Monday, February 12, 2018

Eye Surgical Brigade 2018

This past week my father, Dr. Chris Wallyn,
was able to do 38 eye surgeries here in San Lucas
(32 cataract surgeries, 1 pterygium surgery & 5 eye lid surgeries)
with the help of his surgical tec & 2 nurses
(one Guatemalan and one my mother 😊)

Upon arriving, Dr. Wallyn had to have consults with 85 people
(all suffering from eye problems)
trying to solve their eye problems and schedule surgical candidates.

It is always a great blessing for me to serve the poor alongside my parents
...and that I have been able to do this with my father since 1993!

My mom was the OR nurse (picture below on the left)
My dad was able to make good use of the new microscope lens
which gives another person (or aspiring surgical student) 
the chance to observe the eye surgery (picture on the right)

A special THANK YOU to all those who did fundraising
through "Sewing for Sight" to help make this purchase...
your generosity will benefit so many people in the years to come!

The (smaller scale) cataract from one surgery (left)
I even got to "scrub in" and assist a surgery with my father on Friday!

Doing some post-op care (taking care of elevated pressure in the eye)...
such a gift to see how delicate and precious the gift of sight is.
And how incredible it is that God gives
doctors the knowledge and capacity to restore it!

Almost all the patients returning at the end of the week
for one last check up....
a special thank you to Dr. Tun and Pablo Nito
for all their help and generous service
to make this run smoothly!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mission St. Luke & first level finished!

This past week, we had the wonderful group "Mission St. Luke"
from Texas and Oklahoma come and work for 4 days...
and in THREE of those days, 
we finished painting the entire first level
of the "annex" building in Casa Feliz!!!

The annex at the time of purchase in September 2017:

MANY thanks to Dan & Madi Moberg
for their hard work in prepping the building
with scraping off the old paint (with machetes)!


Next 2 photos are again of the entry way at the time of purchase
and the incredible transformation in only 4 months!

We tried to make the best use of the space under the 2nd floor ramp
and installed a bathroom (there was none on the first level)
and then make a washing station with small storage
under the ramp: 

The kitchen and corridor to the dining room before: 


Dining room walls before and after:

Other side of the dining room before and after:

"Many hands make light work!"
SO thankful for these ladies who made the hard work 
nothing but fun!

We had about 25 mile an hour winds
2 of the 3 days of painting....hence the windproof gear ;)

Thank you Mission St. Luke for such an incredible week....
not only in painting but also with dentistry and surgery.
It is such a gift when we come together and use our gifts
for the service of the Lord and His people.

And of course....
the FINAL reveal of the front gate!



The gratitude continues to overflow in my heart....
and excitement as we draw nearer to opening "Casa Feliz"
for the elderly!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

New year and new entry way!

After 2 months of (again) long days of intense labor...
Casa Feliz officially can (almost) make it's
"final reveal" of the remodeling of the entry way:

(taken from the middle courtyard between the two buildings)

Taken from the entrance:

(Street view):

We broke ground on November 20, 2017:

I can't even begin to express HOW MUCH dirt and debris
we have hauled out of Casa Feliz since
its purchase in September!

Creating the entrance arch:

Beginning the new ramp, stairs, washing station & bathroom:

As of January 25th, 2018....we.are.FINISHED!!!

The front gate is still being installed
and we still have to install the railings for the stairs
and grates for the rain canals...
but it's great way to leave a little suspense for the next post 😊:

I am so incredibly grateful to the Lord
and to those who have helped make this possible!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Recap- LEAST 2017

As I reflect back on this year,
I don't think my heart has ever been so filled with gratitude and awe
as I remember the miracles God has done
for the LEAST in 2017.

One thing I have learned in these 2 years in trying to
serve Christ in the poor through the LEAST
is that I can not do this alone...
I need others to share in the love of God
that I feel called to give and also need to receive...
and I need other generous hearts, hands & feet
to continue to do this work.

I am FOREVER grateful to those who made
the purchase of Casa Feliz possible-
each one of you who donated truly worked a miracle
for this humble village of San Lucas!

I am even more excited for 2018 to welcome whomever the Lord sends
to embark on the crazy journey of transforming Casa Feliz 
into the first center for the elderly in San Lucas.

We are one body in Christ
and all that LEAST accomplished in 2017 could not have been fulfilled
without so many generous people and loving hearts.

The attachment below is a 10-minute video
showing a recap of the work done for the LEAST this year.

Wishing each of you a healthy and fruitful 2018!
I can't wait to see what is in store!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Party 2017!

So this year, we decided to take the elderly out for a spin 
on Lake Atitlán again and enjoy lunch together out on the lake.

This year we had 2 bonuses:

We had AWESOME weather.....
and many people back in Minnesota collaborated
and sent down over 120 "ponchos" for the elderly to wear!

This year, we were given a yacht that could hold 300 people!
(We only had 115 people aboard this year):

Don't let their age fool you! 

The elderly were ready to board an hour early...
and it didn't matter if they were blind, 
in a wheelchair or walking with canes...
almost everyone came!

All my cooks and assistant cooks:

This year the lunch we provided was:
-2 "chuchitos" (a typical meal here which is similar to "tamales", but with meat inside)
-1 personal pineapple pie
-One soda drink

Everyone enjoyed the time on the lake, the company,
the food and the gifts!

Thank you to all those back in Minnesota who worked so hard
to provide these ponchos for the elderly...
Happy Advent and Christmas season to all!