Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Local Team Takes Shape...

There were a lot of firsts... 

A 6-day trip...our longest.
A team of nine...the biggest crew yet.
Four women...first time to have women along.
Two from the States...the first time with foreigners.

Our dentists were both Nicaraguan as well as our nurse. The two girls from the States were EMTs. We went to three communities, Haulover, Orinoco, and Pueblo Nuevo and saw a total of 216 patients...the team worked hard and blessed a lot of people.

At one point during the trip, Dan looked around and saw everyone happily working...doing their specific jobs and he thought, "This is just how I envisioned it." Dr. Sevilla and Dr. Leon have been such a blessing and seeing them eager to serve their own people has further encouraged us in developing a local team. We now have a pool of twelve people from which to draw...for piloting the boat, cooking meals, triaging and treating patients, and doing a host of other duties. 

To have local team members, funds are needed. These doctors and medical workers, as well as the crew, have to take time from their normal jobs and we feel that it is only right to compensate them. 

Here are some specific ways that you can support this ministry:
  • $15. pays for dental care for one patient.
  • $50. pays a doctor's salary for one day.
  • $400. pays for one day...medical staff, food, fuel, medical supplies and crew. (Most trips are 4 to 5 days.)
Donations can be sent to Global Outreach, account number 4448

Here are a few pictures from this latest trip...

Our female crew: Ashanti Cash, R.N., Dr. Vania Sevilla, dentist, Beth and Martha, EMTs

Our two dentists: Dr. Jesse Leon and Dr. Vania Sevilla

It's almost impossible to keep the kids off the boat...we are like a magnet for them.

"Captain Adorable"

Ashanti organizing instruments and getting ready for the day's clinic.

Our chef made sure we ate well. Here we are in the main cabin which serves many functions.

The city dock at Orinoco...people were waiting for us when we got there.

Dr. Leon usually likes to work in the cockpit, but it was raining.

Dr. Sevilla ended up working on this man for over an hour.

The EMTs did triage in the cockpit while others patiently waited their turn.

They had a pediatric blood pressure cuff that calmed and entertained the kids.

Beth with a baby and her new toothbrush.

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon.

Entering the Wawashan River

Motoring up the river to the next stop, Pueblo Nuevo.

Arriving at Pueblo Nuevo,.. our first time here.

Dockside clinic...

It was Market Day so there were plenty of people in town to see the dentist.

Dr. Leon back in his favorite work space...

A local beauty...


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our blog space. Please pray for the ministry here. Caribbean Grace is under the umbrella of our local fellowship, Verbo Christian Church. 

Blessings, Dan and Donna Letton

We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

3 trips in 2 weeks

Orinoco ... Dory Sail boat race ... Fishing with Casa Bernabe

Orinoco ... The first medical trip

On the first trip upriver, Dan met a young local dentist practicing in the coastal town of Pearl Lagoon. Dr. Leon was very excited about the possibility of taking his skill as a dentist to other small communities. So they picked him up on the way up river to Orinoco and Marshal Point. The team was small: Dan, Robert and Wibur as captains, Dr. Leon, Orlando who is a nurse, and Sixto who is a deacon in our local church. From the very beginning the team worked together, everyone finding their niche.

They headed out on a Monday morning, May 22nd and returned on Thursday afternoon. Here are some pictures and details of the trip.

Caribbean Grace docked at Marshall Point

 People waiting patiently to see the dentist...some waited all day long.

 Dr. Leon working ... mostly pulling teeth (120 teeth in two days!).

  On the second day they set up shop in the cockpit because the cabin was too hot. The nice breeze made both the patients (70 in all) and the doctor much more comfortable.

Dr. Leon giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste. 
He made them promise to brush their teeth 3 times a day!

The galley crew...Sixto and Orlando

Gathering around the table after a long day's work...

Dory Sailboat Race...

