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A Drop In The Bucket

Jan 24

Written by:
Friday, January 24, 2014 9:01 PM  RssIcon

Friday was our last day of clinic. We visited a community near Punta Cana called Cabeza del Toro. A school hosted the team. The set-up was wonderful, with spacious rooms on two levels that we were able to utilize.

Our resident child psychiatrist, Dr. Bill Puga, saw a couple of patients today. One young boy witnessed a fatal motorcycle accident at age 9, and struggled with anxiety and nightmares ever since. Dr. Puga spent some time with both him and his mother, and was able to give them medication that should help him sleep and feel more calm. Another girl 13-year-old girl visited us. This young girl had a 5-month-old baby already. Everyone was just struck by how very young she was to be caring for this little baby. In a conversation with Dr. Puga, she shared that at a younger age she had been a victim of rape. She was also experiencing frequent nightmares, so Dr. Puga was able to assist again with medication.

Frank Puc, our physical therapist, worked on a 15-year-old young man named Jesu today. He had a rib that was out of place, caused by a fall 2 years ago on the fishing boat where he works. A fall that was caused by being knocked down by a large Marlin. While Frank was working with Jesu, he nearly passed out. After he recovered, he exclaimed that he hadn’t felt that good for 2 years! Jesu surprised everyone later by bringing back a 20 pound Mahi Mahi fish as a gift! Frank asked where to buy some ice to keep the fish cold. Because, really, what does one do with a 20 pound fish? So Jesu ran out, and came back with a bag of ice 15 minutes later that he purchased himself. The restaurant where he sells his fish cooked the Mahi Mahi for Frank and company, and they were also all so appreciative. What a wonderful compliment and expression of gratitude!

Dr. Freels today encountered the worst skin condition of the week. A woman came in with a very large wound. According to Dr. Freels, it was a case of pyoderma gangrenosum, which is a skin condition often associated with bowel disease and other systemic problems. It was apparent that it was being treated as ulcer, and no one had diagnosed it properly yet. Dr. Freels and her assistant Rosa devised a treatment plan based on what we had with us and also wrote out the optimal treatment and diagnosis so she could take it with her to other medical providers. They were both deeply touched  that as they were dressing the wound, the woman was praying that she would be healed and thanking God for the help they were offering her.

This week we were blessed with an amazing group of young interpreters! They had studied English and did a great job translating with both the Spanish and Creole populations this week. They traveled with us, and many of the team built strong relationships with them. In particular, Dr. Wilson’s translator was a young woman named Yorka, and he shared how much he saw her evolve over the week. The first day was a real struggle, as she just had no medical knowledge. Translation and getting her to understand what was needed was challenging. The next day, Dr. Wilson said there was a real “God Moment” where she just seemed to get it.  On Friday she shared with Dr. Wilson how much our group and working alongside us for the week touched her, and that when she gets older she wants to be like us and help people.

As we end our week of service in the Dominican Republic, everyone has been struck by just how much need we encountered. An overwhelming amount of need, in fact. For every patient that we helped it seems like there were more we didn’t have the time to see. Or people who needed medical resources far beyond our limited capabilities. It can feel like a very small drop in a very large bucket. But we are reminded of the vastness of God. We may only have drops to contribute, but He holds the whole bucket in His hands. I believe our teammate Rosa speaks for all of us when she said “I don’t really have words to describe what this experience has meant to me.” So we’ll leave it here.

The team returns Sunday evening after a couple of days of rest and relaxation. Expect a post full of amazing videos once we get back that we haven’t been able to post yet!

14 comment(s) so far...


Re: A Drop In The Bucket

To my dear friend Rudy...Welcome back to lots of loving friends and families who missed you and the whole teaml. Be safe and God bless you all.

Marge(Cardio Vol)

By Marge on   Friday, January 24, 2014 9:43 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

welcome [almost} home dhena.....

im sure the boys are missing you [your boys/ not brad & clyde] well actually those boys too....

yesterday kelsey ran our department blood drive, 25 people know where i was [wink] but seriously an amazing turnout...kelsey will track you down upon your return [heads up]

i hope your final days you can take a moment and not only reflect on the mission but what you have at home...including best family ever, crazy friends, amazing team and a boss that loves you.

btw- i hope Ivan started both cars all week.....soooooooo cold......we dont need a repeat of what happened before you left :0

see you in a few days!


By soto on   Friday, January 24, 2014 10:31 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Charles and team,

It has been such an incredible blessing to read about all that God has been doing through you this week. Thanks for sharing your God-given gifts in medicine to touch the lives of so many people whose needs are so great.

God grant you safe travels. We look forward to hearing about your experience in person!

The Park Family

By Jane Park on   Friday, January 24, 2014 11:54 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Ditto what Jane said above, Charles and team. What wonderful testimonies of God's love on display. We will be praying for a good finish and a safe return. Thanks for letting us share part of your journey.

By Brian Park on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:01 AM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

It has been awesome to hear about all of your experiences this past week. You are all amazing for touching so many lives. Kinsey, we miss you and your contagious personality. Dr. WIlson keep up the great work!

From Erika, Kris, Tracy, Evita, Cindy, Elaine

By Erika, Kris, Tracy, Evita, Cindy, Elaine on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:47 AM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Enjoyed reading the blog and details about the many different conditions you treated. Will pray today for your safe return.

By Mike Goebel on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 9:14 AM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Margaret (mom) and team-

Reading about your work has been inspirational; it's clear that the medical assistance you provide has been just as profound as your testament to God's love. Safe travels and enjoy your last days outside the 'polar vortex.'


By Al on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:21 AM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

We all are looking forward to your return and hearing each personal account of your trip. You will each have such meaningful stories to share, we may not get any work done this week! Sorry that you have to return to these temperatures now that you are accustomed to the heat. God's world is pretty amazing, isn't it? We are praying for your rest, laughter and safe travels! V.+

By Chaplain Vicky on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:00 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Thank you all for all your good work! So proud of all you especially Dr. Gary Lipinski, and Jen and Katie Cyrzan. I know you have made such a difference. Miss you and look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

By Mary Kilmer on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:30 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

I want to thank each of you. God obviously worked in your lives and the lives of all you met to bring you all together to do such wonderful work. My special thanks to our AHH friends, Sharon Bowers , Dhena Byers, Tracy Daly, Dr. Freels, Kinsey Jackson, Colleen Pospishil, Rosa Soto, Dr. Rosanne Vasiloff, Dr. Gregory Wallin, Dr. Lanny Wilson. We missed you and thank each of you for your journey and commitment.

By Shawn Tyrrell on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 8:31 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Forgot to shout out to Ann Marie Niemer, thrilled you were on the trip, recall so fondly our time together in Costa Rica, and knowing the difference you make on the team. Thank you so much and I can't wait to see you when you get back to hear more! Miss you, Shawn

By Shawm Tyrrell on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 8:38 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

Looking forward to welocoming you back. Special thanks to Dr Lipinski and John Rapp who assemble such an awesome team each year. It comes together so perfectly because of each of you! Praying God keeps you safe in your travels home.

By Shawn Tyrrell on   Saturday, January 25, 2014 8:49 PM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket


By Daniel Ocampo on   Monday, January 27, 2014 8:19 AM

Re: A Drop In The Bucket

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