In 1978, Douglas and I took our family to Guatemala as volunteers with Plenty International.

It was our first opportunity to work outside the country and be of service to those in need.

Two year earlier the country had been rocked by a massive earthquake and The Farm Community through Plenty had been engaged in relief work, rebuilding schools, installing water systems, and developing a nutrition program.

I worked as a lab technician in our clinic at the camp. It was important to monitor our water for contamination and our crew for parasites in order to stay healthy.

Guatemala was an unforgettable experience that shaped my entire life. I used the microscope to show our Mayan neighbors the little “lombrises” or worms living in the water, making their bellies hurt.

As we brought in clean water from the mountains, we gave classes with skits to educate our Mayan friends on the importance of sanitation, installing latrines and washing hands.

I treasure our time in Guatemala, an experience that touched us deeply and changed our lives. I began my training in midwifery when we returned back to Tennessee in 1980.

Left: Deborah, daughter Leah and son Jody, and another boy from The Farm.


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