1996 Trip of the Honduras Medical Mission
of the
Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi

The 1996 trip of the Honduras Medical Mission was a resounding success. The team from the Mission of the Creator, Clinton did an excellent job of organizing and leading this year's mission. Martin Fox as team leader and Nancy Christiansen as secretary/treasurer deserve special thanks for all their had work. Brent Taunton and Larry Killebrew collected dental and medical supplies. Lester Hailey ordered all of the pharmaceutical supplies and medicine.

The Church at Night

The physcians saw over 2972 patients; the dentists pulled 1127 teeth from 356 patients; the dental hygenist cleaned the teeth of 86 patients; and the vet 358 horses, 43 dogs, 5 cats, and roped 1 chicken. Father Ralph Kelly visited the churches in Quince de Enero, Santana, and Concepcion del Norte with Father Jose Luis Mendoza. Father Gene Asbury visited the jail and church in Santa Barbara with Jose Luis. In San Joaquin, we had two services daily. These included three celebrations of the Eucharist, the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, and a healing service for the members of the team and the local villagers. The closing Eucharist on Thursday evening was the largest service that I have ever seen in San Joaquin. On Sunday, Bishop Leo Frade dedicated a new clinic in memory of Dr. Gene Lee, a long time member of the Medical Mission. The new clinic is large enought for the four dentists, five physicians, and a dental hygenist.

Another reason for the success of this year's Mission was the cooperation which we received from everone in Honduras from the Bishop down to the local people who handled crowd control. The Mission is truly a joint project of the Diocese of Mississippi and the Diocese of Honduras. Fifty local people helped with the Mission. There are young men from the village who have now worked with us for fourteen years. Some of these have jobs in San Pedro Sula and take off for the week that we are in San Joaquin. In addition, for the second year, we were ably assisted by Owen Carr, a SAMS missionary, Owen was "Super Gopher" and supplied us with food and the other items which we need from San Pedro Sula. Once again we benefited greatly from the help of bilingual translators from St. John's Episcopal School in Puerto Cortes. Not only were they good translators, but they also helped us relate better with the local people.

As on previous trips, Diana Frade, the Bishop's wife, oversaw the running of the Mission from the Honduran side. She continues to be an inspiration and our greatest asset.

The Honduras Medical Mission Commitee had good meetings with Diana Frade and with the members "Patronato" of San Joaquin. As a result of our discussions, we agreed to help the village with several projects. We will match funds for renovations to the church and the "parish hall" and for the paving of the main street with cobbles and concrete. Team members took up a collection to buy a guitar for the chruch; to help buy prayer books for the churches in San Joaquin, Santana, and Las Flores; and to buy socks and cloth from which parents will may uniforms for first graders in the local school. We agreed to fund the "Kinder-Mississippi" for another year. This program provides pre-school training and lunch to the children of San Joaquin. Finally, we agreed to seek matching funds for the purpose of bringing electricity to the village.

Our Medical Mission is only possible because of the support and encouragement of our bishop, Bishop A.C."Chip" Marble and the financial support of Episcopalians from across the Diocese of Mississippi. Permission and support in Honduras is provided by the Diocese of Honduras through the good offices of Bishop Leo Frade.

Here are some pictures from the 1996 Honduras Medical Mission. Some of the pictures have color faults from the digitization and will be replaced. Please bear with me.

The 1996 team in front of the new clinic.
They came by truck.
They came on horseback.
To the new clinic in San Joaquin.
Where Marilyn Charleton took their blood pressure.
Joe Stribling with the help of Marti Williams treated them.
Liz Weir cleaned their teeth.
When the teeth couldn't be saved, Chip Leggett assisted by Anne Jones pulled them.
Father Ralph Kelley and our pharmacist, Lester Hailey.
The mission always ends with a Eucharist. The Rev. Jose Luis Mendoza celebrates and Ralph Kelley and Gene Asbury assist.
There was standing room only at the final Eucharist.
Father Gene Asbury read the gospel.
There was special music by Los Canarios.
On the final afternoon, there is a party for the children featuring a pinata. Martin Fox brings the pinata to the town plaza.
Penny Sisson dressed as a clown and Karen Asbury gave away candy.
Del Weathersby was also a clown. Brenda Brown watched the festivities.
That night after the Eucharist, everyone Boogied Down to the music of Los Canarios.
Brent Taunton, one of our dentists, and the rest of us ate well in Christ Kitchen.
Our translators from St. John's Episcopal School in Puerto Cortes enjoyed the meals as well as we did.
The meals were prepared by the local women.
The ladies' dorm was a mess. It makes one wonder what their homes look like.
As always the children were the highlight of the trip.

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