Day 3 - Friday, January 20
We started our day on the rooftop of our hotel with morning prayer and reflection led by Susan and Nancy. The weather is very comfortable and sunny. We can hear the roosters crowing and smell the smoke from the cookfires in the area homes. After a wonderful breakfast at the convent in Coapilla with the Sisters, we enjoyed a spectacular mountain drive to Pantepec. We are planning to visit this community again on Saturday as there are many people who would like our help.
The 45 minute drive on twisting climbing roads yielded one beautiful vista after another. When we finally arrived at the parish. People were lined up on benches waiting patiently. We quickly set up the clinic and worked non-stop from 10:00 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. During the 6 1/2 hour clinic we were able to help 64 people. There were more there people waiting, but we will return tomorrow.
The building we worked in was located next to the church, which is a massive, structure built with rugged, old stones and concrete. Mid-afternoon, I took a short 10 minute break and strolled into the church. Inside there was a elderly woman who had been at our clinic. She was kneeling behind the altar and in front of the Tabernacle on her knees on the stone floor. She was praying outloud with great emotion. She was there for a long time. Although I couldn't understand her Spanish and of course I would not have not wanted to eavesdrop, I could feel her great faith reverberate throughout the entire church as she had her conversation with Jesus. As we make this journey, so often we are humbled by the great faith of the poor we meet. What courage, trust and faith they have. We are humbled and inspired as we continue our personal spiritual journeys.
After supper we strolled through the central park. Many children came to smile, try out their English skills and pose for pictures. They especially liked playing with Jake and Luke. Lots of laughs for all! Next we split into two teams and enjoyed a couple of very spirited and competitive games of Bananogram. With the cheating, creative spelling and rapid-fire smart remarks, a good time was had by all.
- Helen Peterson