NIC employee joins group of 27 for mission to Honduras

Pam Claflin heard the call of God, and she answered. She couldn’t explain it, but when the opportunity to participate in a Christian medical mission to Honduras was presented to her, she knew what she was supposed to do.
“It was the Lord that called me to do this,” said Claflin, executive assistant in the North Idaho College Office of Instruction.
Claflin and the other 27 people planning to participate in the mission through Lake City Community Church commenced with collecting donations, holding yard sales, and working at the coffee stand at the church to raise enough money for the trip. Each participant had to gather $1,800 for airfare, the hotel stay, meals, customs fees and transportation.
“There were several people on campus that helped me too, and for that I’m very grateful,” Claflin said. “If I could afford to, I’d participate in missions more often.”
In late-July of last year, the medical mission brought doctors, nurses, dentists and volunteers to the villages of Yoro, Honduras where hundreds of people would file through long lines each day to seek medical care from the volunteers.
There was a pharmaceutical station, a medical station, an optical station, a nurse’s station and a dental station that treated more than 3,000 people in five days in two separate mountain villages and the men’s prison in Yoro.
In addition to providing medical treatment, the volunteers on the mission also fed lunch to those waiting in line, distributed donated clothes and shoes, provided evangelical messages and music and provided activities for children. Even though it was the rainy season in Honduras, it was still over 100 degrees outside.
Each of the 28 volunteers, who ranged in age from 11 to 75, spent 10 days in Honduras during the mission helping medical staff treat conditions such as conjunctivitis, impetigo, worms and meningitis. Vitamins were given to nearly every family to help provide nutritional value.
The people of the mountain villages literally walked for hours to the clinics, seeking the only medical care they may receive all year.
“We don’t realize how blessed we truly are until we’ve been on a mission trip,” Claflin said. “I would recommend that everyone participate in a mission, whether it’s through a church or as a volunteer through a civic organization. It’s a humbling experience.”
Even though the people participating in the mission knew they were saving lives each day of the clinic, the most meaningful moments were the smallest ones.
Claflin remembers helping deal with the crowds of people in line seeking medical treatment and spotting one little girl that wouldn’t take her eyes off Claflin.
“She kept looking at my skin and then looking at her skin and she seemed a little confused and frightened,” Claflin said, adding that the language barrier prevented her from talking with the child. “So I just held my hand out, thinking maybe she’d attempt to compare our skin colors. Instead, she grabbed my hand and just held it. We held hands for the rest of the time that she waited. It was so powerful.”
Lake City Community Church is planning the next medical brigade to Honduras in early August. Participants do not have to be members of the church to participate on the mission.
Those interested in participating can contact the church at (208) 676-0632.

For More Information
NIC Office of Instruction Executive Assistant Pam Claflin, (208) 769-3305

Posted: Friday, Feb. 3, 2006

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