Team Nicaragua: Clinic Day 2

Aug. 14, 2019

Hola Amigos!

Day two was a success. We had another great breakfast and left the hotel at 7:30am and arrived at the clinic a little after 8. In total we saw 153 people today and everything ran really smoothly. I’m in constant awe how awesome our team is.

Today I was taking heights and weights of all the patients that came in and it was very humorous to see some peoples reactions when they thought they weighed 150 kgs vs lbs. It was pretty eye-opening to see that a lot of the people weren’t familiar with using a scale, and many of them seemed excited to know what their weight was because they probably don’t have access to one often. The state of New York has more baristas per person than Nicaragua has doctors per person so I find myself feeling grateful to the providers who have worked with us to give healthcare access to people who normally would not be able to see a doctor.

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As this is my first overseas mission trip, I didn’t know what to expect. I was mostly apprehensive about going to Central America with a group of complete and total strangers and working with people who spoke a different language. I immediately felt welcomed as a friend by all and have found the Nicaraguan people very warm and friendly. Looking forward to another wonderful day tomorrow. Blessings!

Katie Michaelson, Resident Coordinator

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Stepping Out

When my friends Daryl and Lorelle Perry asked me to consider coming with them to Nicaragua with OneWorld Health my first thought was “I don’t think so”. To take a week of my family holiday time and be apart from my wife and two young sons didn’t seem right. But at a NeedToBreathe concert I was reminded of OneWorld Health through the band’s support of this organization and I thought maybe I should reconsider. When I told my wife about my openness to going she encouraged me to consider and pray about it. As I did this it seemed more and more like something I should do. I had recently turned 50 and had felt that in this significant milestone was a call to step out in faith in new ways in my life. So I applied and was accepted as the team pharmacist. 

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So now here we are in Nicaragua with two clinic days under our belt and what are my thoughts? I am thankful for my family at home who I miss dearly and who have blessed me to go and sent me off with prayers and encouragement notes for every day of this week. I am impressed with the OneWorld Health organization and the local Nicaraguans who represent it. Their dedication and joy as they work is evident. 

I am convinced that God has a unique role for each of us to play in this world and that if we do step out in faith in this role, we will all be the better. I have seen this in the team who have come to Nicaragua this week. Each has stepped out and made a valuable contribution to the health clinics this week. As the pharmacist, I am most aware of the contribution of pharmacy technician and distribution team I have worked with. They have truly stepped out and been a blessing to the medication needs of our patients. Their ability to organize the makeshift pharmacy has been outstanding.  But I have heard through the other team leaders how every team member has in their own unique way touched the lives of the people we have come to serve. I am also most grateful to work with a health team who have God as their focus. To know that what we are doing is motivated by Christ’s s love for all people is a precious thing. 

In closing, I am glad I took the step of faith to come to Nicaragua to meet and work with an amazing group of people and to partner with a great organization in promoting the health of the people of Nicaragua.

Mark Friesen, Clinical Pharmacist

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