Reflections from Peru

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

I wish I was a great writer who, with just my words, could reach into your hearts and minds and help you share the experience I had during the medical mission in Peru.  I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be part of this incredible mission.

My eternal gratitude to all the photographers who gave a face to our doctors, nurses, translators, valued volunteers, and, most of all, the faces of the many men, women, and children we were privileged to help.

Christine (second from left) with team members and Carmelite sisters.

Surreal can be an overused adjective, but it’s what comes to mind as I found myself literally plucked from the comfortable life I live.  I had to wonder why I should have access to top rated doctors and the means to purchase medications at will.  I am no different than the women we saw suffering from joint pain, asthma, diabetes, poor eyesight, headaches, stomach aches, parasites, lice, and so on.  They live unimaginable hard lives.

However, the greatest take-away for me is how blessed the people of Peru are!  They are blessed with open joyous hearts and a tangible love for their families and neighbors. Everyone helps each other.  The kind of genuine gratitude and open arms reception we got melted my heart.  They have practically no material possessions.  Even the water has to be brought up in tanks for drinking, washing, and cooking.  No matter.  Their smiles are bountiful.

Christine Barrett with fellow team member Mike Bruno

I know our team gave their all during our week in José Galvez.  Everyone worked long hours, at times to the point of exhaustion.  Yet, the next morning, we were up and out filled with desire to do it all again.  One thousand two hundred of God’s people were seen and cared for.  They received medications, vitamins, cheater glasses, inhalers, and the coveted goody bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotions, shampoo, soap, and sometimes candy. Much of what we gave came from the parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Your generosity is mind- blowing!

Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself the caring and kindness that grew between the people of Peru and our missionaries.  There are no words to explain the feelings.

Our group also grew closer each day as we forged friendships that I hope will last a lifetime.  I want all my fellow travelers to know how much you all mean to me.  I am in awe of your capabilities and love for all.  Fr. Dan and Rosemary Russell made this trip possible.  My most heartfelt thanks to them and to all you amazing people.


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