Mark, Scott and I (Monica) arrived at the factory to help make more standing frames. We drilled holes in wood and ran tests to figure out how long each step of the standing frames took to complete. With this data, we can accurately calculate how many standing frames we can make each week.
The time came for Scott and me to say our goodbyes to the Stand With Me team. As we drove away from the factory I started to count my blessings and think overall we accomplished this trip. We were able to build, complete, and give away standing frames. Meetings were held to improve standing frame production and clearly communicate future goals to the Stand With Me team. The greatest blessing, children's lives were positively impacted. I felt truly grateful to be a part of an impactful trip. Cheers to next time!
The morning began with fresh lemongrass tea from the garden and pancakes with honey and butter. After our stomachs were full we got in the card and drove to Antigua for Church. The sermon was about Gods love for his people and how he sees us as truly valuable. I (Monica) began thinking about the six children who received standing frames yesterday. God makes each person different and unique and each person is a true treasure to God. Stand With Me shows Gods love to his valued children by allowing them the opportunity at a better quality of life.
After church we met with Jeff, one of Stand With Me partners, to discuss logistics, product development, and goals. Much was accomplished in the meeting and everyone came away with a clear understanding of the goals for the remainder of 2018 and the start of 2019. When the meeting was over Scott and I took some time to explore Antigua and enjoy an evening learning more about Guatemalan culture.
Before 8 AM Saturday the van was packed at the Mission Impact factory and ready for the delivery of 10 standing frames at the Hope Haven factory about 5 miles away. The frames were unloaded and set aside for the children. As the families patiently waited for each child's turn to be fitted, (Monica) I began talking to a grandfather of one of the patients. He told me he and his family traveled about two hours to come to the clinic today and received a standing frame. He also added that he was grateful to God for this opportunity. As I walked around the hope haven factory taking pictures, I was touched by the moment, this moment will dramatically impact the quality of life for these children and their families. This device that was once just an idea, grew into an incredible project consisting of a dedicated team and many generous supporters.
After the fitting and adjusting the standers to each child, parents were taught how to properly and safely operate the stander. Paper forms were also completed with the mothers before the children were prepared to head home and begin a new chapter in their lives where they will begin daily weight-bearing activity on their legs at home. The team waved goodbye to the small truck that carried away our six patients, their mothers and siblings as well as the six standing frames’ strapped to the roof of the truck.
That afternoon we had the meeting with the Hope Haven staff regarding future plans for distributions and educated their team more about how to use the official Stand With Me forms that help us to keep track of our patients and follow them over time. It truly was a miraculous day in Guatemala.
Scott and I (Monica) departed the airport at around 1pm, in our Kia Picanto. The hunt was on as soon as we landed in Guatemala City. One would assume finding a yoga mat and Velcro in a large city would be an easy task, this was not the case. Determined, Scott and I followed as many leads as possible and finally found the perfect 6 mm yoga mat that is used as padding on the standing frame. With a little more hunting we also discovered double sided one-wrap Velcro used to secure patients’ legs and feet. Once the goods were acquired, Scott and I joyfully drove to the factory to start assembling the 10 standing frames that would be distributed the next day.