We have had a long spell of cold weather - well, relatively cold. It gets down into the 40's at night which I know for many of you sounds wonderful right now. But for those of us who have no heat in our homes it is...uncomfortable. Saturday morning it was really cold and I always feel so badly for those who have walked early in the morning to get one of the first numbers for clinic. They begin to form a line at about 4 in the morning so I know that by the time we open the door, they are really cold. So when moms push forward asking for their babies to be seen first, I understand. Saturday when Martina's mom asked to be seen first, I let her in thinking that she was just cold. But when I unwrapped her, I found that she was breathing about 60 times a minute and her color was not good. We started her on some oxygen and asked if we could take her into the hospital - about 2 1/2 hours away. Mom's tearful response was that her husband was traveling from the coast where he had been cutting sugar cane, and that she could not go to the hospital without his permission. So with Tomas's (our translator) help, we finally were able to talk with dad. He thought it better to meet mom at their home in the mountain and then make a decision. Although we did our best to try and convince them that waiting was probably not the best, mom could not - and would not - go against her husband's decision. So we kept them as long as they would stay, gave them all the medications that we could, and we prayed. When mom finally said that she needed to go, that the last car was leaving, I really struggled as I turned off her oxygen. I knew that without a miracle from God, that she would die within a few hours. I wish I could say that I know that the Lord stepped in and healed her...but I don't. I only know that we did all that we could humanly do, that we did all that God asks us to do, and that the only thing left to do was to trust in the sovereignty of God who "gives and takes away." Not always easy..... Please pray with us for this family who has been so heavily on my heart this week.
On a much happier note, yesterday was the Canilla's annual "enduro" motorcycle competition. David and Joseph both helped to set it up and participated in the race which started with a sort of obsticle course involving jumps and crossing a balance beam, and climbing a teeter toter sort of contraption....all of which greatly enhanced my prayer life! Then they raced off up the mountain for a 45 minute race of endurance over difficult terrain. There were riders from several surrounding villages and about twice as many spectators this year. It was fun for everyone!