Catching up: post 4 of 4 – Missions and Ministry

Note:  please see post 1 – Intro, post 2 – Family, post 3 – Work, and post 4 Mission and Ministry

Missions and ministry – Having just completed my “catching up” blog post #3 about work,   I realize how silly it is to differentiate between “work” and “missions and ministry”.  If we’re really following Christ, it is all missions and ministry and it is mostly work, right? Nevertheless, I need some way to break this up into functional groups and this is the best I can do for now.   My work here at the hospital really falls into two categories:   I.T. work and everything else.  
The I.T. work is made up of keeping things running and making them better.  Many of you know that the hospital has gone through a significant financial crisis over this last summer, so we’ve been doing a lot of “keeping things running” and just a little bit of “making it better”.  We continue to repair old routers, laptops, and other types of equipment and piece them together from spares.  The lesson here is to never throw anything away as it can be used for parts later on.  We have had tons of problems with our internet provider – making life difficult for all of us.  We are so connected to the internet here – it is truly our only lifeline back to all of you.  I have learned so much in trying to communicate with the company here in Honduras that provides us our internet.  I’ve learned about communicating in Spanish in a technical and professional business environment.  I’ve learned about communicating as a representative of a Christian organization, demanding service and resolution to problems (an incredibly difficult concept here in Honduras) and yet striving always to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of our ministry here at Loma de Luz.  Did I mention that I was doing this in another language??? Wow, what a challenge and what an opportunity for growth.
Under the category of “Making things better” I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new ministry called Missions I.T.  I’m starting this, I believe, at the leading of the Lord.  This new ministry will seek donations of money, IT equipment, and IT assistance in order to support the technical ministry here at Hospital Loma de Luz.  We will seek to fund the Internet Connectivity here as well as provide salaries for local (indigenous) I.T jobs, as well as provide funding for equipment and infrastructure upgrades (i.e buy laptops and routers and such).    I’m really excited about this and will write more about it soon in a separate introductory newsletter. 
Having covered I.T. work in the last two paragraphs, I now come to the “everything else” part of our ministry here at Loma de Luz.  John Lennon said that “life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”  Well, life here is often what happens during the “everything else” phase of our ministry here.  This usually translates into helping with some part of medical care of the patients here in the hospital and occasionally helping out with rides or whatever is needed.  God continues to allow me to rediscover my passion for helping out with the medical side here at the hospital and it is this part of my life that has been the most challenging, the most profound, and the most rewarding.  Dr Sharon was very kindly thanked me for helping out with a sick child recently and I had to thank her for allowing me to help.  “That’s my passion”, I told her pointing to the little baby lying on the hospital bed – that is what I really love.  I.T. work is needed here and makes my time here useful – but it is helping with the patients that I love above everything else. 

In the last few months I’ve helped deliver a still born baby, helped many times with “coding” patients – patients who aren’t breathing and or do not have a pulse.  I’ve transported several patients in to the hospital in La Ceiba, including a gunshot victim and pregnant patients who were having trouble with their delivery.  I’ve helped clean up and dress babies who had died and presented them to their parents for them to “say goodbye”.  I’ve placed a baby in its parent arms whom we thought was going to die any minute and watched God spare his life and allow him to continue to live, seemingly against all odds.  In short, I’ve been involved in the living and dying here at the hospital as we strive to give the best possible medical care in some of the toughest possible situations with as much of God’s love as we can possible give at any given moment.  I’ve seen God move over and over again. Sometimes it feels like I’m in the book of Acts and sometimes it feels that God is very far away indeed.   I’m learning to achieve some semblance of emotional stability in the midst of incredibly emotional days.  Sometimes, I run from a telephone business meeting in the states off to a dying patient and then go right back into the meeting when I’m done helping.  It seems strange, crazy, and incredible – all at the same time – But I want you to know this:  I know that I am right where God wants me to be.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.   Please pray that God would continue to use me in this way here at Loma de Luz and that he would give me wisdom about priorities, compassion, and helping in the most loving way possible.  In the next few weeks, I’ll post the stories of little Miguel, Jose and others whose life God has touched and in most cases spared by His grace.  Stay tuned.