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From here to there

Batesville team serves in Yamaranguila

By Rita Howell

Eleven Panola Countians spent last week in the mountains of Honduras on an annual mission to provide medical, dental and spiritual aid to families in a rural region where North Mississippians have been visiting for decades.

More than 2,700 people from the town of Yamaranguila and surrounding area received help during the four days of the mission.

Most of them walked to the Rosa Adelina Assistance Center where a team of Honduran and Mississippi volunteers operated medical and dental clinics and a pharmacy, distributed food, offered worship services, provided Bible School classes for children, and even painted fingernails.

Batesville dentist Andy Garrott led the Mississippians, who included Leslie Busby, Malcolm Morehead, Erik Broome, Jim McCurdy, Cindy McCurdy, Edna Woods, Linda Bruce, Misty Houston, Rita Howell, Bonnie Burkes, all of Panola County; John Owens of Olive Branch and Lyn Reese and Vickie Currie of Tupelo.

Currie, a nurse practitioner, and Reese, an R.N., joined a team of Honduran doctors and nurses to operate the medical clinic where they treated 1,349 patients.

Garrott and two Honduran dentists conducted an adult dental clinic where they saw 215 patients and extracted 367 problem teeth. The pediatric dental clinic served 189.

Broome oversaw the pharmacy where 3,668 prescriptions were filled.

Linda Bruce spent most of the four days sterilizing dental equipment (and received praise from the dentists for her outstanding work).

The rest of the Panola team filled in where needed, assisting dentists, working on campus maintenance projects, or helping in Bible School classes attended by 601 children.

Cindy McCurdy directed the Bible School and also organized the distribution of dozens of donated t-shirts and more than 100 colorful cotton dresses made by several Batesville ladies for little girls.

In the end, the team distributed nearly a ton each of rice, beans, and sugar. They gave away 1,788 Spanish copies of the Book of John, and an undetermined number of Bibles.

Pastor Victor Lopez organized worship services attended by 740. He reported 113 professions of faith.

The men of the team spent one day working in a nearby prison where they served lunch to 437 prisoners, guards and other personnel. Lopez preached during worship services and Garrott worked in a makeshift dental clinic, where he performed 153 extractions.

All the team’s work was captured in photos by Malcolm Morehead. A slideshow can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=12m1enMw0Z4

The Mississippi team represented ten different churches, including Goodwill Church of God, Batesville First United Methodist Church, Batesville First Baptist Church, Batesville Presbyterian Church, Curtis Union Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Pope Baptist Church, Renewal Church in Memphis, Tocowa Baptist, and Calvary Baptist of Tupelo.

Dr. Garrott expressed appreciation to local groups and individuals who supported the mission: Wesleyan Bible Class of First UMC, who gave money for Bibles and Books of John; Mickey and Gwen Aldridge, Mike and Jill Addington, First Baptist Church, Curtis Union Church, and Pope Baptist Church.

CUTLINES:

1.  Third grade teacher Misty Houston swapped a week of classroom work last week to serve as a dental assistant with the Batesville mission team in Honduras.

2.   More than 2,700 people in Yamaranguila, Honduras, visited the temporary clinics set up by the visiting mission team. The group participated in medical and dental clinical work and assisted in food distribution while leading Bible studies for children and worship services for adults.

3.  Friends of the local mission team provided funds for 350 backpacks for children who came to Bible school.  (Photos by Malcolm Morehead)