Health Talents International December 2017
What happened this year?
"The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor." Luke 7:22
Our theme for this year was "Acts of Grace". You will find encouragement in these stories. Please read how God works in the hearts of those willing to receive His gift, the gift of grace to His children.
The Christmas classic, “It’s A Wonderful Live,” affords the main character, George Bailey, with a look back at his life, all the lives he touched and everyone on whom he left a mark. Our final surgical trip in November, now provides us with a similar opportunity, the chance to look back on life’s trajectory and the marks we left…and the marks left on us.

Stories seldom begin at the beginning, we simply choose a starting point and begin the story there, never knowing how much living, praying and loving have led us to this particular moment in time. This story, not yet complete, begins in February of 2006.

Kyle Lewis, in his final year of medical school and headed towards a residency in ophthalmology and plastic surgery, joined our February surgical team where he worked with plastic surgeons, Dwayne Fulks and Philip Strawther. The ministry of Health Talents made an impression, left a mark if you will, on Kyle. Fast forward eleven years, a marriage to Andrea Furr, four children and residency programs for both Andrea and Kyle, to November 2017 when Drs. Andrea and Kyle Lewis join our surgical team. READ THE REST OF THE STORY
  • We provided surgical care to 878 patients, an increase of 101 over 2016. It is safe to say that the blind now see, the lame walk and the good news is preached to the poor as a result of our surgical care.
  • More than 650 volunteers joined our full-time team of 64 over the course of the year to care for more than 40,000 patients. ACU, Harding, Lipscomb and OC each sent student teams. 
  •  We now have 847 children in the ABC Program and project adding twenty more children in 2018. Forty-seven communities and 513 families are being served. 
  • 305 ABC children are now attending high school, a record number.
  • The new church in Chicabracan has 24 baptized believers and a similar number of children. 
  • Macztul IV, a new church begun in 2016, now has their own building and over 50 members. 
  • The Vista Hermosa congregation in Baja Verapaz, started in 2015, inaugurated their new building on December 6. 
  • A new church is meeting in La Maquina, one of our more distant clinic sites. 
  • 47 families in 3 communities are now participating in mushroom production. (La Corona, La Ladrillera and San Juan Moca.) Families are being taught how to grow mushrooms in a suspension system using ground corn cobs, a plastic aerated bag and seeds for an initial investment of three dollars. Each bag yields six to twelve pounds of mushrooms monthly and provides a new protein source in their home as well as a new revenue stream. 
  • We cared for more than 40,000 patients in the Mobile Medical Clinics.
  • 27 Guatemalan students received scholarships in 2017 and pending acceptance in 2018, we anticipate awarding scholarships to 30 students. 
  • 3 Penlon anesthesia units were purchased in 2017. 
  • We continue our efforts to be good stewards of your financial gifts and delivering 89.82% of every dollar received in program services to those we serve.
It’s that time of year! School is out for the term and each region gathers for an annual ABC celebration. This is an exciting event, representing a day of fun: party food, skits and games are topped off by awarding prizes to the students who have earned the most points toward their ABC requirements during the year.

Each region plans their own activities, beginning with a devotional. Next, students show their unique talents with skits or reciting Bible verses from memory. Following are games with parents and children participating - these usually end in tears of laughter. Finally, students are given the prizes they’ve earned. First prize might be a bed or chest of drawers!
There are 27 young people studying in various educational facilities and universities who are receiving aid from the HTI Scholarship programs. 

Nineteen year old Juan Carlos Aju, an ABC child, is a 2017 Sherman Scholar graduate. He completed a three year high school program in accounting, and now lives in Aldea El Rosario, Patulul, Suchitepequez with his widowed mother. His father passed away when Juan was very young. Because he is the primary wage earner for his family, he attended school on weekends to allow him to work during the week harvesting sap from the rubber trees. 

Juan Carlos is a Christian, very active in his local church, and also preaches. As a graduate, he will be equipped for a better job that will provide for himself, his family and give encouragement to other children in similar circumstances.
As we approach the end of 2017, many of us will be inspired to act on the grace God has granted us. How will that look in 2018? No matter who you are or what your station in life, there is work to do. This may be the year for you to step out on faith - here are a few suggestions:

  • Volunteer for a trip. Our calendar of trips can be found here: HTI TRIP CALENDAR
  • Sponsor an ABC child. $33 per month will enable a child to go to school, learn God's word at a local congregation, have free health and dental exams, clean water, food supplements and support from the HTI team. INFORMATION ABOUT SPONSORING AN ABC CHILD
  • Help by financially supporting HTI's mission. Every pill we give costs a little, even a small donation can help. HOW DO I GIVE?
  • Help a child go to high school by giving to the Sherman Scholarship fund.SHERMAN SCHOLARSHIP
  • PRAY for our team, volunteers, patients and travel. Nothing matters more to us than God's blessings on our efforts. It is through Him and by Him that this work is effective.

We are so grateful for you. Thank you for your support and continued prayers on behalf of this ministry. May God bless you with health and wisdom and a heart to continue your Acts of Grace!