Wednesday, December 4, 2013

eMi Team to Cubulco

The last few posts have been on the how a hospital "Senorita Elena" came out of Bible translation work. Initially, Helen Neuenswander and Mary Shaw were seeing and treating patients out of their home using their own medicine. This turned into a vision of providing the people of Cubulco (especially the indigenous) with more affordable and accessible health care. This vision led them to initially build and start a clinic and eventually a 25 bed hospital with surgical rooms, laboratory, nutrition center, etc, evolved out of this vision. Although Helen has passed away, Mary Shaw left Cubulco over 20 years ago, and AMG took over in 1990, the vision for the hospital continues to grow. Times have changed since the 90's and because of that we are looking at changes in the hospital and expanding the services offered in order to make it more self sustaining. However, before making these changes a number of things need to happen first.
One of the things that needed to happen was for someone to come and look at our current hospital and make an assessment of it. What is it like structurally, how can the space be optimized better, etc. In October, God provided not only one person but a team of professionals who donated their time and resources to come to Cubulco from all over the world and do the assessment. This team of engineers, surveyors, and architects came to us from Engineering Ministries International (eMi*). This ministry helps Christian organizations and churches all over the world by designing building projects and infrastructure for them. Their dedication and work is a huge blessing to Christian organizations and churches as the cost for hosting them is minimal and their work invaluable. If one would have to pay an engineering firm to do the same work eMi does, one would be out a lot of money. 
Lunch with pastors and community leaders.
The eMi team spent close to a week in Cubulco and worked from early morning till late at night. The team of eight men consisted of 5 Americans, 1 Korean from Brazil, 1 Guatemalan, and 1 Australian. Although they did not know each other before the trip, it was amazing to see how well they worked together and gelled. Even the engineers and the architects got along!...... albeit with some jabbing and trash talking! It was neat to be a part of the experience and share with them the history of the hospital which Mary Shaw had sent me only weeks prior to the visit, and our vision for the hospital and the community of Cubulco. It is amazing how God works and orchestrates everything!
At the end of the week, we had a meeting with officials from Cubulco, local pastors and leaders, and eMi presented us all with a visual rendering of what the hospital could possibly look like in the near future. There was an audible "ooh" of wonder when people saw the 3D rendering. It was impressive! EMi hopes to send a second team in February of 2014 to proceed with phase 2 of the planning. Please pray for this ministry and their support of other ministries.     

*(In the Jonkman's recent Newsletter (Winter 2013 edition) they mention eMi as well, as they also had a team from this ministry visit them this past September).