Hey all! Here’s a quick photo-update on what has been keeping us busy during the Covid-19 outbreak. Lots of behind the scene logistics, planning, receiving and distribution of supplies and donations, maintenance and repair of medical equipment. Exciting stuff here folks! Haha! We are beginning to see positive Covid-19 cases at Loma de Luz. While it took a while to “get here” due to very strict travel restrictions in Honduras, it is here now and we are finding ourselves working a bit more each day with either positive or suspect patients. We are so grateful for those of you who have given, are giving, and for those of you who might consider giving. (Please see our financial update at the end of the update.) Your partnership with us in this amazing work means so much to us. We think it’s important to let you know what we are doing so that we might be accountable. We are so grateful to the Lord for his provision and we’re grateful to all of you who support us in so many ways.
God is simply the only reason we are here. We would have never thought of ourselves as “missionaries” for the first 15 years of our marriage and then one night He just changed all of that for us. Now about 15 years into doing missions and about 12 years into our time here in Honduras, we couldn’t be anymore sure about God’s loving direction in our lives. So, as you read the items below about “what we are doing” please read them as “God’s ongoing miracle of love and grace in our lives enabling us to play a small part in a big work here at Loma de Luz.”
The text and the pictures below just about drove me (short trip) over the edge trying to format them, so please hang on as some of the text gets out of line with the photos. Hopefully it won’t be too disorienting.
Many of you know that Marinajo and I take a quick motorcycle ride every evening – we call it our “Sunset moto-date.” Our ride ends each evening at the overlook at the end of the cul-de-sac to watch the sun set, next to where our newest missionaries, the Gilley family now live. Many times these two Gilley cuties come out and sit a spell and keep us company.
My work in the medical equipment / biomed area has been really busy. We’ve been able to put some donated oxygen blenders into service for the ICU/NICU. Our premature babies (more about that in a minute) don’t like 100% oxygen, nor do they need it. They really need blended O2 and “med air” that is clean and dry and can help them keep those little lungs open while they finish developing. We recently had a 29 week preemie born at the hospital (read more about her here). We were able to use the blender as a small part of a lot of care for that little one and are so thankful to report that she did really well and went home.
Lots of logistics with Covid-19 protocols. Here we are trying to keep signage up around the hospital to encourage patients to obey local laws (obligatory masks for example).
There’s a lot going on in this picture. We have two of the O2 blenders in service and everything with a cord or a tube coming out of it (except the patient) is kind of my responsibility. God makes up for all of the short comings and the result is way more than the sum of what we put into it. Dios obra aqui – God works here. So true. Every day.
We recently received a second med flight of emergency Covid-19 relief supplies along with needed medical equipment on it. We received parts to get a portable x-ray back up and running. Chest x-rays are a critical diagnostic tool right now and having the portable allows us to keep Covid-19 suspect patients out of the hospital in a separate area where we can “take the x-ray to them.” We also received many new oximeters which are also another key indicator in the diagnosis and care of Covid-19 patients. We received some fancy new oxygen blenders (see story above) that I am learning how to use and we received lots and lots of casting tape for all of our trauma patients.
IT (Information Technology) has been cranking right along as well. In February, my IT employee, that I had invested years of training in, left with very little notice and really left me in a tight spot. The Lord was gracious and got us through some long days and also saw fit to provide some new replacement IT employees. We’re working now to form a new team. We’re also laying some new fiber optic connections to some areas that have been underserved by some very old, cobbled together cabling, which will make our service much more stable to those areas in the future.
I am working just a little bit with our Construction and Maintenance foreman, Mike Yost, on a new building and some major electrical upgrades which will modernize and upgrade our electrical service coming into the hospital as well as improve our voltage. We are looking to move much of the big and loud medical equipment, like central vac (for suction), O2, and Med air out of the hospital to this new structure as well as building space for a new generator and new emergency transfer switch in the future.
Here is an example of the x-rays (hint, the right hip is not good) that people send me from all over Honduras asking to be seen at the hospital. Loma de Luz has truly become a hospital for all of Honduras, but right now, it is extremely hard to overcome government travel restrictions and get to us for care. Many people are suffering throughout Honduras for lack of care due to the intense focus on Covid-19 in the healthcare infrastructure. I get almost a request per day from someone, somewhere that I’ve usually never heard of, that is hurting. I try my best to work with the doctors here at the hospital and facilitate care for the ones that we think we can help. It is harder than ever right now for folks to get to us. One constant prayer we have is that the Lord would lead the patients to us that we can help and comfort those who cannot make it here during this terrible time.
Here’s a shot of us trying to work out a reasonable protocol for our OB patients during Covid-19. The reality is that pregnant women have a very low incidence of Covid-19 cases, but they are either unable to go to public hospitals because they are only serving Covid-19 patients, or unwilling to go to public hospitals because they are scared of being exposed to the virus. Therefore, our OB patient census has grown tremendously during this time.
We are trying to take reasonable precautions to make sure that we are keeping Covid-19 positive patients in isolation areas outside of our hospital. I have had a small role to play in helping out with this. For example, I have been helping out at night (to help relieve our exhausted doctors) with triage of patients from out of the area whom we are mostly unable to see at this time due to government restrictions – except in the case of real emergencies. Here’s a shot of me taking some vitals of a young woman who was requesting emergent care from outside of our area.
Here’s a pic of a patient record with a note clipped on it that the patient’s payment was recorded incorrectly. Since I am the computer guy, I log into the system and fix these billing errors when they happen and try and help keep our accounting system functioning properly.
Here’s a picture of the days when we can “circulate” (i.e. go into town and buy groceries, get fuel, go to the bank, etc). It works out to one day every two weeks. Other than that, it is pretty much being quarantined here at the hospital with some short local trips allowed. It has been a long four months in that regard.
Ha!! Here is one of my favorite pics on social media that kind of captures the craziness of it all right now. Come to think of it, this is kind of what I look like (minus the water pistol, but I am now thinking of getting one) when I get all dressed up to go into the Covid-19 isolation area.
Finances: There are about 12 individuals and 2 churches that make up the bulk of our monetary support and give about $1500 each month. We are just so grateful for each one of you and for each one of the dollars that are given so sacrificially. Our monthly budget is around $2500 – in the past, Dave’s business in the US has helped make up that difference. The business isn’t able to do that anymore. We are confident that God has other plans in store for how He will meet our daily needs. If you feel led to help us out financially please follow this link: https://www.healthservicecorps.org/author/fields/ or just text “Fields” to 71777 from the US and you can donate via your mobile. Thank you!
Especially, in these moments of the world seeming to be “upside down” we turn to our Father in heaven who is still very much on the throne. The sunsets are still beautiful. Marinajo and I are well and we know that we are right where we are supposed to be.