As part of the Maypole festivities in Bluefields, there is always a dory sailboat race. This year we took a group of 20 from the church to anchor out in the bay and watch the race. It was a rainy, cloudy day, but we enjoyed the fellowship, the race and even got to do a little fishing ...

 The group assembled and ready for a great day...

 The boats are owned by local fishermen who get people and businesses to sponsor them.

Everyone gets new sails for the race..

 It was a pretty choppy day, but they were all expert sailors.

 Kevin's catch...the "big one" got away.

 Pastor Ed

Miss Margaret's first time fishing and first catch!

Gizzy's catch was one of the biggest

Fishing with Casa Bernabe...

Saturday we took 14 kids from Casa Bernabe, the children's home, out in the bay to do a little fishing. For many of them it was their first time on a boat or their first time fishing. Trying to get them to follow some basic boating rules (i.e. no running, hold on, always wear your life jacket) was challenging...but there were no mishaps and all the kids had a great time. 

Loaded up and ready to go

 The best part of the life jacket for Tygy was the whistle and the light!

 Robert and Wilbur have become a great captain team

 The kids loved riding on the bow

 Richard and Darell...two very determined fishermen

 Cooling off on the stern deck

 Jaquelin caught 3 fish!

Ingrid wanted to take her fish home and eat it...Donna fried it up that afternoon.

 Several of the boys took turns stearing the boat...Darell's face tells it all!

 Tired but happy...on the way home.

After making several trips up-river, we have become convinced that to get the best use out of Caribbean Grace, we need to involve local medical people. They know the area, the people, the problems, and the languages (there are at least 5 in the region) and they are eager to help their own.

The biggest problem is that most of them can't afford to leave their practices, even for a few days, without some financial compensation. We are starting a fund at Global Outreach to cover the costs of salaries, medical supplies and trip costs. 

If you are interested in investing in the sponsorship of a local doctor/dentist or an entire team, please indicate "funds for local medical teams" with your payment.

Cost estimates:
doctor salary: $50/day
4-day trip approximate cost: $600;

We thank you for your interest, your encouragement, and your support. We are excited about what the Lord will do with this boat in the near future...

Blessings, Dan and Donna Letton

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Real Maiden Voyage

On February 19th, Caribbean Grace set out on the real maiden voyage. It was a short trip...they returned the 21st, but it proved to be everything Dan had hoped it would be. The men who went along have been very instrumental in this project getting off the ground: Ed Jaentschke, our pastor; Bob Trolese, the director of Verbo Nicaragua; Robert Cash, Dan's right-hand-man; Orlando Sandoval, a young man who has just completed his nursing degree and is very interested in helping people in the communities; Aleside, the mechanic; Don Maddox, the engineer; and Artie Hall, the theologian and of course, Dan. Quite a variety of vocations, backgrounds, and giftings...put together by God. 

It was a great group and there was much discussion, encouragement, and vision-building. For some, it was a break in their hectic schedules, a chance to relax and enjoy God's amazing creation. For others, it was a chance to see the fruit of their labor in action.

There was no medical work done this time, the goal was to see how the boat handled and to make some initial contacts. 

Dan took a ton of pictures and we've tried to narrow them down a little without taking away from the story...but they do say a picture is worth a 1000 words...

 Heading up-river...Don, Bob, and Orlando...enjoying the best seats for the view!

 First stop was at Haulover to visit sweet Margarita whom we met in Managua. They had a great time of prayer with her.

 Orlando finishing up the dishes...

 At the dock at Pearl Lagoon

 A local wooden house.

 A young dentist they met in Pearl who is interested in working on the local medical team.

 Robert, Aliside and Orlando

 Pastor Ed went fishing and caught a blowfish...maybe he better stick with fishing for men!

 Some passing fishermen...

 And some who came aboard.

 Bob doing some cooking...

 A local fisherman trying to sell a stingray

 Dan cooking on the outdoor grill.

 Breaking bread together...

  Dishes all ship-shape

 A Panga speedboat flying by.

The end of a great trip...