Health Talents International June, 2018
A SAD FAREWELL AND A WARM WELCOME
MISSING PIECES
I met her in 2001, a young dentist with a lovely smile, attending her first Health Talents Board meeting, being introduced as a new team member. Dr. Silvia Marisol Albizures would fill a void, a missing piece in our ministry team. She began her career working at Clinica Promesa in Guatemala City, then moved to the coast and Montellano to work at Clinica Ezell in 2002. Under her guidance and loving attentive care, our dental ministry has grown from a single dentist and lone assistant, to four dentists, and one hygienist with four dental assistants caring for more than 9,000 patients each year.

I met him in 2003, a recent graduate of Harding University, Walton Scholar and native of Nicaragua. Carlos Alberto Baltodano flew from Managua to Guatemala City to interview for the position of Project Director, one of our missing pieces. Within a few weeks, I made Carlos a formal job offer with the closing line reading, “ I'm thrilled to have you join us in our ministry of teaching and healing. You will do well. ” And he has done very well!

When Carlos assumed his duties on November 1, 2003, we had eighteen on our Guatemala ministry team. Today we number sixty-four. Along the way, Carlos acquired a wife, Silvia, the dentist with the lovely smile and they now have two children, Dante, seven and Dánika, five.Together, we’ve seen Health Talents grow in ways that only God could have foreseen. He saw that

Carlos and Silvia were missing pieces and we give thanks to the Father for sending them our way.
These two vital pieces will soon be leaving us and taking their two treasures, Dante and Dánika with them to Nashville, TN. You see, Carlos has a missing piece in his life, a void he believes God is filling through a scholarship from Lipscomb University, a scholarship to obtain a Masters of Divinity from the Hazelip School of Theology. Carlos’ missing piece is a deeper understanding of scripture and a desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ at a deeper and more intimate level.

Health Talents will continue rolling along and singing our song, much like the character in Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Missing Piece.” We won’t roll as smoothly, at least for a time, and we’ll be looking to replace our missing pieces. Fortunately, we have a Father who provides what we need!
We wish Carlos, Silvia, Dante and Dánika the best, we love them dearly. Nashville will soon have several pieces of our heart, of my heart. Take care of them, enjoy them, learn from them and treasure them. I’d even ask you to love them as much as I do, but that isn’t possible. So I’ll just ask you to love them!
HTI Executive Director, Rick Harper, enjoying a moment with Dante and Dánika
A NEW SEASON
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1 We find ourselves in a season of change in Guatemala. Our beloved Carlos Baltodano, HTI’s Director of Coastal Operations and his lovely wife Dr. Silvia Albizurez will be leaving their positions with HTI as Carlos pursues a Masters of Divinity at Lipscomb University. They and their children Dante and Dánika will be sorely missed yet amidst our sad farewell we also have an exciting announcement!

Health Talents is proud to introduce you to our new Director of Coastal Operations, Luis Alexander Gonzalez Hernandez better known as Alex. Many of you will recognize Alex as the smiling face who greets our teams at the airport upon arrival with Pollo Campero and Coca Cola but there is much more to him than fried chicken!

Alex first became associated with Health Talents through our ABC program in 1997 after losing both of his parents in his teenage years. The ABC program helped him make it through high school after which he was awarded a scholarship from HTI to study dentistry. Alex began his studies but was also working full time to help support his two younger siblings. The demands of school and work became overwhelming and Alex decided to withdraw from school and dedicate himself to working so that he could help provide a better future for his siblings. So, in 2002 Alex became an Administrative Assistant working for HTI in the Guatemala City office. Since that time, he and HTI have both grown together. In 2010 Alex was promoted to Director of Finance and as of July 2018 he will take on the role of Director of Coastal Operations. Alex and his family will move to the Clinica Ezell area as they continue to serve HTI with love and dedication.

Alex has been married to his high school sweetheart Diana Diaz for 16 years. They have two handsome boys named Adrian 12 and Fernando 8. They will also be accompanied by Diana’s sweet sister Nancy Diaz. We welcome them with open arms and hope you will take time to get to know each of them while you are in Guatemala with us.

Now a few words from Alex: “Over the years Health Talents has become my family, a fundamental part of my life. I have learned and grown both spiritually and professionally and my heart is full of nothing but gratitude and an intense desire to serve with the same love I have received.”

We thank God for his heart of service and look forward to seeing all the wonderful things the Lord will do to bless our ministry and Alex’s family in coming years.