Brigade Testimonials

Brigade Testimonials

Serving others is one of the most powerful gifts an individual can offer another human being.  The opportunity to serve others, along with your immediate family is another wonderful gift.  Holy Family Surgery Center, NPH International and Surgical Care Affiliates afforded this wonderful opportunity to my son (Cooper), myself and a host of other newly made friends on a recent trip to Honduras.  Thank you to the wonderful leaders of each of these entities, as well as to the gracious people of Honduras and the lives that we touched.  Your hearts are some of the largest we’ve ever encountered—we’re honored to have served with you and for you.  The bonds that were both created and strengthened in one short week will survive a life time.

When you serve you discover that often the most important things you have to offer are not material things – they are your time, talents, presence and attention.  We served to transform the life of others in need.  The gift we received, in turn, was that our lives were transformed…forever.  When we gave of ourselves, we actually received.  Greatest trip ever.

Bill Pethick, Volunteer


I was blessed enough to be able to go on my first mission this year. And a greater blessing was that I wound up at NPH Honduras.

I have always wanted to do a mission, and when my company decided to join with Holy Family, I simply knew I had to go, I had no idea what I was getting into, what I would be doing, or how hard I would be working.

When I arrived I immediately felt love, I immediately felt at home.

The surgery center is full of amazing grateful patients and even more amazing staff.

The thing that really was incredible was to have so many people come from so many places and essentially start a new job, work 10-14 hour days and can’t wait to go back the next morning! Everyone worked together and simply did what was needed.

What an amazing experience, I feel incredibly blessed and I can’t wait to get back to NPH Honduras!

Criss Calderon, Volunteer


It was life changing to see how everyone lives.  I would go back in a heartbeat because you know you’re making someone’s life better each day while you’re there.  I learned that I don’t really have to give too much of my life up just like a week to help and the surgery center changed me because I never thought I would ever work in one but it was fun and awesome to see the people transform into new people with their surgeries.

Cooper Pethick, Volunteer


My SCA Medical Mission experience was awesome!  I was refreshed and renewed from both a personal and professional perspective.  To see and be a part of about 35 strangers come together and perform ~70 cases flawlessly was truly remarkable.  It was an honor to be able to serve and now support the HFSC. I look forward to a return trip with my family in 2016.

Neil Walker, Volunteer


I was humbled by the Honduran patients that we took care of; they easily placed their trust in us to care for them.  The Ranch has a beautiful and serene atmosphere, wonderful staff, and absolutely adorable children! The surgery center is state of the art with many of the amenities we have here in the U.S.  Thank you to Dr. Daly, Dr. Antunez, surgery center staff, Stephan and Ross for making us feel so welcome! It was definitely a life changing experience for me….I hope to return someday!

Jen Swanton, Nurse


This experience was one I will never forget!!  The camaraderie of all the wonderful teammates exceeded my expectations. I came back with an adjusted perspective on life. I am always reminded that there is so much more to this world than what is happening in my life and its challenges. I feel privileged to have been a member of this medical mission brigade and look forward to a reunion!!!

Beth Marien, Nurse


This was my first medical mission trip so I honestly did not know what to expect.  To put it simply, it was a remarkable experience.  There is an indescribable feeling of calmness that consumes you from the moment you arrive on the grounds and remains throughout the trip.  There is something special about truly living in the moment here and having the opportunity to escape from the pace of lifestyle we are so used to in the States.  Watching a group of 50+ people from all over America come together in such a self-giving way to serve was an experience that will never leave me.

Harrison Adams, Volunteer


Everyone got along and worked together as if we had been working together for a long time. We all helped out in whatever area they needed us it didn’t matter your title. I think the thing that impressed me the most is the long hours and dedication the volunteers put in to the center. And always willing to help the people from the brigade out with a smile on their face. I also liked the uplifting message that was given out at the end of the day with a speech from someone telling about their story and how they came to be a part of NPH and/or the HFSC, it was very interesting. Thank you for letting me be a part of the team.

Karen Thelen, Nurse


It’s difficult to put into words the remarkable week I experienced at HFSC and NPH in Honduras, although, “rewarding” is one word that comes to mind. The event was unbelievably harmonious as an unfamiliar team graciously and selflessly pulled together to serve and care for others, a welcome reminder of why we entered the field of healthcare. The benefits of such a journey are mutually advantageous, however, I truly believe I received far more than what I contributed. The time was vastly rewarding and I’m eagerly looking forward to returning soon, while highly encouraging others to become involved.

Peggy Rhoads, Nurse


It was my honor and privilege to participate in the June Brigade to NPH Honduras. I went to offer what I had and hopefully be a blessing to someone there. What I came away with was a feeling of being the one who received the blessing!  It was an awesome experience to be a part of such an amazing group of people from all over the country.  I was awe struck at how quickly the team bonded and was able to accomplish the plan that had been laid out for us. The OR staff and 13 month volunteers that serve there are a very impressive group of young people.  The facility is wonderful and each day was such a fun time. I especially enjoyed seeing young people who wanted to pursue medical education being given the opportunity to try their hand at things and test the waters.

The ranch is a remarkable place with a unique mission.  I loved the model they operated under and the success in their work was quite evident.  I would highly endorse the trip to others and hope that I can participate again in the future!

Beth Connor, Nurse


Being in Honduras changed my life! Everything and everyone were very nice. I loved the sweet cows and clean environment.

I made a best friend (brother) named Eddie and Dr. Daley and Dr. Merlin were very nice. They even let us stay in a nice apartment.

I played soccer with the kids and it was fun. I loved Honduras!

Danny Szura, Volunteer


I didn’t know what to expect going into this mission trip. To be honest, I was a little nervous! I couldn’t speak Spanish, so I felt kind of different. No one cared! Everyone there was so nice and welcoming! I would have thought that all the kids at the ranch were sad and scared, but all I saw were smiles!

It was so different there but I loved it! One of my favorite parts was being able to see what my dad does at work every day. I am not allowed to do that anywhere else, so that was an experience of a lifetime! I even got to “scrub” in on one of his cases! This experience also made me realize how lucky I am.

I am going to feel extremely grateful! All of the people on the trip were so selfless. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! I hope to go again soon!

Ella Szura, Volunteer


This trip to Honduras has changed me for the better. Before I came, I didn’t know the real meaning of blessed. I thought blessed meant the talents God gave me. That was a huge mistake! Blessed means that you have a family, food, fresh water, a safe home and friends who support you. When I went to NPH I was expecting sad kids, small groups of friends, barely a family! I can’t believe how wrong I was! NPH is one big, happy and protective family. They all respect and love one another. They have good food on their table, beds, fresh clothes too, just like a normal family. Except they lack first world country accessories such as TVs, phones, etc. That’s when I realized how Blessed I am to have electricity 24/7, not to mention my own phone!  Yet these kids are Blessed in their own way, in a way no one else can imagine. They are Blessed in faith.  Faith that God is protecting them, that they are safe. When I worked at Holy Family Surgery Center, I got to help the people that needed it most. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world!

Maggie Szura, Volunteer