll stay with us long after we've landed in Charleston.

Good night and God Bless,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A great success!

We have had 2 very exciting days in Nicaragua! The team was up early Wednesday morning for breakfast and devotions at 6am then started seeing patients at the clinic around 8am. We had a long hot day at the clinic that was full of surprises including patients with seizures, passing out after getting a tooth pulled, and a patient that needed sedation due to a panic attack. We also treated the more common complaints like back pain, rashes, and upper respiratory infections. The most exciting part of the day was the church service our team attended at our host church in a rural area outside of Leon. The service had a lot of great music, a message from the pastor and an intense prayer session at the conclusion of the service.

Thursday began with breakfast and devotions followed by a half day at the clinic. After seeing patients in the morning, we shared a meal with the volunteers from our host church and said our goodbyes. The pastor prayed for our safety and the church members showed a lot of gratitude for our presence in their community. I am happy to report that during the week we treated 545 patients, gave out 1050 prescriptions, and 41 people accepted Christ!!! The Lord has been so good to our team! We are so excited that the clinic was not only a great success, but that He was glorified and we now have 41 new brothers and sisters in Christ!

We miss y'all and are looking forward to a fun day of zip line tours through the rain forest tomorrow!

Much love,
Catherine Poston

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day Two of Clinic= Success!

Dear family and friends,

Today we gratefully served 125 patients, 16 of which accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (Glory be to God!). This is a significant jump from yesterday when we served 79 patient and 11 accepted the Lord! God willing, tomorrow will see even more. Leon is predominantly a Catholic town. As to our surprise they run a school, a clinic, and many other things that have an immense influence on the people of Leon. We were informed tonight that the Catholic “association” blackmails its members by threatening to take way scholarships and health care if they attend a Christian church. Thankfully our Lord works against those odds.

Highlights from today…Today we were not only able to offer general medicine but specialties such as psychological counseling, dental and cardiology. Jordn, a PA student we are very proud of, was able to diagnose specific cardiopathologies. (Yeah, Jordan!). Shawna was titled the most loving triage nurse by one of the young boys we cared for as well, which is a high complement from a 12 year old. Jeff would ask some patients were they lived and what church they attend. One situation that struck him was an older woman in her 70’s, almost disappointingly answered that she was a Catholic, thinking we might deny her but Jeff said it was okay and gave some of the best love, and personal medical attention she had probably received in her life. That instance shows that there are religious prejudices here in Leon and we hope to show our patients that the Lord loves us all the same and being a Catholic, Baptist, etc…is not something to be ashamed of by any means.

Jeanie, our dental assistant for the day stated that in working with Dr. Eyra, our chief dentist, was such an amazing example of Christ’s love. They cared for a young boy whose teeth were in such horrible condition they had to extract an adult tooth at age 11. When the child saw the needle to numb his mouth he child began to panic, and the Dentist and Jeanie stopped, prayed for the young boy, and continued to perform and complete the procedure with no complications. Many other people did amazing things for the glory of God and to serve the people, but of course we don’t have enough time to recap everyone’s successes. We do want to mention each member and how proud we are of them for serving and being willing to let God work through them despite the heat and fatigue. Our amazing team: Brittany, Jeff, John, Jonathan, Carrie, Reid, Jeanie, Veronica, Jordon, Ryan, Meagan, Catherine, Melissa, Carly, Lee, Shawna, Mike, Lona, and Joan. ---God is truly at work over here in Nicaragua.

Thank you for your prayers,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meeting Our Other Half

Our internet connection is limited here so we'll be online when we can, but if you do not hear from us, please know we're alive and well! Today we traveled to two hours outside of Managua to Leon to meet our Nicaraguan teammates at the church where we'll host our clinic. The church members were waiting for us with bug smiles as we rolled up in our green school bus. It's always exciting to meet the other half of our team and put faces with the people we've been preparing and praying for over the last 6 months.

Tomorrow we meet for breakfast at 6am and will arrive at the clinic at 7:15 to set up the pharmacy and greet our first patient at 8am. Please pray that everything runs smoothly, patient needs are met with care and love, and lives are changed eternally. The medications we can provide will hopefully help them feel better for the next few months, but the relationships we make and the love of Christ we can share can last forever. And in the end, that's what it's all about.

It's go time and we couldn't be more excited and ready!
Team Nica

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Safe and Sound!

We have arrived, let the fun and work begin! After an early start and a fairly long day of travel, we are all relaxing at the Christ for the City International office this evening for dinner, hanging out, and much anticipated showers and sleep. Thanks to everyone for your prayers over our flights and luggage. All of our medications made it through without a hitch.

More information to come tomorrow, but for the time being we just wanted everyone back home to know your loved ones are safe and happy in Managua. We've already enjoyed a little Nica fast food at Tip Top and took a tour of the city. Tomorrow we'll head to Leon to set up the clinic and meet our Nicaraguan teammates for the week.

We'll chat with you tomorrow, but please keep praying for safe travels and a successful week ahead.

Dios le bendiga,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet Our Team

With only 3 days until we depart, I thought it might be helpful to introduce your Nicaragua clinic staff and tour guides over the next week or so.

I'm pleased to introduce:
Jeff- Medical team leader, physician, seasoned missionary
Brittany- Co-leader, Nicaragua veteran and your author
Joan- well traveled missionary, Nica veteran, pharmacy guru
Jonathan- Translator extraordinaire, Nica, veteran, and team comedian
Mike- Brings EMT knowledge to the team, team handy man if needed
Shawna- Nurse and the lovely wife of Mike
Lana- Pharmacy guru representing Heartland Church in Rockford, IL
Jordan- PA student, team musician, Spanish expert
Megan- PA student
Veronica- Nursing student, fluent in Spanish
John- "Dr. Juan", ER physician
Carrie- Nurse, experienced missionary
Reid- Translator, puppeteer for the little ones
Melissa- PA student, fluent in Spanish
Ryan- College student, writing and construction strengths, son of Jeff
Carly- PA student, recently engaged to Lee! (Congrats!)
Lee- Will most likely serve in children's ministry, fiance of Carly
Jeannie- Representing Seacoast Irmo
Catherine- PA student, team worship leader

We hope you'll continue to pray for us as we prepare to head out. Thank you for your support on behalf of the awesome 19 people listed above!