As the pandemic continues, stay-at-home orders for several countries remain, and others begin to open back up, our work in each base is looking different every week. However, we are blessed to continue finding ways to serve God in the communities to bring light and hope. Today’s story comes from Paul Beeghly, serving in Nicaragua at our Physical Therapy Site!
This past year and a half, part of my ministry has included volunteering two days per week at a clinic sponsored by the mayor of Nindirí. This clinic is known as Centro para Niños con Discapacidad (or CND), which was created eight years ago by the mayor and some of her associates to provide pediatric therapy for the department of Nindirí. Over time, they allowed adults to be treated as well because the need for PT was enormous with very limited resources in the area. By the time I began volunteering, CND was treating more adults than children, which was contrary to CND’s vision. To make a long story short(er), the mayor decided to make this clinic 100% pediatric at the beginning of September. The majority of my experience has been in orthopedics, so this was a significant change in treatment style and technique. But God is good, and He has allowed me to relearn this side of physical therapy quickly and, to tell you the truth, I have had a blast working with the kids.
One of the challenges of PT ministry is the short time period to build deep relationships with patients. The goal of outpatient PT is to work with the patient until they are independent, which ideally occurs in a few weeks before discharge. In this pediatric setting, I will have the opportunity for long term ministry with each patient. Most of these children will benefit from physical therapy for years, not weeks. And I not only get to build relationships with the children, but also with their parents and siblings. I am very excited about this new opportunity for the PT site. The learning curve is a little intense with studying new PT techniques and philosophies. It will also be necessary to discover and build connections in the community with other organizations or public services providing resources for children with disabilities, such as bracing, pediatric walkers, wheelchairs, assistive technology, etc. I hope to help the kids and families gain access to these resources to impact their quality of life significantly. I am excited to take them on field trips as well! We are planning a trip to the zoo in the upcoming month!
This is David. He is a 16-month-old boy with very low muscle tone. He is delayed with just about all movement, so we are working on kneeling, quadruped positioning, and crawling.
Here are Natasha and Milagros. We had the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays with cake, games, and a piñata.
This is Geovani, an old patient of the clinic but brand new for me. He is a joy to be around. Here he is enjoying being upright in a pediatric stander.
Please pray for the kids and me as we embark on this new phase of ministry. Please pray for physical and spiritual growth, functional improvements, and deep relationships.