Wednesday, February 25, 2009

15 Cataract Surgeries Completed Today!

Week before last while I had the team in Choluteca, we had an eye team doing eye exams and ferreting out cataract patients for surgery later in the month. All in all Victor Montoya and the other volunteers from COVA saw 267 patients and did eye exams on each of them. Of the 267 patients 24 were diagnosed with cataracts. Of the 24 diagnosed with cataracts 20 were given surgery dates for the 24th of February. Yesterday 17 or the 20 people who were given appointments for cataract surgery showed up to ride the private bus to Tegucigalpa. Today 15 people received their cataract surgeries in the private clinic where we have made arrangements for them to have this delicate surgery.

Tomorrow they will all go home seeing much better in at least one eye. It is so much fun to see the looks on their faces when they see clearly for the first time again some after many years of losing their vision little by little.

I rarely ask for donation money, but SMART needs some more donation money in the door where we can continue to be a blessing to patients like these. If you are a member of a Lion's Club, Rotary Club or other service organization or if you are a member of a church which does medical projects, please mention us to them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day Was Busy And Rewarding This Year

While I was busy in Choluteca with a 12 person SMART Medical Team, a new children's ministry was beginning at the farm in Valle de Angeles. In 1994 when I felt that I was supposed to buy the farm, I knew that it would someday be used to bless others. Other than the fact that the fruit produced on the farm is shared with the poor, now we have another blessing, Children's Church has started at the farm.

Over a year ago, the Lord told me loan Tim and Yvonne the farm house to live in. They have been happy there and I am now happy to announce that they have started Children's Church at the farm on Saturdays. The first week 27 children attended and 10 of those received the Lord as their Savior.

There was a time of praise, worship a Bible story, a time of coloring and interaction.

At the same time in Choluteca, we had an eye team doing eye exams and ferreting out cataract patients for surgery later this month. In all the people from COVA saw 267 patients and did eye exams on each of them. Of the 267 patients 24 were diagnosed with cataracts. Of the 24 diagnosed with cataracts 20 were given surgery dates for the 24th of February.

Now about the medical mission in Choluteca. This team consisted of 12 people, 3 of which were surgeons. From February 12th through the 14th the team performed surgery on the following cases.
5 breast mass surgeries
2 buttock mass surgeries
10 inguinal hernias surgeries
8 stomach hernias surgeries
1 abscess drained
1 hernia hydrocil combo with hernia surgery
4 thyroid surgeries
1 forehead tumor surgery
3 lipoma surgeries
20 varicose veins surgeries

Aside from all of these surgeries, we had a wheelchair giveaway where we were able to bless 22 people with new wheelchairs donated by Free Wheelchair Mission. These are the photos from the wheelchair giveaway in Choluteca February 14th.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wheelchair Giveaway in San Francisco de Coray, Valle

Way out in the middle of nowhere about an hour off of the main road and through lots of dust and pot holes on a dirt "road" you finally end up in San Francisco de Coray. Many people tell me how dangerous it is to go there, but I find the people once you get there to be kind and gentle. The problem is the robberies which occur along the road. On Sunday morning we headed out early in order to arrive before the full sun and the 90 degree weather began to smother the small forgotten village of San Francisco de Coray, Valle, Honduras. Our goal to meet the needs of a forgotten group of people. I have always made it a point to go into the places where no one else will go. Other medical teams and the foreign aid always seem to go to the areas where it is easy to get to and easy to organize.
When we arrived there were a group of guys at the park, hanging out, thinking of having a soccer game. Well, some of them were asked to volunteer to help put the wheelchairs together and they did. Their plans for the day quickly changed.
Chepe and his cousin Esther quickly joined in to help with the wheelchair assembly.

The local country nurses both showed up to help. They had been contacted in advance to help round up the patients which needed wheelchairs.
No sooner was a wheelchair ready then it was full, the parents were not disorderly, but they quickly seated their children in the chairs as they became available.
After all of the children had received their wheelchairs, it was time for the one adult of the day. He had fractured his hip several years ago in an accident and had never recovered and was told that he never will recover. He waited patiently in line and received the final chair of the day.
This is the photo of all the beautiful people who received wheelchairs in San Francisco de Coray.
Chepe Benavides explains to all the parents and children that Free Wheelchair Mission and SMART Medical Teams made sure that they received their wheelchairs. He also told them to read the users manual furnished by USAID and explained that USAID paid for shipping to Honduras for the chairs.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Apple Pie With Crisp Topping, Television and A Word From The Lord!

There have been a few times in my life when I have heard from the Lord "out loud". But they were few and far between. One of those times was last October. In October 2009 I was studying the Bible, that is what I love to do even more than cooking and baking. I love to read the Bible. I was complaining to the Lord as I studied. I told Him that I felt like all I did was study and yet I didn't feel that I was able to teach as much as I wanted to.

