Church member gives thanks by giving back in Honduras
As part of a Thanksgiving feature, The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., features Dr. David Long, a member of the Palmetto Church of Christ in Columbia.
Long participates in the church’s annual mission trip to Honduras.
“Someone in my church was trying to get people into outreach,” said Long, a 49-year-old anesthesiologist at Providence Hospital who attends Palmetto Church of Christ. “I said ‘I’m a physician, and I really enjoy what I do. Maybe I can join a mission team.’”
Their response: Why don’t you start a team of your own?
The Honduran mission group usually numbers around 15, including surgeons, nurse anesthetists, operating room nurses and others. They fly to Tegucigalpa on a Saturday, attend church Sunday morning, spend Sunday afternoon interviewing potential patients, and then repair cleft palates and lips on 100 or so children over the next five days.
During one of Long’s mission trips, a boy had a terrible cold, which made it unsafe to give him anesthesia. Doctors gave him medicine to help with his cold, and he came back every morning to see if he was healthy enough for an operation.
Long made friends with the boy, using his limited Spanish to compliment the boys’ cowboy boots. The boy finally was healthy enough for the operation on Thursday. After the surgery, the mother insisted that Long take the boots as a.gif?Action=thumbnail&Width=460&algorithm=proportionalt. He couldn’t turn them down without insulting her.
“It touches you,” said Long, who kept the boots as a memento for years before donating them to a needy child locally. “I’ve had a mom say ‘I’ll pray for you every day of my life.’ You can’t do much better than that.”
Read the full story.
In addition to the annual trip, the Palmetto Church of Christ supports a full-time missionary in Honduras.