Little two year old Juanito came late one evening, screaming with pain. He was badly burned when a pot of boiling soup was spilled on him, and most of both of his legs were burned. Don and I worked for about two hours getting him cleansed and bandaged. We sent some photos of him to a friend who is a pediatrician for advice. He thought he definitely needed to be hospitalized. After much discussion with his very distraught parents, we decided to take him into the government clinic as they have an ambulance and could take him into the hospital which is two hours away. Juanito's dad was opposed, saying that he knew that they would just pour alcohol over the burns. Unfortunately, that was pretty much what happened. The on-call physician there was seemingly annoyed that we awakened her and did not think it necessary to take him into the hospital. She proceeded to take off all the bandages that we had just put on. As we sat outside and listened to his ceaseless screams, I knew that we had once again mistakenly thought that we would find compassion there.
Juanito came each morning for about two weeks so that we could change his dressing. And by God's amazing grace, he is doing very well and healed so much better than any of us thought he would.
We are in the cold season here, and we have seen so many really sick children. Up in the mountain in the village of Chiminisijuan where the air is much cooler, it has been the worst. If you add pneumonia to an already undernourished body, they don't have the strength to fight it. Last week, we saw a one month old who was struggling for air. Her oxygen levels were so low, we knew that short of a miracle she would die. We sent her mom home to get what she would need in the hospital, finally convincing her of the need to go. After clinic, we drove to her village and waited for her as we were not sure where her house was. She never came.
Another little one, the week before, needed to be hospitalized. His mom just said "no" she would not take him. All of these instances (and there are so many more) just confirm to us the need to get this hospital open. We have a ways to go yet and are still missing some big things....like a pediatrician! But we know that God will provide all that we need in just the right time. In the mean time, we offer up to Him the little bit that we can do, and we ask Him to multiply it. Just as He did with the fish and loaves....that small offering that was so far from enough, we offer what we have, trusting that He will make it sufficient.
In the States
3 weeks ago