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Maranatha Medical Trip

Last month, local churches and medical experts from the United States came to Guatemela to serve over 2,300 people. The teams held medical clinics in four different communities, two of which only accessible by boat. The way the teams worked together was remarkable—from triage diagnosing medical needs, to dental clinics and eye exams, pediatric doctors and general physicians, vitamins and pharmacy, children's ministry and spiritual care, and even a beauty clinic where women and children got their hair washed (for lice) and then styled with braids, ribbons, and flowers. These women then went to a photo station to have their portrait taken. For many, these were the only photos they have.

Maranatha Medical Trip

The first week we arrived to El Faro, they started telling us about this big medical trip coming up. The biggest event of the year, hosted by the founders' Phil & Nikki's church in Chicago. This medical trip started 16 years ago, and has grown in size & impact every year. We didn't quite know what we were getting into, but I'm so glad we were here in time to help with all of the clinics. We're also thankful we arrived a couple weeks prior to get the chance to settle in and get to know the staff and the campus, before becoming the "experts" to a 100+ new volunteers who might come to us with questions.

We held medical clinics in four different communities (two of which only accessible by boat). It was incredible to see all the moving parts come together, and how they fit so well for a wholistic experience for every patient. From Triage diagnosing medical needs, to dental clinics and eye exams, pediatric doctors and general physicians, vitamins & pharmacy, children's ministry & spiritual care, & even a beauty clinic where women and children got their hair washed (for lice), then styled with braids, ribbons & flowers, & went on to a photo station where they could take home portrait of themselves and their family - for many the only photos they have.

Scott was on the first boat out & the last boat in every day, with work days lasting from about 5am-7pm (& with dinner and devotionals continuing on past 9pm). He worked hard setting up tents, hauling generators & medical supplies, & moving furniture to set up the clinics each morning - then with his maintenance team would do the whole thing in reverse for tear down every afternoon. & on top of all the setup and tear down that large medical clinics require (in multiple locations), he quickly saw another need, & stepped into the role of delivering fresh coffee & cold water from tent to tent to all the doctors, nurses & volunteers who weren't able to step away from their stations. It's the little things that sure do keep morale high, & I especially loved watching Jonah tag along and serve coffee with his dad the last two days of clinics. This quickly made them both the most popular guys at camp :)

My main role during the medical clinics was photography - capturing moments of impact to help share the stories of what took place this week through the 2,300 people we served. There is a large photo album on Facebook where I have uploaded some of my favorite images, along with two other amazing Guatemalan photographers I collaborated with. If you'd like to see more photos, just go to my page here or Mision El Faro & look for the photo album "Maranatha Medical Trip 2020."


The medical week covered 4 days of clinic in 4 locations. I am not sure how many villages as people were bused and boated to the 4 locations.  We served 2,292 people and had 468 salvations (unofficial and I would follow up with Matt on this number). The first clinic started Sunday February 23rd and the last day was February 26th. There were about 50 people from the church in Chicago along with another 50 or so local Guatemalan medical providers and El Faro/Mission of Hope staff. 

We provided dental, vision, primary care, children’s tent (like a short VBS presentation) and a cosmetology tent to wash (provide lice treatment) and style/braid hair as well as paint nails. Everyone we served also had a one on one conversation about the gospel and where they are at spiritually. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.