Hearing Voices from the Guatemala Trip
We post often on our experience, our excitement, and planning. We don't get to hear much from the doctors who go on the trips and what they see, think, and feel from the trips. This year, we asked the group to write a paragraph about their experience on the trip. Here is what they have to say:
"After praying for several years that I be put in a mission trip to serve others, it finally happened.
The timing was incredible because as a new Doctor of Chiropractic, I was able to help people in ways I never imagined. Right out of school, seeing conditions that people mostly learn in the textbooks, plus having to clinically think quickly about how help a new patient and make that visit meaningful to them.
Travelling to Guatemala with Tanaka Missions and Dr. Pam and Cal, was one of the best things I have done. I was lucky that this trip happened with them. Getting around in a place and country we didn’t know seemed easy because we had everything we needed.
But this trip was not about us. It was about the folks that we went to serve. I was humbled by the conditions people live there, by the condition of people’s bodies and their health, and that they came with disabilities looking for help and maybe hoping for a miracle. People knew we were there, and they came to us seeking health and healing, and they were
very thankful that we were there, and this made me want to give back as much as humanly
possible. I was able to help patients of all ages, from infants, kids, young and older adults, and some elderly patients.
Many people had spinal and extremity conditions, but also unresolved medical issues, due to the lack of healthcare in this area. I know that we left a great mark in these people’s lives
through not only chiropractic adjustments and adding health, but also we served with love and compassion.
As a new doctor starting in the practice of chiropractic, this was an amazing way to kick off
serving people and understanding firsthand that the mission of chiropractic is bigger than any of us. This is an encouragement that we must remain useful in our craft, knowledgeable, and excellent at taking care and communicating chiropractic with patients because our local
communities need us as well!"
"I want to thank you for giving me such a nice opportunity to be part of this great team.
It was a unique experience in which God showed me my purpose in this life. We were hope and joy for many of them. Serving is the most beautiful action we can do, and we did it for the last 6 days without expecting anything in return, only joy and hope in these people.
Dr. Pam, I want to thank you for teaching us so much, for taking care of us and for being an
example to follow. What you do is admirable, and you inspire us every day to give everything
we have for those people.
My hands will always be available for any other mission trip you have and in order to help more people.
Again, Thank you so much! God is good all the time❤️"
"Dr. Pam, Thank you so much for absolutely everything you do for both us, and the amazing people of Guatemala. I truly am so blessed to have such an unbelievable mentor in My life.
I have never felt more blessed and fulfilled to be surrounded by an amazing group of people. The other 3 who came as well are truly incredibly special, and have also shown me so much.
There is no greater blessing than to be surrounded by a community of loving, giving, and
passionate Gonstead Doctors. I am in Houston, and have a few hours until my next flight. Please give all of the amazing people there one last hug and love from me.
Thank you again Dr. Pam. I believe our work here has truly just begun! Please thank Cal again as well, he was truly amazing to be around."
"I don’t think anyone goes onto a mission trip for 100% selfless reasons. My perception of what helping a community in need would be like was very much focused on improving my technique for my future patients.
However, this was far from what I received from the trip. To see people who live their day to
day lives free of the worries of our first world problems of our society was soul changing.
Women who’s sole purpose was being a home maker suffered traumas rendering them incapable of simple tasks like bathing, cooking, cleaning, and were still able to offer a smile. Children falling from trees, tripping over river rocks, falling off of motorcycles and being unable to live life how a child should were still able to laugh. Men who labored for hours in the fields, at the dumps, working long hours for little pay pushed through the pain to provide for their families and still I could see love in their eyes.
For these people who have so little, almost nothing… they live life as though they have
everything. Community, family, faith, connection. It all comes together and gives these people reason to live.
Yes, I learned how to be a better doctor in some aspects, but the most important thing I learned is that the material does not matter. Community, family, faith, and connection are at the center of what is important and will lead to a happy and fulfilled life.
I am forever grateful for those who worked so hard to make this trip possible and to those who were able to get me to Guatemala for this life changing experience both for myself and the people we were able to help heal. God bless."
This was the first time that we had asked participants to write something about the trip, and we are truly fortunate to hear their voice. It makes us proud to do what we do and motivates us to continue making the trips better and better each time.