The following appeared in March, 2017, Presbyterian magazine The Vine:
Grace Covenant and St. Andrews support Honduras medical mission
Judy Thomson – Covenant Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
A mission team sponsored by Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Richmond and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kilmarnock recently returned from an 11-day trip to southern Honduras. The trip took place under the direction of KHISH (Key Humanitarian Initiative for Southern Honduras) and provided basic medical and dental care, as well as cataract surgeries, for hundreds of Hondurans in that area
The team working in Honduras consisted of 18 Norte Americanos and about twice as many Hondurans. U.S. participants came from California, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Grace Covenant’s participants were Susan and Ron David, founders of KHISH. St. Andrews’ participants Betty Mill and Linda Parks were on their second trip, as was Kathryn Kattman, a member of Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Weems. This year St. Andrews’ retired Pastor, Tom Coye, joined the group. Last year Grace Covenant’s Pastor, Bobby Hulme-Lippert, and St. Andrews’ former Associate Pastor, Judy Thomson, participated, as did Grace Covenant members Sarah and Matt Oates and Sallie Leys.
KHISH was formed in 2007, after several members of the current effort had participated on teams that originated in Donegal Presbytery in Pennsylvania. They wanted to continue the work in southern Honduras, but in a more sustainable way than the original leadership had proposed. KHISH selected two communities from the 10 that were served originally, and began a long-term, more intensive program of serving them.
Both communities, Moropocay and Puerto Grande, are home to churches of the Presbytery of Honduras. The one-room cinderblock churches host annual medical and dental brigades from KHISH. In recent years, the Presbyterian churches in Las Crucitas and Nacaome also have hosted clinics. Honduras physician Dr. Adolfo Moreno makes quarterly visits to Moropocay and Puerto Grande to manage patients with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and epilepsy. KHISH and Dr. Moreno have a medical record system for almost four thousand persons.
In 2011, recognizing the very high prevalence of preventable blindness due to cataracts, a program for eye care was added to KHISH’s outreach. In cooperation with American sponsors such as SEE International (Surgical Eye Expeditions International), in Santa Barbara, California, Alcon Pharmaceuticals, and Glacial Multimedia of Portland, Maine, KHISH was able in 2017 to mobilize its seventh annual brigade for eye examinations and surgeries.
In 2017, two U.S. ophthalmologists, one from North Carolina, and one from California joined Honduran surgeons to provide eye care. They were hosted by the Hospital San Lorenzo, the public hospital for the region. A total of 430 patients received full eye exams in KHISH’S Eye Clinic at the hospital. The four ophthalmologists combined performed 181 surgeries, of which 113 were cataract removals. In addition, 445 pairs of reading glasses were dispensed. St. Andrews’ Betty Mill, a Nurse Practitoner, led the registration team for the Eye Clinic.
At the Medical/Dental Clinics held at the four churches in the villages, 617 medical patients were seen and dentists extracted 242 teeth. Medications were dispensed, including antiparasitics and vitamins. Three hundred forty children were given sunglasses for UV protection and—it is hoped—cataract protection. Linda Parks, from St. Andrews, traveled with the medical/dental teams to the villages. Kathryn Kattmann, from Campbell, a retired Spanish teacher, was in charge of dispensing reading glasses. She was assisted by her grandson, Reed, from Charlottesville.
Ron David, a pediatric neurologist, is Acting Executive Director of KHISH/U.S., a registered nonprofit corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia (501(c)3 status applied for). Susan David, a pediatrician, is a member of the Board. Tom Coye serves as Vice Chairman. While in Honduras, Ron, Susan, and Tom attended the board meeting of KHISH/Honduras (a registered non-governmental organization for development in Honduras) for its annual meeting. The City of San Lorenzo has donated 6.8 acres of land for a proposed outpatient surgery center and eye care facility to serve the people of southern Honduras, with support from KHISH. The next step is the building of a road from the main highway to this parcel of land, and Tom is heading up fundraising for this project.
Over the 12 years that KHISH has been sending mission teams to Honduras, over 100 individuals have volunteered to serve, many repeatedly. Over 10 states, plus Australia and Singapore, have been represented.
Other church sponsors of KHISH are Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock, Virginia; Immanuel Episcopal Church, Old Church, Virginia; First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson, New York; and Trinity Presbyterian Church of Berwyn, Pennsylvania. KHISH also is supported by a myriad of other donors from across the country, some of whom are grateful former patients whose vision has been restored by eye surgery. For further information, or to find out how you can help, contact Susan David (email@example.com) or Linda Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org). KHISH’s website is www.khishprojectvision.com. [END]
A recent article published by TBR NEWSMEDIA highlights the incredible work Reverend Richard Graugh has done with KHISH Project Vision. Check out the full article here!
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