It is true, I have a Bible Study in my house occasionally, I teach at several churches on a somewhat regular basis, I teach the Bible at the Cobra Police Camp sometimes, I teach in the prison when I am able to, but the truth is, I am a frustrated teacher. I study so much and I love to teach... but people are not really responsible about showing up to their Bible classes. I study about 10 hours for each 1 hour of teaching, so I put a lot of effort into each and every Bible study.
But if Tia (aunt) Suyapa gets a cold it is a reason to "no show" for the Bible study. If Tio Sergio is arriving from the USA to visit next week, it is a great reason skip Bible Study this week. I was convinced that I heard from Him (God). He said, "Quit complaining and keep studying. You will have a television program and a radio program soon and you need to get prepared." I was so startled that I was speechless. You can ask my husband, speechless is not an adjective to describe Teresa Searcy. I used to tease Mike a lot telling him that he had selective hearing, but he swore he didn't hear me. I finally had a hearing screening done on him and guess what, he hears just fine. So needless to say, speechless I am not.

Anyway this time, I was speechless because I had not thought about having a television program. I had not thought of having a radio program. I just love to teach. I occasionally teach at Palabra Revelada (Revealed Word) Church here in Tegucigalpa and all of their programs are taped and on television, but I never thought of having my own program. My Spanish is not perfect and I am a stickler about being understood, especially when the Bible is involved.

Since last October, I have been studying and researching and writing and pulling together enough for several months of teachings. I have pulled together a format for the program and I have continued to study. I stopped by the television station in San Lorenzo a small less expensive market, but had not heard back from them on pricing.

Last Friday I was in a planning meeting scheduling all of the eye exam outreach teams and eye surgery teams for this year and after the meeting I was asked by a friend what I had been doing. I explained that I had been delivering wheelchairs, baking, trying to lose weight and studying for my new television and radio program. She asked me what channel the program was on and I told her I didn't know. When I said, "I don't know." She just looked at me. We continued discussing other things and then she returned to the television and radio program subject.

Let me back up to December 31st when a ministry supporter sent me a HUGE monetary gift for the ministry. He told me he thought I should, "Buy a new computer." I knew that I also needed a movie camera in order to begin taping the television shows. So I went to the Office Depot, to Jet Stereo and to Sears looking for a computer and a video camera. I didn't buy anything, but I was shopping for prices and to see what was available.
Last week, my computer burned up, again. Yes, again. There were black ashes all over the floor again. I have 2 surge protectors, but somehow it was not protected enough. The fan burned up, the mother board fried and the hard drive was refusing to work most of the time. Meanwhile my MAXTOR external hard drive also seized, so all of my work was "maybe irretrievable," according to my computer guru.

So I had the money "in the bank" for the new computer and the camera before the need was there to get them. God had provided me what I needed. Then last week BOTH batteries went dead on the Ford F-350. There went the camera. Then the computer fried, so I had to act quickly to buy the computer.

So back to my meeting. My computer was dead and I had to plan the eye team dates with a paper calender. I might or might not have my hundreds of hours of teachings and then SURPRISE! My friend Judith de Zelaya said, "I am going to call and schedule a meeting for you and I next week at ENLACE the Christian Television station." "OK," I said, not really thinking much about it. It was nice of her, but I knew that I couldn't spend hundreds of dollars on television. I would meet with her friend on a "fact finding mission" I reasoned within myself.

So today was the meeting date! We talked, had lunch and.......

Aren't you waiting to hear what happened?????

God gave me for FREE a ONE HOUR PROGRAM EVERY WEEK. Next week I meet with the production team on sight and all of the production is FREE also. Oh and I almost forgot, they have a radio station and what is on the television goes by feed to the radio station also.

PICK ME UP OFF OF THE FLOOR!!!!! And pinch me to make sure I am not imagining this. I knew I heard from the Lord, I knew without a doubt it was God, I knew it would have to be a miracle, I knew I had to do my part and my part was to study, study, study!

I did not know it at the time but ENLACE is a television group that has channels in Spanish in Honduras, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela and the USA. Not to mention they are in Africa and other places also.

So now, on to Apple Pie. As I have been studying, I have also been praying and asking the Lord for details about the program He wants me to have. In the process, I have felt over and over that I need to teach baking and food prep as well as the Word of God. So the program format will go something like this:

1. Intro
2. Food Prep
3. While the food is baking: I teach the Bible study which will be dubbed into Spanish at NO CHARGE
4. Food presentation

So now, I will also have another BLOG every week with the recipes for the food I prepare for the program in SPANISH.

I don't have a name for the program yet! I need a revelation!

By the way, I stopped by a local VERY FANCY, UPSCALE decorating and home gift shop and they have committed to give me what I need for each table setting for the food part of the shows.
Can it get any better??? Yes, it can! But you have to wait to find out how much better!

Meanwhile here is a recipe for an incredible Apple Pie.

Meanwhile I borrowed this photo from since my photo is on the computer that "fried" and we are still not finished moving everything.

