Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rosa came to clinic at the end of the day last week. She was obviously pregnant and obviously trying to hide it, waiting until everyone left for the day. She is sixteen and the oldest of 7 children. Her father died several years ago leaving her mother to care for the family alone. Rosa, being the oldest, was sent to Guatemala City many months ago where she worked 15 - 16 hours a day, making tortillas. She met a young man who promised to marry her and care for not just her, but her family as well. And as so often happens, she was left pregnant with all the promises of security broken. So she came, asking us to hide her until her baby is born and then asking us to keep the baby.

Yesterday, she returned with her mother who we immediately recognized as one of the widows that we have helped with food over the course of many years. She is a sweet and humble woman who rarely asks for help. As we sat down to talk with her, she began to weep into her apron, her heart broken for all that had happened to her daughter. And although she did not express it, I knew as a mom, that much of her grief was guilt - guilt for having to put her daughter in the position of fending for this family. Even though our circumstances are very different our hearts as mothers are the same - wanting only good things for our children. We will, of course, help them in every way that we can.

I often ask God about this - why was I born in such different circumstances...why was I born in a country of opportunity? Why was I born to parents who could afford to give me a good education? Why have I never known hunger? Why have I been blessed with such a good marriage and children who love God? And as always, in my mind, I hear a voice saying, "To whom much is given, much is required." Last night as we worshiped together as a family with our son-in-law Matt, he played one of my favorite songs...this is the chorus -

Jesus, what can I give, what can I bring
To so faithful a friend, to so loving a King?
Savior, what can be said, what can be sung
As a praise of Your name
For the things You have done?
Oh my words could not tell, not even in part
Of the debt of love that is owed
By this thankful heart (I will offer up my life - Matt Redman)

I pray you have a very blessed Thanksgiving day tomorrow. And as you remember all that you are blessed with, that you too will ask, "What can I bring to so faithful a friend?"

Friday, November 4, 2011

This is my friend Cidiaca. I have known her for many years as we have helped her with her diabetic medications. We have a few people that we help with insulin and she is one of them - so I see her every two weeks when we check her blood sugars and fill up her insulin syringes for the next weeks. She accepted Jesus as her Savior several years ago. Her life is bleak - she and her children often do not have enough food. Her husband is uncaring. But the Lord has blessed her with physical healing. Last year she came in and on both of her feet, her toes were black and necrotic. I knew that she would probably need to have both of her feet amputated if the Lord did not move. So we bought her some shoes, taught her how to care for her feet and we prayed! Gradually over several weeks, the necrosis disappeared and her toes returned to their normal pink color. It was truly a miracle!

About 6 months ago, after she left our clinic on a Sunday morning, she fell when some young people shoved her in the market. We ran up to the market to find the ambulance carrying her away. They told us that she had fractured her leg. I did not see her for a couple of months though her pastor came by to let me know that she was still in the hospital. One day a couple of months later, the ambulance pulled up in front of the clinic and there she was. They sent her home with her fracture unhealed - the surgeons unwilling to operate because of her diabetes. She was unable to even sit up. So Armando and I began to go out to her home and check on her. The first time that we went, we found her lying down on a straw mat, still unable to sit and barely able to turn from side to side. She gave me her x-ray which showed that the neck of her femur was in what looked like a thousand pieces. As we knelt on the ground to pray for her I noticed that her right leg was at least two inches shorter than the other. We left her that day promising to see if we couldn't find someone who would help her. During that week we made lots of phone calls and finally found a surgeon who was willing to help her...out in the Peten. So we returned to her home to give her this news and there she was up and walking! She told us that after we had prayed for her, she slept that night without any pain for the first time since her fall. The most amazing part was that her legs were the same size! I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical - which I guess comes from working in medicine for too many years. But this was undeniably a miracle...and we are all praising the Lord for His power and for His grace and kindness to this woman who has no where else to turn but to a faithful God!

And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always
having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

We talked with Cidica recently, encouraging her to ask God what it is that He has for her to do now...begining with testifying about His great love and power to those who believe! She just smiled...