Category: COP Honduras

Honduras Day 6

Sam Smith, Patsy Bane, MaKenzie Firek, and Emerald Lupari

Today is the last day of the trip and I couldn’t be more thankful to be able to serve on the mission trip this week. The day started off at the clinic site with the most gorgeous view of the mountain. Between the view and the people of the community, I had an overwhelming sense of gratefulness, peace, and gratitude.

While working in the pharmacy, we were asked if anyone would like to deliver a food bag to a family in need. I felt very compelled to be apart of delivering the food bag and praying with the family. After delivering the food bag, Kirio, the preacher and pastor of the community, asked if we would do a house visit to a local woman who was home ill and was unable to come to the clinic. Upon arrival, we met an older woman, Julia, in bed. Julia was in extreme pain to a huge mass that was discovered in her colon. There wasn’t much we could do, but when we asked if there was anything we could do they asked for prayer. We prayed for/with Julia and left with the promise of coming back to deliver some medication to help her find relief as well as bring back a doctor. The family gifted us with a bundle of plantains as a thank you gift for coming to see them. I was speechless and kept thinking that we didn’t do anything except pray. I couldn’t comprehend that this family, who just got these plantains from the field and was going to be using them as their dinner, had just gifted us with their meal. I had so many emotions running through my mind that I was having trouble processing it. When we returned with the medications and the doctor, we found out the unfortunate news that Julia had colon cancer.  Palliative care is her only option at this time. I was beyond heartbroken to hear the news and as a group, we continued to pray for her well being. We also prayed for God to help her find some relief. As we were leaving, I leaned down to say my goodbye while Julia continued praying and thanking God for sending us to help her. I was brought to tears but was able to take away how selfless, grateful, and appreciative Julia was. I was able to leave knowing that Julia was going to find some relief and was beyond blessed to have been able to pray with her as she fights this awful disease.

Overall, I get to leave this trip with so much love, new memories, and lasting relationships. I am already counting down the days until I can serve with God once again to love and serve my neighbor.

— Emmy Lupari, College of Pharmacy student

Honduras Day 5

(Ali Gean, Emily Wilcox, and Lisa Marie Harris)

I’ve learned more in 5 days on this trip than what feels like a whole semester of school. Also life will never be same after discovering my love for granitas. During this trip my perspective has completely changed and my story has a new page to be added. Today we went to a remote community in the mountains a couple hours away from Jovenes. I started out counseling, filling and handing out food bags. I had help with interpreting by the sweetest boy named Daniel. He is a young man from Jovenes en Camino and, despite his situation, he is not bitter or resentful towards others. He is beyond generous and has been invaluable to our efforts along with the other interpreters. I couldn’t have triaged patients without the help of Louise, Marvin, and Emmanuel. They get up at 5am to do chores for two hours before they work with us all day long. Daniel never missed a beat. He was always ready to help me counsel. Today he told me he wants to be a pilot when he grows up because he likes to be up high above the world. I could hear the passion and determination in his voice. I can easily relate to that in my story to become a healthcare provider. I am beyond thankful that God put me here this week to meet Daniel. We have gotten really close over the past few days even to the point where Daniel says he misses me between riding to different clinics. Daniel taught me three things in just one day: to be generous no matter the obstacle, dream big knowing that God will provide and love when world hasn’t given you a reason to love.

(Daniel and Lisa Marie on the far right)

— Ali Gean, College of Pharmacy Student


Honduras Day 4

(Emerald Lupari, Patsy Bane, and Mackenzie Firek)

Our time in Honduras is coming to an end. However, each day presents an experience completely different fromthe last days. Today, we spent time in Las Delicias, a small village in the Honduran mountains. This trip has given me time to reflect on how God intertwined my story with all the people I meet and those who came with me. At the beginning of the day, I worked in triage and one of the patients was an elderly lady. She sat down with tears in her eyes and immediately started speaking in Spanish. Although the language barrier prevents me from comprehending what she was saying, I could understand what she was trying to tell me. The interpreter then informed me that the lady had lost her son recently and was having trouble sleeping at night since. Listening to her story, I was in awe to think about how God had orchestrated our lives to meet at this moment. Everything I had done from choosing a profession in pharmacy to choosing to go to Belmont brought me to this one moment were our stories intertwined. This trip has taught me to cherish every moment and know there is a reason my paths cross with certain people in life. When I return back to America, I do not want to put the lesson I have learned here in a box and set it on the self. However, I want to remember to be grateful and know there is a perfect plan for every story mine is interwoven with.