Flaky Pie Crust

15 min

1 1/2 cups White Lily® All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, or Butter Flavored Shortening, chilled in freezer
OR 1/2 stick Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks, or Butter Flavored Shortening Sticks, chilled in freezer
4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water or milk

2 cups White Lily® All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, or Butter Flavored Shortening, chilled in freezer
OR 2/3 stick Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks, or Butter Flavored Shortening Sticks, chilled in freezer
5 to 10 tablespoons ice cold water or milk (sour cream makes it taste wonderful for Apple Pie)


COMBINE flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

SPRINKLE one tablespoon ice-cold water or milk over part of mixture. Toss gently with a fork; push to side of bowl. Repeat just until mixture is moistened and can be formed into a ball. (The dough should hold together when picked up and pressed, and should not crack).

FLATTEN ball of dough into disks (one for one crust, two for double-crust). Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.

REMOVE one disk of dough from refrigerator. Turn onto very lightly floured surface. (If the dough is too hard, allow it to sit for 5 minutes to soften.) Roll dough gently, use a back and forth motion from center. Do not roll over the edge or it will be thin. Turn dough 45 degrees between each roll to keep it round. If dough sticks to surface, dust lightly with flour. Roll to 12 inches in diameter for a 9 inch pie.


TRANSFER dough to 9-inch, 4 cup capacity pie plate, being careful to avoid stretching pastry. Trim edge of pastry 1/2 to 3/4 inch beyond edge of the pie plate.


Serves 8–10

5 cups apples, peeled and sliced (such as Gala, Granny Smith, and Braeburn; about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander (GRIND IT YOURSELF IN YOUR COFFEE GRINDER)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup pecan pieces
Zest of 1/2 lemon

Whipped Topping (optional)
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon raspberry-flavored liqueur (such as Chambord), or other fruit-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, toss apples gently with lemon juice. Lightly coat a 9- or 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray then place pie crust in it and fill with apple slices.

2. In another bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Cut in butter. Toss in oats, pecans, and lemon zest. Spread topping over apples. Bake about 30 minutes.

3. If using whipped cream topping, whip cream with liqueur and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. After slicing the pie and placing on the plate, dollop over the pie.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where in the world is Caridad Honduras? Wheelchairs in the Town Square

Caridad, Honduras is one of those places no one ever goes unless they have a real reason to do so. After leaving Tegucigalpa and driving 2 hours on winding roads towards the El Salvador border, you finally arrive at the Goascoran turnoff. And no, you are not there yet. You turn on the dirt road drive 15 minutes to Goascoran and pass through it still on a dirt road and you pass through Aramicina, continuing on you finally arrive in Caridad approximately 2 hours after turning off onto the dirt road. Four hours after leaving Tegucigalpa, that is if the roads are not too washed out, at last you see beautiful quaint Caridad.

When we finally arrived in Caridad people showed up to help assemble the wheelchairs. We had an over abundance of people wanting to get involved in the show! Even the town drunk tried to help.

Young and old alike arrived. This was the most excitement Caridad had seen in a long time! Everyone got in the fun. People showed up for the entertainment by the droves. It was so great to see people helping people!

This young lady was NOT HAPPY! When her mom who had held her all of her life placed her in her new set of wheels. But within a few hours she was thrilled as she saw all the other children also were in the new wheelchairs.

This YOUNG lady was thrilled with her new wheelchair! She barely hobbled out of the car and the 20 feet across the park to where we were giving away the chairs.

Not happy and very shy, this young woman hides under a towel. When we started pushing her she screamed "Mas, Mas!" (more, more)The more we pushed the more she screamed. She loved her new chair within minutes. When they placed her in the back of the pickup she started screaming "No, no, silla, silla!" (no, no, chair, chair)

This is another one of our younger recipients. 90 something, she thinks!

Another "spring chicken", this lady kept repeating over and over, "Gracias, gracias" (Thank you, thank you)

This man lost the use of his legs after an accident. The doctors say he will never recover, but he is a very happy man, thrilled with his new chair. His friends and family carried him to the park.
This little old man was all smiles!

All in all we gave away 11 wheelchairs in Caridad. Thank you Free WheelChair Mission and thank you supporters who have sent money to help pay for gasoline!

Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Those who have donated have found what it is to have a part of righteousness, life and honour. We are called to heal the sick! and to help our fellow man.

San Lorenzo Wheelchair Giveaway

Today was a really warm day, the sun was shining there was no breeze and hundreds of people showed up to help their loved ones into their new wheelchairs which were donated by Free Wheelchair Mission. In all 17 people received their new wheelchairs today. As I meet these people who are unable to care for themselves, or just unable to walk, I am amazed at the way the families rally around them to help them.

Today I took a lot of photos of the family members helping their loved ones into their new chairs. Although a still photo doesn’t capture what I saw in real life, I hope the photos will help you to imagine how these people suffer before they receive the gift of mobility. I also hope you will imagine with the excitement in the air as each received their new wheelchair.