Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Everybody had a great day! Bruce is working with plastic surgery and dentistry. He loves going to the OR, teaching and being a part of a good surgical team. He feels he is contributing and effective! The ear doctors found a microscope in neurosurgery and operated all day with smiles under their masks! Anesthesia may be the happiest (next to me!). They are having great cases, interested residents and are both feeling that they want to return.

Me… great day! We started with a one year old still at his birth weight. The Pediatric Surgeon asked if we could canulate the fistula between the trachea and esophagus (not supposed to be there!). VERY LIMITED equipment, but we pulled off a phenomenal airway exam, unlike anything they have ever seen before. Thank you Bruce Benjamin! (My mentor when I was a fellow!). Years ago, Karl Storz gave me instruments to take to the Third World. All have been distributed except for one laryngoscope, which was (guess) the perfect size for this tiny baby. All the other instruments I used today were meant for something else, but we pulled off a perfect exam. The anesthesiologist was chair of the dept., and she had never done this type of case. She loved it! Bottom line, the child did not have the pathology that would require a huge, risky, open chest procedure and the Pediatric Surgeon was thrilled that we saved him a difficult but risky operation THAT WOULD HAVE ENDED IN FAILURE! I then taught two tough sinus cases and the faculty are getting the picture. Wonderful!

Begee had a very special day. She met with a large number of professional women and shared what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how God is a part of all we do. She presented the Gospel. She really felt like the women appreciated what she had to present and were VERY receptive! Begee has a very good feeling that she is here for a purpose and God has used her effectively.

Tonight we had a dinner and I was asked to “say a few words.” I asked if I could tell a story, then presented the 10 minute version of my testimony. (No airplanes flying upside down!). I felt like it was very well received, but I was most deeply touched when Mark Vogelhut, grasped my hand, and gently complimented what I said. He is Jewish and that meant a lot to me! God is so good and never stops moving in our lives.

Tomorrow, I have the honor of giving this laptop to the residents. Rich McKnight, a former Vice-Pres of Presbyterian Hospital, makes these rebuilt laptops available to me for our mission trips. It is his ministry, and so deeply appreciated. Thank you, all!

Pray that the messages left by all of us are heard. Pray that the listing ears will hear His Words and come face to face with the importance of this simple sentence that is more important than any other in life, “Jesus, I love you and believe in you and ask you to be in my heart, forever!” Love, David & Begee.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My day was great but not so good for others. Bad news first. Drew Horlbeck and Mark Boston are ear surgeons and they can’t do anything without an ear microscope. It doesn’t work and they are out of work! Each deserves special prayer anyway, so pray for them!!! I've asked them to consider going to the BMDMI hospital on Friday.

I didn’t see Bruce today so I have no Oral Surgery news. The Anesthesiologists were all smiles all day long. They finished late so I assume it was a great day. Mark Vogelhut helped me on my sinus case and we had a great time together. A problem we both had was that we had residents with no teaching staff today. I then had to gently reprimand my head of Otolaryngology because we did not come to teach residents. We came to teach the teachers. When we leave, we want our teaching to continue well beyond our presence here. But… we had fun!

We did another cadaver dissection today and the head of Otolaryngology was there and I really let him do most of the dissection with a lot of coaching. The hardest thing about teaching endoscopic surgery is getting them to be able to hold the scope in the right place, move the surgical instrument with the other hand, and do it all while looking in a different direction at the TV! You can see that if you are between the two eyeballs and 1 mm below the brain, that is why we need a lot of practice on someone we can’t hurt! But, overall, my teaching day was great!

Tonight we went the home of the President of BMDMI and had a lovely dinner. We discussed the future of TIME for Christ joining BMDMI’s program, and I think it is a match. We’ll see!

Begee had an unexpectedly quiet day. The attorney was sick this AM and the teachers strike here caused the congress to have to be in session so she didn’t meet the many congresswomen she was to spend time with.

