Dustin’s Dream re­turns from fourth Gu­atemala trip

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Janelle Jessen Staff Writer jjessen@nwadg.com ■

Dustin’s Dream’s fourth trip to the Heart of Love Clinic in Gu­atemala City was the best yet, ac­cord­ing to Deon­dra Cham­ber­lain.

Cham­ber­lain, who is Dustin’s mother, said a group of 10 peo­ple from Siloam Springs, in­clud­ing a lo­cal doc­tor, den­tist and sev­eral nurses, spent June 2 through June 9 in Gu­atemala, where they helped with the clinic’s mis­sion.

Dustin’s Dream was founded to honor the life of Dustin Cham­ber­lain, who planned to be­come a mis­sion­ary doc­tor. In 2011, he was trag­i­cally killed dur­ing a home in­va­sion while home on Christ­mas break from Bay­lor Univer­sity in Waco, Texas.

Dustin’s fam­ily and friends started Dustin’s Dream to ful­fill his vi­sion. The non­profit has raised money to build and help op­er­ate the clinic.

This month’s trip was the sec­ond time that Dustin’s sis­ter Danae Cham­ber­lain has vis­ited the clinic in Gu­atemala. Danae, who grad­u­ated from Bay­lor Univer­sity in May, said she was amazed by the changes that have been made since she first vis­ited al­most five years ago. The first time Danae saw the clinic, only the first floor of the clinic was com­plete. Since then a sec­ond and third floor have been added to the fa­cil­ity, bring­ing the to­tal size to 7,000 square feet.

Cur­rently, the clinic serves more than 800 peo­ple a month on av­er­age and pro­vides gen­eral med­i­cal care, phys­i­cal ther­apy, pe­di­atric ther­apy and den­tal ser­vices. It also of­fers an area for ed­u­ca­tion and a wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tem that pro­vides low cost wa­ter to peo­ple in the com­mu­nity. Dustin’s Dream splits the cost of op­er­at­ing ex­penses with Life of Hope Min­istry of Jo­plin, Mo.

“It’s un­be­liev­able to see how much has come from where we were al­most seven years ago,” Danae said. “For me, it’s crazy to think about how faith­ful God has been in my fam­ily’s life and us­ing Dustin’s legacy. … We just got to go on a trip and serve th­ese peo­ple in Gu­atemala, some­thing we would have never thought ex­isted seven years ago. It’s over­whelm­ing all the good

that has hap­pened out of ev­ery­thing.”

Dr. Layla Chan­quin and her hus­band Pas­tor Saul Perez run the Heart of Love Clinic. To­gether, they work six days a week and lead church on Sun­day. In ad­di­tion to her work at the Heart of Love Clinic, Chan­quin also con­ducts clin­ics at out­ly­ing churches. Perez also runs a mis­sion for home­less men and hopes to one day build a home where they can live tem­po­rar­ily to get back on their feet.

Dur­ing the trip, the Dustin’s Dream med­i­cal team saw more than 150 to 180 pa­tients each day — or a to­tal of about 600, Deon­dra said. In ad­di­tion, the team’s den­tist, Dr. Trent McCord, saw about 18 to 20 pa­tients a day, she said.

The clinic is lo­cated in a set­tle­ment that has grown around the largest garbage dump in the world. The ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 peo­ple who live in the set­tle­ment make a liv­ing from scav­eng­ing what they find in the trash brought in from other parts of the city. Con­se­quently, the med­i­cal team saw lots of pa­tients with res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems, in­fected wounds and chronic dis­eases such as di­a­betes that are out of con­trol, she said.

Through­out the week, the team from Dustin’s Dream also vis­ited other non­prof­its in the city, such as a home for abused girls in Chi­mal­te­nango, Gu­atemala and a school for spe­cial needs chil­dren, Deon­dra said. On Fri­day evening, they helped the Heart of Love Clinic staff pro­vide a weekly meal to peo­ple in the com­mu­nity and feed more than 350 peo­ple, she said.

On June 3, the sec­ond day the team was in Gu­atemala, the Vol­can de Fuego ex­ploded. The vol­cano was about 27 miles away — a safe dis­tance — from the Heart of Love Clinic, but gritty dark-gray ash still rained down on the area, Deon­dra said. The erup­tion didn’t change any of their plans but they were able to pur­chase wa­ter and sup­plies to send to help peo­ple who were in the path of the vol­cano, she said.

Deon­dra said Dustin’s Dream plans to con­tinue to fo­cus their ef­forts on Gu­atemala City and the Heart of Love Clinic. In ad­di­tion to sup­port for op­er­at­ing costs, the clinic is in need of a new ul­tra­sound ma­chine and Dustin’s Dream is in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing the mis­sion for home­less men, she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Dustin’s Dream, visit dustins­dream.net.

Photo sub­mit­ted

Mem­bers of the med­i­cal team from Dustin’s Dream help pass out food dur­ing the weekly meal the Heart of Love Clinic pro­vides the com­mu­nity in Gu­atemala City.

Photo sub­mit­ted

A team of 10 peo­ple from the Siloam Springs area trav­eled with Dustin’s Dream to help at the Heart of Love Clinic in Gu­atemala City. Pic­tured are (front left) den­tal as­sis­tant Eva Hicks, trans­la­tor Ana Castillo, Danae Cham­ber­lain, nurse Car­rie Stock, (back row) nurse prac­ti­tioner Sara McCord, Kam­bryn Dun­can, Dr. Carl Dun­can, den­tist Dr. Trent McCord, Jodi Klassin and nurse Deon­dra Cham­ber­lain.

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