Early this year I listened to Dr. Madrid speak passionately about an organization she leads called “Predisan.”
The doctor’s presentation covered the history, work, and vision of the organization in Catacamas, Honduras. I learned many facts concerning the country and how Predisan is working to better the lives of Hondurans through health and spirit. This is not easy work, especially whenever there are so many people who need quality health care in the mountains of Honduras.
I was hooked
I didn’t think about joining the work of Predisan until I heard Dr. Madrid say, “some days I want to run away as far as possible from these problems, but some days I am so excited to run to the opportunities before me.” This paradoxical statement resonated with my courageous yet fearful spirit. I was hooked.
Six months later, I landed in Honduras ready to run at whatever challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. My vision, however, was filled with blurry, dark spots. I didn’t have a crisp, crystal clear picture of what was before me, but I trusted in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to lead me forward. Each day I learned more and more about the beauty of the work Predisan is doing. Each day the task before me became clearer and clearer. Each day I fell more in love with the glory of God within the people of Honduras.
The beauty of the work
The name “Predisan” is a result of the mixing of two verbs in Spanish: Predicar (to preach) and Sanar (to heal). The mission of Predisan is found within the root of their name. Through the thirty-five clinics that Predisan operates in the Olancho area, they work diligently to meet the physical and spiritual needs of their fellow Hondurans. These clinics can be found in larger cities, like Catacamas, and remote villages where the only way in is literally, “over the river and through the woods” on horseback!
Predisan is made up of a team consisting of doctors, nurses, microbiologists, lab techs, nutritionists, health promoters, pastors, secretaries, dentists, engineers, teachers, psychologists, managers, janitors, accountants who all serve to improve the lives of Hondurans. I had the honor of joining this team of servants for three weeks. Through them I saw the ways in which God is using Predisan to hear the cries of God’s people and care for them.
The task before me
I have been a small, microscopic part of the work at Predisan
I shadowed general physicians that work at a clinic called “The Good Samaritan.” I sat as a silent, foreign observer just soaking in all the language and medical knowledge I possibly could. I also worked in the lab where I ran urine and blood tests to help lighten the load for the lab techs.
Weeks Two and Three
I worked with a nutritionist and a physician at a government clinic that Predisan manages. I sat with the nutritionist in the corner of the Diabetic Clinic giving nutritional consultations with patients who were battling against chronic disease. I worked with the doctor as he checked up on patients and prescribed them their needed medications. It was emphasized each day to the patients that not only medication, but food as well must be consumed wisely in order to manage their diabetes and hypertension. I also had the opportunity to help give nutrition education to diabetic patients. What a dream it was to experience those three weeks.
Be ye flexible!
Initially when I came I thought there would be an obvious task before me. Something that I could work on each day just to make satisfactory checks down my list of responsibilities. Fortunately, my experience at Predisan was nothing like a “To Do” list. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Each day I didn’t know what exactly God had prepared for me to step into. I was challenged to be flexible.
Now, upon reflection with much clearer sight, I see that the task before me while at Predisan was to just be still while simultaneously eagerly searching for The Lord. Not surprisingly, I found God each day. I found God in the people I had the honor to work with. I found God in the mountains which surrounded our city. I found God in the large crowds of people waiting to be cared for at the government clinic. I even found God in the delicious, famous Baleadas I ate every week! However, as I leave I realize my task is not complete. I learned that as a servant of Christ I will be doing this each day for the rest of my life. I pray I have the opportunity to continue this task with an organization like Predisan, or even Predisan themselves! What an honor it has been to learn about the work of the Kingdom with a place like Predisan.
The immortal glory of Hondureños
So here I am on July 4th, sitting in my bed and reflecting on my experience as a whole in Honduras. My mind is spinning with the faces of those who have sought me, cared for me, fed me, and welcomed me into this family focused country. Kristi and Gustavo, my Honduran Mami and Papi, sent me off to work and welcomed me back home each day. Mónica, my nutritionist maestra, taught me all about the connection between the cuisine of Honduras and the high prevalence of chronic disease. The Francos, mis suegros ;), opened up their home to me for dinner and fun conversation about family, work, and language. Steysi and Elvis, mis jefes, patiently listened to all of my questions and made sure that I was working in a place where my talents were being utilized. Maytee, mi prima, always laughed alongside me on fun adventures: 100+ foot waterfall, jungles, 600+ stairs hike, and horseback riding.
I was welcomed into a family at Predisan that I was not expecting. My new Honduran friends, even more that I couldn’t mention in this blog, are no “ordinary people.” C.S. Lewis, in his essay “Weight of Glory,” describes perfectly one thing I experienced from Predisan during my three weeks.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also [is the hidden truth of Christ]—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory himself is truly hidden.”
Because of these immortal beings that worked with me each day, I learned more about the hidden truth of Christ.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you God for the work you are doing through Predisan. Continue to heal your people through them. Grow the dreams of Predisan as they look forward to meet more and more needs of their people. Bless Predisan.
In your holy name Jesus,
Sidney is a senior at Harding University. She is studying Nutritional Health Sciences in order to pursue a degree in medicine focused on chronic disease after she graduates from Harding.