News from the Edge

April 2024 Newsletter – Health Program Update: Following God’s Leading

An adjustment in the health program is at the Providencia health post. Nurse Miguel gave us his resignation as an opportunity presented for him to work with the ministry of health of Guatemala. Nurse Miguel has faithfully served the Pokomchi with us for over 10 years. He has created strong connections and bonds of trust with the villages he worked with. Through continued education, mentoring, and experience, he has become an excellent clinician and will continue to serve the Pokomchi. He is a great asset to the ministry of health and we are proud to see him in this role. At times, he will work in Providencia and we look forward to continue to see him and work together to keep on providing quality care to the Pokomchi.

We prayerfully searched for a new nurse for the Providencia health post. A suitable candidate was found and she started her trial period. She was orientated by Nurses Conzuelo and Alicia and she was a great fit. At the end of the trial period, we checked in with her about signing a contract for a certain amount of time. She was really enjoying the work and was happy working with ASOSAP, but ultimately, she realized that right now isn’t the time for her to be working full-time. She is continuing her education as a nurse and needs to continue focusing on this. What a blessing to have known her and see someone so passionate about gaining more knowledge. 

Before all of this occurred, the thought had been in the back of our minds about whether to continue with the Pampacche health post or not. Fifteen years ago, when we started with the Pampacche health post, the building was in ill repair, needed medication and medical supplies and equipment were not available, and medical care was very sparse. Since then, through lots of hard work and consistent provision of all of what was lacking, the health post is thriving. The local village government is very involved and supportive. The ministry of health has several nurses working there more consistently, even a student doctor is doing an extended practicum there, and there are medications available.



 As the health post is doing so well, there were thoughts of moving nurse Alicia to another area where health care is needed, just as Pampacche was so many years ago. Here at ASOSAP, one of our goals is to empower and give people the knowledge and tools needed to carry on by themselves. An example of this is with community partnerships, which are for seven years and then the community carries on independently. We do not ever want to have relationships of permanent dependency. It is crucial that those we work with learn to stand on their own two feet and reach out to others.

With Pampacche being so stable, we saw how God was leading us towards this decision of ending our partnership with the Pampacche health post. This is also not the first time we have ended a partnership with a health post. You may remember that we used to have three health posts, the third one being Rosario Italia. The ministry of health took more responsibility over the health post, as they are have done now with the Pampacche health post. 

The Providencia health post is still needing a full-time nurse there. Nurse Alicia will be the new nurse there. As Miguel did, she will work and live there Monday-Friday. She will return to her home in Pampacche on the weekend for her days off.

Alicia has gained an abundance of knowledge and experience over the years and is very committed to serving the Pokomchi. We are all pleased that the villagers of Providencia will continue to have excellent care. It will be an incredible time of further growth for her as she lives and works outside her home village of Pampacche for the very first time. We are excited to see how God continues to work in her. We are so grateful for her dedication. We would so appreciate your prayers for Alicia and she adjusts to serving in a new community and gets to know those that she is serving. Also, please be in prayer for us and the ministry of health and village of Pampacche as we are all in this transition time. In case you wondering, what about the chronic patients and malnourished infants in Pampacche? We will still be partnering with them as usual. We will also continue to do once/year medical outreach at the Pampacche health post.

Another area of prayer is funding for the Providencia health post. We are need of funds to continue running the health post, which includes core items such as medications and Nurse Alicia’s salary. The annual cost is $11,000 US. We would be very grateful if you prayed for God’s provision and prayerfully considered if you or someone you know would be able to make a donation. Any amount means that the Pokomchi living in remote and underserved areas can receive lifesaving and life extending medical care. We thank you for considering this and for faithfully serving the Pokomchi with us.