Spiritually, things continue to happen in a quiet but positive way. Please continue to pray that this is a meaningful and significant planting event. But even if it isn’t, what I’ve learned about BMDMI makes me realize this trip is already a major success. Love, in Christ, David & Begee

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, 28 March 2011

Everyone is having fun, lots of smiles, good times, laughter, etc.! Steve Mendoza was scubbing (most unusual for an anesthesiologist!) when he realized he was scrubbing with an old friend from his Army days in Germany. The neurosurgeon was from North Dakota! Tiny world!

Witnessing opportunities are more abundant than ever before on any previous mission, and so early in the course of the trip. But this morning, a crucifix hanging from the mirror in the car opened doors! Remember yesterday’s note about witnessing? The same doctor is being asked by his fellows why a team of doctors would come all this way, take time away from busy practices, bring 6 figure gifts of brand new surgery equipment, just to visit and teach. He then said their interest is so high, he feels I should start Thursday’s lecture with my testimony! Wow! Never before on any trip! Continue to pray!

Begee had a great experience today with the former Minister of Health for Honduras. Tomorrow she meets with women attorneys, then congresswomen! Wow! Tonight we had dinner with the current Minister of Health.

Medically, our team was very active. Bruce is having a very good experience in Plastic Surgery and Maxillofacial. He is back into it again and loving it! Mark and Steve are really having a fun time passing gas and we ENTs are operating and teaching to our hearts content. This afternoon we did the first cadaver dissection sinus surgery and it was on HD TV! We will do the second tomorrow. In the OR, I am doing a lot of headache surgeries... one of my loves and I really enjoy teaching how to make headaches go away!!! Thursday, I will help a Pediatric Surgeon with a tracheoesophageal fistula. Lots of fun!

Tomorrow night, Begee and I will have supper with the President of BMDMI, and our plan is to consider ways to best help and get involved with this powerful mission work. Being with them is unbelievably humbling! Love to you all, David & Begee

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday, 28 March 2011

The team is all here and we all had a great first day. LtCol Mark Boston, a Neuro-Otologist at Wilford Hall, San Antonio, joined us along with a USAF Major nurse and Tech Sergeant Scrub Tech. We are up to 11 now including Drew’s 9 year old son, Spencer! We gave a lot of lectures in each of our Depts today. I spoke on sinus surgery for 3 hours, then saw patients for most of the remaining day. Exhausting but fun. The doctors and residents have a real heart to learn. The facilities are better than Havana, but they don’t believe in themselves, like the Cubans do. Drew and both Marks brought lots of equipment so we are all teaching them in new, state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. They were teary eyed when I told them this new equipment gave them the potential opportunity to function with the best in the world! This even heightened their desire to learn as much as they could. I was deeply touched when the chief resident told me about his conversion to “Christianity” from his Catholic roots when he developed a deep and meaningful relationship with God. He spontaneously told his testimony in front of one of our non-believer team members. Now is this reverse evangelism or what!!!! The opportunities are joyously opening. Begee had a slow but successful trip today but meets with the former Minister of Health tomorrow, while am meeting with the current MOH! Then she has scheduled meetings with professional women the rest of the week. Pray for Begee! More manana! In His Service, David