— Mackenzie Firek, College of Pharmacy Student

Day 3 in Honduras

One thing I keep trying to remind myself is “Hey. You’re here. In Honduras. Don’t miss it.” I think it can be so easy to wake up, go to these places, and forget that you’re in the middle of it — forgot why you gave up the resources, time, and more to travel across the world and help people you don’t even know. However, with each passing moment, I believe it’s becoming more apparent of why. And that we’re here. And that it matters.

Trisha McHugh and Emerald Lupari

There was so much that we could have been missed today, if we hadn’t been looking. We started the day off by grabbing the perfect coffee on the road to the clinic. Truly, it cannot be expressed the perfection of this particular type of caffeine. Honduran coffee really puts the rest of the world’s coffee to shame.

From the God-sent coffee, the group split in half, and went to two various clinics in the area. The clinic I ended up in was a government-run clinic that needed extra hands, as it was the weekend, and they only had one provider. We prepared a triage center, an add on to their current pharmacy, and 3 different clinic rooms. From there, we immediately started seeing patients from the community. There were men and women off all ages from the area and we treated all that came through our doors. Every single smile, hug, and “gracias” only reaffirmed that what we were doing mattered.

We provided fluids for someone in severe dehydration. Medication was given to families who were struggling with infections. Prayer was spoken over parents dealing with loss of loved ones. Every single moment worthy of our full time and devotion.

The team God assembled here in Honduras could not have been more anointed, with every single man and woman contributing valuable skills and information to the clinic. We would not be where we are today without the absolute crucial help of every single person here. It is our hope and desire that we continue to fix our eyes on Christ and reveal to our patients here, His love with the services we can provide. We are striving to give grace and compassion to those that we serve, all the while we do the same for each other. We are in here in Honduras to serve and expand the Kingdom — and we aren’t going to miss it.

Trisha McHugh – Belmont College of Pharmacy Student

Days 1-2 in Honduras

The first day in Honduras was a full one. Yesterday we landed in Tegucigalpa and met up with our host partners from Jovenes. Ronald, the one who runs the boys home, met up with us, loaded up the luggage, and we were on our way to El Zamorano. This group is a unique one, with 11-12 Pharmacy students from both Belmont and Lipscomb Universities.

The 45-minute drive is a beautiful, winding, journey down into the valley of El Zamorano. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, Jovenes en Camino (or “Children on the Way”) is home and school to over 50 young boys of all ages. The campus includes three residence buildings, dining hall, carpentry shop, a store, farm, offices, guest house, space for recreation, a tutoring center and a clinic that is open to the El Zamorano community.

Once settled at our hotel, we enjoyed an authentic Honduran dinner and then headed off to bed.

The next morning started with a bang as the whole group began preparing for the first day of the clinic at Jovenes. The students, supervised by the Pharmacy faculty, saw over 100 people from the community and gave them health consultation along with medication for various issues they were dealing with. Additionally, our group packed 40+ food bags that will provide basic food supplies for entire families for 2 weeks during the holidays.

Later, we shared dinner with the Jovenes community and then had spirited games of kickball and futbol (spoiler – we lost).

With all the new sights and sounds, the group is just getting acclimated and settling in. We’re looking forward to a week of hard work and new friendships as we serve and receive from the community of Jovenes and from El Zamorano. In the coming days, you’ll hear more from the students on the trip as well, so keep following along for more updates!

Larkin Briley – Trip Leader