Best lice ever!


(Jan 27) Emin is better. That’s what is important about this story. A little boy came into the hospital yesterday with a snake bite on his hand and a snake bite on his hip and not doing well. It had taken some time to get him down from the mountains and apparently (I’m very hazy on the details) there has been some difficulty with identifying him and contacting his parents. I went down to see him in the “ER” and was immediately struck by how much he looked like my son Ben. I confirmed with him that he was indeed eight years old (he also confirmed for me that he was hungry). As I watched his mannerisms and listened to his speech, it was almost like I was watching my own son there on that bed. The gulf that opened in my heart was even wider than is normal when I see a hurt/sick child. I went to see him two or three times yesterday, including one last time as I was leaving the hospital for the day (in the early evening) after a pretty long day. I told him how much he looked like my son, which most have been a bit of an affront to him because he immediately told me that he was not normally this pale and that the snake bite had affected his skin color. I laughed and tried to explain to him that my son actually had much darker skin than me as his mother was of Spanish descent. I don’t think he bought it for a minute…

I asked if if I could pray for him and he said yes, his family drawing near as I put my hands on his head and caressed his hair. As I prayed, much to my surprise, he repeated every word. Now, praying in Spanish is hard enough for me, I am not even ready to lead someone else to pray – who actually knows how to speak Spanish to the Father. Oh well, as is always the case, God made up for my lack an we had a wonderful prayer together.

This morning (Jan 28) I received the joyful news that Emin is better and seems to have turned the corner. I also received the news that he has a pretty good case of lice, which means that I probably do too. I touched him many times yesterday and often caressed his hair as he bravely told me that he wasn’t hurting too badly (but his face betrayed him). I am so glad that I didn’t know that he had lice, or else I would have been less likely to touch him and care for him in this way. I am also so glad that he is better, that I could care less about lice. I’ll get the special shampoo and the lice will hopefully go away in a few days. Hopefully today, I’ll be able to take Ben down and prove to him that my son isn’t a blanco and I wasn’t insulting him when I told him that he looked like Ben. Hopefully soon Emin will go home and never, ever see another snake…

A special note of thanks to Penny Alden who invested herself fully in Emin’s care yesterday, as she so often does. I’ve never known anyone so completely willing to pour themselves out on behalf of another as Penny is. She will readily give you all of her attention, all of her care, and all of her heart – full knowing that it will probably get broken yet again. Not this time Penny, looks like for now that this one is going to have a happy ending.

Update (Jan 28 – evening) – I’m just starting to realize what a miracle has happened here with Emin. He was reported to have been bitten by a Baraba Amarilla – which is one the most poisonous snakes around and from whose bite few live. It took (reasons unknown) days for extended family members to get him down here to the hospital. Put plainly, people don’t get a few days of time when bitten by this type of snake, they usually have hours. Dr. Sharon, a pediatrician here at Loma de Luz, said that Emin was “as close to dying” as any child she’s seen. An amazing statement. We visited Emin this evening (Jan 28) and he is feeling much, much better. He did indeed have a chance to meet my son Benjamin and he agreed that they were igualitos (little ones who appear similar). Emin’s parents are in the States and he lives in a mountain village with his grandparents. His life must be hard beyond anything I could ever know. God reached down and touched this young man. His life was spared in a most miraculous way. Please join me in praying that Emin’s new life that God has given Emin would be a blessed one, lived to serve God and to bring Him glory.

Update (Jan 30th) The best update of all. Last evening on Jan 29th, Emin accepted Christ and is now a Christian. Dr. Don was doing another one of his many discipleship classes, this time with Debyn and Nestor, two young Honduran men who are fairly recent converts themselves and on fire for Christ. I approached him and asked him to speak with Emin, sensing that Emin was very near to Christ. Dr. Don immediately replied that he would take his two young disciples down to speak with Emin about the gospel with him. They did and the result was that two young Honduran men led this young man to Christ. There is a sense in me that this is how God wants missionary work to happen. We want to be here to help empower the local people to be the spiritual leaders and to make new converts. Instead of creating a sense of spiritual “entitlement”, these young men are helping to build the local church and not just following the “gringos” around. Lord, please help us to do this work well and in a way that brings glory to you and thank you for Emin’s salvation! Amen.