Friday, February 27, 2009

Mari, adoptions, and Unilla

February 27 - Maybe you remember from my last post about a little girl named Mari out in the Zona Reina. She has some sort of infection - whether in her muscle or in her bone or possibly both - but she has lost the function of her entire left leg. She is in extreme pain and has been in that condition for the last 4 months. We have been trying all week to get them into see someone who might be able to help her. Our friend and fellow missionary who lives in Chichicastenango agreed to see her. He is a surgeon who just happened to have a medical team there this week. So our plan was to pick her up on Tuesday and get her in to see Tom. However, it rained all day Tuesday (out in the Zona Reina - not a drop here!). Disappointed, Mari's dad walked three hours back to his village with Mari on his back and said he would not be able to leave again until Friday. So again this morning we tried to take her into see Dr. Tom who turned out to be out of town until next week. So we called our new friends in Guatemala City - Manos de Amor (Hands of Love) - and more specifically Dr. Pedro. He made a few phone calls and within a few hours Duane was on his way out to pick up Mari and her family. He just called to tell me that he left her in the hospital with IV fluids running and doctors examining her. Please remember to pray for this very sick little girl. Pray for her mother as well who is at her side and due to deliver at any minute in a strange city with people who do not speak her language. How thankful we are for this new connection to the City and the resources available there! God is always faithful!

This week has been one to "catch up" on so many things - from housekeeping to paperwork. Duane and I had an appointment yesterday with our lawyer about Grace's adoption. Although she is officially ours, when we received her paperwork, they had incorrectly written her name as "Grace Ficker Ficker". Now, having Ficker as a last name is bad enough but to have it twice was a little too much! Plus, and more importantly, it would raise all kinds of questions when we apply for her travel visa at the US Embassy. So for the last 6 months we have been working on this paperwork only to find out yesterday that it has been filed incorrectly not once but 3 times. And we wonder why it always takes so long to accomplish anything here. We are thankful though for a lawyer of integrity who perseveres through this unbelievably complicated maze of paperwork. Abi's adoption is still in progress.

March 6 -We have been asked by the mayor of Uspantan to help out in a village called Unilla. It is not far from San Pedro where we go monthly and is about a 3-4 hour walk from the nearest road. Duane flew out there Tuesday for the first time. Unlike the US, none of these airstrips are on a map nor is there any information about their condition, so he likes to "check them out" personally without passengers. This runway (a narrow grass strip) didn't look safe enough to land on so he flew to another one which was close by. The villagers were expecting him and could see that he landed on the other side of the river so they canoed over to meet him. Below are pictures of this canoe which was a very long, hollowed out log, a man using the canoe to cross the river, and a sign outside of the clinic we will be working from. The river was deep and the current swift. The man who navigated however was an expert and easily poled until his pole no longer touched bottom and then paddled until they landed exactly where he wanted them to go. Duane was met by close to a hundred men and children who led him to the "clinic" where we will work for the first time on the 19th of this month. Unilla itself is fairly large for that area with about 500 people right there and other smaller villages surrounding with an estimated population of around 5,000. We will plan to go for 2 days, show the Jesus film in Kek'chi at night, and see patients during the day. Please begin to pray with us for open hearts to receive the good news of Jesus, pray for safe traveling, and health for the villagers and for our team as well. These trips require a tremendous amount of planning and organization and financial provision. But nothing is more important than the prayer that takes place beforehand. Without the hand of God upon them, they are nothing but 'good works'.

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