Saturday, November 15, 2008


As Duane said this week, our lives are like a roller coaster ride - somedays up and some down but always God is faithful. Last week I wrote that the social worker came to evaluate our home for Abi's adoption. We thought this a very good thing. However this week, our lawyer called to say that the judge (whose signature we need before we can proceed any further) was threatening to take Abi out of our home and place her in an orphanage. The social worker's recommendation to us (as she is a friend of our lawyer's) was to hide if anyone came to our door. The judge had no legal grounds to do this and there was talk that she wanted money. We were scared and prepared to take Abi out the back door should anyone come. And we prayed - alot! Early the next day, the PGN (the government agency which gives final approval for all adoptions) called to set up an appointment with us to sign a resolution saying that Abi is to stay in our home until the final paperwork is done. To have them call us was an enormous miracle - we waited months to see them to finalize Grace's adoption. God is so faithful - I don't know why it always surprises me when He does what He does! As a result of this judge's harrassment, we think the adoption will go much faster now - they had to move our paperwork to the top of the pile!

All 5 of our cleft lip babies will have their surgeries this week - 3 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday. Please remember to pray for them. Duane flew out yesterday morning to bring little Fredi in from the Zona Reina but the weather was too bad so they will make the very long bus trip into Antigue. We are so grateful to our friends at ASELSI who have organized all of the details of not one, but two trips into Antigue for this; and to Agape in Action who have helped to offset the costs. Once again, God is faithful to provide!

Clinics were pretty routine this weekend. San Andres was unusually quiet. Preparations are being made for the anual celebration to Saint Andrew, the patron saint of San Andres and the corn god. It will be a weeklong celebration marked by Mayan ritual and drunkeness - not our favorite time of year! Canilla will celebrate two weeks later. Here, there is less Mayan influence but the drunkeness and sexual sins will be no less distressing.

Would you pray for a 3 month old baby girl named Helen? She was born normally here in Canilla but within days after her birth a large hemangioma (birthmark) began to grow over the right side of her face and head. She was in the hospital in Quiche for a few days and then sent to the City where they spent all of their money and were never actually seen by anyone who could help them. They returned home, the growth of this hemangioma continued until her lip broke down to the point where she could no longer nurse. That is when we began to help her as we would a cleft lip baby - with formula and special bottles. In the last 2 weeks we have noticed that her head is growing too fast and believe that she now has hydrocephalus. She needs surgery asap so we will take her into the City in the morning and try to help them navigate through the frustrating maze of the national healthcare system. I cannot explain how distressing it is to know what someone needs, to know that it is available but to have no idea how to help them get that help.

And so throughout rollercoster ups and downs of life, God's amazing faithfulness has remained evident. We praise Him today and thank Him again for His constant provisions in our lives.


  1. We will be praying for all of this, especially the Abi situation!

  2. Duane and Leslie,

    My wife, Abby, and I have been following your blog since we found it about a week ago. Abby is an emergency physician resident and I am a pilot/mechanic. We have plans to visit Flores/Santa Elena (Peten) for two weeks in the beginning of February in preparation to work with Hospital Shalom.
    I wanted to ask you about your medical and aviation experience in Guatemala. Do you have an email address or some other way we could contact you? Our email is:
    We'll be praying for you guys!
    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!