Friday, July 12, 2013

Catching up with the Bonifacio Healthcare Team

Health Center: Home Sweet Home
Well I've had a great few days in the village of Bonifacio. The team here is led by by Brent and includes Stephanie, Carly, and Rai Rai. There's a few things I quickly picked up on in Bonifacio- there's a refrigerator, a tile floor, water is 15 minutes away, and the ministry is in full-force. 

The refrigerator is a big deal. This means fresh meat all week, plus desserts like frozen juice pops or mango float. Another thing you have to keep in the fridge is bread - it goes bad in only three days if left out, and peanut butter and jelly is a staple around here. All in all, the team eats well; hamburgers, spaghetti with ground pork, mango float, frozen pops, cold soda and plenty of in-between snacks such as graham cracker and PB&J sandwiches. 

The water source is a good 15 minutes walk,
but it does boast running, showering water.

But as I said, the water is a bit of a walk. 15 minutes is good time to get to the local waterfall, sometimes it is longer. The positive of this water source is it has falling water- which when you've been used to bucket showers is a gift indeed. Because of the distance, we made use of buckets under gutters and other roofs to collect all rain water that falls. But since that isn't always enough, the team occasionally pays kids to collect water for them.

The ministry in Bonifacio is similar to other villages- after doing some surveying, the team has spent time spreading the gospel and doing Bible studies- lots of them. Studies were on assurance of salvation, the Holy Spirit, baptism, and more. The team has met many people who hunger for God's word and want to have more studies with them constantly. Every other night they meet with around six or more mothers and their children and have Bible studies. Most places shut down around 6PM, when it's dinner time, but here in Bonifacio we still have work to do. 

There's something awesome about seeing God's people hunger for His word. I ask that you would pray for the believers here. The team is trying to start a house church here, but there's a long way to go. Many people need more guidance and teaching, and few men are present. But we believe God can do awesome things, and we are ready for Him to do a marvelous work here. For now, there is a church a few miles' walk from the village. But it would be awesome if there could be a house church in the village so as to be more accessible to all. The team surveyed around 80 houses here, but they only surveyed four of the nine sections of the whole village - it spans so far in mileage the team isn't big enough to cover it. 

The team also has been able to help the people physically. They've had a circumcision day with around 14 boys circumcised. They've been helping with other small medical problems. One thing they didn't expect to encounter was a flesh-eating bacteria. When they came back from market day on July 2nd, it had been plaguing a woman for a month. Open sores were on her feet, on the back of the legs, and the rash was developing on her arms as well. She was barely able to walk. Though she had been using boiled guava leaves to mitigate some of the damage, it would still get worse. The team was able to purchase some antibiotics and a cleansing bleach solution to help her get her life back. She also is one who loves to have Bible studies and learn about God. We thank God we are able to not only help her spiritually, but physically. 

House Church
We constantly have little visitors outside our windows, peeking in at anything we do. We've played games, sang songs, and braided the hair of many children here. While they retain their natural shyness to foreigners, some of the older ones have even come asking for help with homework. In a word, the team is connecting with this place and its people. 

Other fun events include our July 4th celebration, of which I have posted on this blog, and the finding of a cobra some days before I arrived- Brent would have to regale you of the more adventurous version of the tale, but basically he woke up with a baby cobra under his hammock. He proceeded to grab a machete and kill the cobra, which he has since skinned and is bringing home. 

Rest assured the team is doing well here. There is a lot of work to be done here, and the Spirit of God is what is needed to get it done.

-Brian & the Bonifacio team

If you can leap and catch that rubber band line with the top of your foot and bring it down,
you pass the round of this game.