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I have a few “favorite” activities that I get to do with visiting teams, now and then.  One of them is to visit the National Hospital, Santa Elena, in Quiché, a town about 45 minutes away from ASELSI.  The National hospitals here offer free care to Guatemalans but the government does not have the funds to support their hospitals and keep them supplied with medicines and equipment.  Some hospitals cannot even pay their electric bills.  Santa Elena has had some extra help from another mission nearby, and is better equipped than some hospitals.  One visitor has said that this hospital reminds them of the US 50 years ago.  All of the beds are in wards with 8 or 10 patients.  The families can only visit for 1 hour a day.  Many come from far away and sleep on the ground outside the hospital waiting for that 1 hour.  During that 1 hour, ASELSI has been allowed to come in with teams and offer to pray with patients.  We go in with groups of 2 or 3 team members, plus a Spanish-English translator and a Spanish-Quiché translator.  The teams usually bring a small gift bag for each patient with some toiletry items.  We break up and visit the different wards, offering to pray with each patient.  I have never seen anyone refuse prayer!  Many times the patients are not Evangelical or Catholic, but of the Mayan religion.  Often the gifted evangelists from ASELSI lead a patient to Jesus during the time of prayer.  Many times tears are shed all around as the Holy Spirit touches hearts.  There is often a lot of distance between the Evangelical church and the Catholic and Mayan religions here, which have become syncristic in their worship.  This is a special time for me, when that distance is breached.  No matter the spiritual differences, everyone seems to recognize the need for healing prayer and God is always present in a mighty way.


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