Students go on medical mission & come back with more than they gave.

They were young people who embarked on a journey to a third-world country not knowing what to expect and heading into a totally different world. They came back as a close-knit family with an experience that will keep them forever connected.
When Steve Mentzer, of Mission Relief Services, asked members of Christians Open Minded at Millersville University to participate in a medical mission in Honduras, nine students heeded the call.
Christian Cochran, of Mifflinburg, chose to go "to feel as though the days in my life had meaning. I wanted the satisfaction of a full day's work, to feel the pleasure of being useful and appreciated."
Brit Isenberg, of Pottstown, said: "The focus for the trip was to deliver medical supplies to some remote villages in Honduras. In many cases, this meant delivering over-the-counter pain relievers and vaccines, simplicities which we in the U.S. take for granted."
The students started their mission with a visit to the Children's Hospital in Tegucigalpa.
"The most common of the ailments we saw was osteoporosis, a side effect of malnutrition. Some of the children we visited didn't have much time left, and the experience reminded me how precious life is and how much we take each day for granted," Mr. Isenberg said.
Charlene Welsch of Mechanicsburg, recalls a child "who was no more than 4 years old but terminally ill. It was almost 90 degrees, yet she had three very heavy blankets covering her body. I lifted the top of her blankets and started to cry. I could see her little heart pumping through her shirt because there was no fat or tissue surrounding her heart. I remember seeing her eyes attempt to look in my direction, but she couldn't move because she was so weak. It was probably the most emotionally moving experience I can remember."
A nurse told students the child would likely not survive the next day or two. The students never did learn her name or her fate.
The students then spent several days at annual clinics in El Corpos and Pespire.
Hondurans, who can rarely find medical care, travel to the annual clinics by bus and in jalopies, while others arrive on donkeys, mules and horses. In some cases, families wait eight to 10 hours to see a doctor.
"The crowds at each clinic were extremely large, and it was quite a frenzy to work in such cramped quarters with temperatures over 100 degrees. We had nearly 600 kids to keep occupied while the clinic doors stayed open. Those who worked in the clinic had the difficult job of having to turn people away at the end of each day because we simply did not have enough to fill the needs of so many people," Mr. Isenberg said.
Miss Welsch said, "Even if it appeared to be a small task, each person in our group contributed; in the pharmacy area, in the clinic with the doctors, or entertaining the children outside."
Mr. Cochran said: "As a result of this trip, I realized that the smallest acts can make a world of difference. Working with the people, especially the other group members, was the most positive and fulfilling experience of my life. In Honduras, I learned that it doesn't take a superhero to make a difference."
Going to Honduras, Mr. Isenberg said, "was humbling because we take for granted simple things like clean water. The biggest challenge coming home was trying to readjust to the fast pace of life here in the U.S. We have so much here, and it's really so wasteful and sad. I'm home now but with a conviction to get back to those kids and to do whatever it takes for me to help those people. Not a day goes by that I don't think about them; it seems that everything I do reminds me of them. We've already started planning a trip back to Honduras next spring break. I want those feelings every day, and I want so badly to help those people."
Another student, Adelina Edwards, said: "Being with the people of Honduras showed me how truly blessed I am. I realized I take the simplest things, such as hot water and shoes, for granted. I was blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Honduras, to experience the lifestyle of the people of Honduras, and in turn, I was not only able to be a blessing to them but they were a blessing to me."
Students either raised funds or paid for the trip out of pocket, including costs for airfare, room and board, vaccinations, malaria pills and passport.
To see more photos, visit