Thomas, WV – Missionary work providing skilled health care and surgical needs to people in medium and low-income countries such as Guatemala has been around for centuries. Cortland Acres nurse, Lesa Jordan, has been volunteering her time and skills for the last fifteen years to help those in need. And recently, the annual pilgrimage has turned into a family affair.
Traveling with Hands & Heart for Christ out of Buckhannon, WV, Lesa, her mother Barbara Jordan and sister Susan DeBord worked in Guatemala City, Guatemala providing surgical care to people from around the country. The structured eight-day trip left the United States on March 30 and returned April 7.
“The locals receiving the surgeries travel from all over the country and arrive in Guatemala City a few days before we get there”, explains Lesa Jordan. “We spent all day Sunday with triage and scheduling the various surgeries for the week and then get down to business on Monday. It’s hard work and long days, but it’s some of the most rewarding work I’ve done as a nurse. We have a half day on Friday for sightseeing and then head back to West Virginia on Saturday”.
The dedicated group started off each day with devotion at 5:45 a.m. followed by breakfast. They would then travel to the hospital to work long, ten to twelve hour days in surgery before heading back to the hotel. As a nurse, Lesa assisted in the surgeries while her mother and sister were part of the team responsible for cleaning the operating rooms and sterilizing equipment in preparation for the next procedure.
“I really enjoyed being a part of the mission team”, explains DeBord. “It was such a blessing to see the gratitude of the patients, even though they were in pain. They were so gracious and happy, before and after surgery. I was blessed to be there and to know that the doctors and nurses helped them.” Barbara Jordan sums it up best. “It’s life changing. We are so lucky and blessed to live in America. The people in Guatemala would wait for hours to have a surgery and were just happy to be having their procedures done.”
The cost of missionary work, especially for skilled healthcare and surgical procedures 3,300 miles away in Guatemala isn’t cheap. It takes approximately $60,000 to fund the 9-day trip for the entire group to travel and work in Guatemala, with each individual missionary traveling and working for free.
Cortland Acres is a non-profit corporation offering state-of-the-art nursing care and skilled rehabilitation on a spacious 35-acre campus is the heart of scenic Tucker County, West Virginia. The Cortland campus includes a 94-bed long-term care facility, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and therapy options, as well as a variety of independent living opportunities. For more information call 304-463-4181 or visit www.cortlandacres.org.