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Special Day! 27 March 2011

What a special day! But for a most unexpected reason… TIME for Christ Mexico Ministries! After we delivered all of the donations to the Hospital Escuela, we were met by the President of the Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International, Dwight and Margaret Carr. We drove less than 2 hours north to the village of Guaimaca. There we toured the BMDMI hospital with the building missionaries, Sandy & JoAnn Cheves. We saw operating rooms, pre- and post-op areas, dental department, xray, lab and pharmacy. I cannot get my photos out of my camera on this old computer, but will have them available next week. Then we toured the housing facilities for up to 75 team members with hot showers that have clean water that is potable!!! Wonderful clean bathrooms with this quote over each potty, “Please place toilet paper in the toilet. Thank you!” (For you non-TIME readers, this is a shock!) There is a very nice kitchen with refrigerators/freezers, etc., for the team. Finally, we learned about BMDMI’s structure with opportunities at this facility for surgeons of all types, anesthesiology, dentists/oral surgeons, nurses, pastors (none of whom need to speak Spanish) AND translators! Medical doctors and all the support personnel they would need go in “Brigades.” These are teams that go to schools that close just for these teams and are converted to clinics just like TIME. Some are in small cities close to 20,000 all the way to rural schools out in the country side that are not even in villages. We then toured their home facility where medical teams enter and leave and it is more beautiful, clean and comfortable than any mission facility Begee and I have ever seen. They want what TIME has been doing but would need slightly smaller teams. Their preference is one week but it can be longer, depending on the time of the year. Cost is $750 for one week plus airfare to and from Tegucigalpa (ours was $715 @). That cost includes everything including transportation. Begee and I both felt so strongly about this that we are convinced we will return trying to organize people from TIME, especially the translators!!! Those of you who have been saying, “Two weeks is too long,” or “It is too far,” or “It is too expensive.” These won’t fly!!!! I see great opportunities for audiologists, the ComCare solar rechargeable hearing aids, OT/PT, lab and xray techs, pharmacists, dentists and hygienists, and pastors (sounds like TIME doesn’t it!). The two specialties that they have seen almost none of are ENT and Eye! They really want what the Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Assoc. team has to offer!!!! The BMDMI ministry is frankly staggering. They have The Good Shepherd Children’s Home for 150 children so a children’s ministry is important. They have a pastor’s school training up to 15 pastors at a time. They have planted over 120 churches. There is a construction ministry and on and on. If you do something… they can find a way to use it! Right now, if this interests you, write me at! Our other anesthesiologist arrived today, Steve Mendoza. I am exhausted! In His Service, David & Begee

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Departure Day 26 March 2011-Tegucigalpa, Honduras

We are on our way to Tegucigalpa, Honduras! The trip is off to an exciting start because of the blessings of those supporting us. Where we are going, has NO sinus surgery equipment. This equipment is very expensive. Three wonderful corporations stepped to the plate. Medtronic-Xomed has helped us mightily through the years and has donated several millions of dollars of equipment to multiple hospitals in Vietnam, Cuba, Mexico, Israel and others. When I learned the medical school had no modern sinus equipment, I contacted my M-X friends and they donated a complete powered sinus surgery set with light source, XPS, blades, endoscopes, etc., etc. A HUGE donation! Carolina Medical Center gave us hand instruments for all types of ENT surgery, but especially, everything needed to do complex sinus surgery. Karl Storz Endoscopy had already given a large airway surgery equipment donation with airway endoscopes, laryngoscopes, bronchoscopes, etc., but when I realized we had no TV system for teaching (mandatory to teach a sinus course because the tip of the surgery instruments are deep in the nose, and watching my hands move outside the nose teaches NOTHING!), David Gray immediately put together a High Definition Endoscopic TV system for us. (David! They do have a HD monitor!!!!) Wow! With the exception of the HD TV camera, all the equipment is a donation, so after we’ve taught a week long sinus course to the 17 staff/residents, they will be able to continue to develop their skills doing modern sinus surgery. If this is a good experience, and we want to return next year, we can refine their skills, and teach more advance techniques. As you will see, my blog will mostly deal with ENT issues but we also have 2 Anesthesiologists (Mark and Steve), an Oral Surgeon (Bruce) and a Neuro-Otologist (Drew and that big word means ear surgery and base of skull/neurosurgery), and Lisa and Begee. I will report later as their role becomes more defined. Ooops! The plane is leaving! I’ll write more later!!!!!

Landed safely in Tegu and comfortably at the Marriott. More later. In His Service, David & Begee

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trip to Honduras 26 March-2 April 2011

Hello! This is an invitation to join Begee and me on an exciting first trip for us to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We leave in 4 days and are being joined by 5 others:
Drew & Lisa Horlbeck from Jacksonville, FL. Drew is a Pediatric Neuro-Otologist (Ear surgeon) and Lisa is a nurse.
Mark Vogelhut and Steve Mendoza are Anesthesiologists.
Bruce Albright is an Oral Surgeon.
The guys will be working at the teaching hospital for the medical school in our specialties. Begee will be working with a team of women with CCCI.
If this is a successful trip, we hope to go every year with a large, multi-specialty team. Hopefully, we will have great need for non-medical types who have a real missionary spirit. Begee will give you follow-up on this as she works in this women's ministry!
Your prayers are deeply appreciated. In His Service, David & Begee