Day 9 – May 20

I’ll start today’s entry with two stories from the hospital:

A man came in today with three bullets in his head. He had been shot by a large caliber handgun (probably a .45) three times in the head from close range. He was lying out in the hallway… while he was in some discomfort, he really wasn’t in a terrible amount of pain. I looked on as one doctor showed his x-rays to another doctor. Even with the untrained eye, I could see what looked like a damaged x-ray. It wasn’t. Two bullets were lodged just under the skin and the third was lodged in his brain. He had no use of his left leg – but the doctor told me that this was probably due to the swelling and likely to go away once the swelling went down. They decided to wait on surgery for a week or two and let the swelling go down and let his brain “calm down” from the obvious trauma that it had been through. One of the doctors presented the gospel to this man today. Perhaps God allowed him to live so that he could come here to hear about Jesus. You’d think that this would be one of the easier conversions to have ever taken place in the history of mankind – but this wasn’t so. The man said that he would think about it.

A lady came in today, in her early sixties, with some type of very serious infection in her body. Her organs were starting to shut down. It is unlikely that she will live much longer (days). The doctors don’t know what is making her sick. It is possible that she won’t make it through the night. The family brought her from far away because they had heard about the light on the hill (this is what Loma De Luz means in Spanish). It is easy to see how God uses these humble missionary doctors to bathe his people in Love at some of their most absolutely terrifying times in life. We have absolutely no idea what a blessing it is to have access to fast, professional, affordable health care in the states. To these people, Loma De Luz is an oasis in the middle of an ocean of suffering and hurt.

The weight of what God has done (and is doing) here at Loma De Luz It is starting to sink in on me now and honestly, it weighs in on me like a weight on my chest. Life here in the “campo” (country) isn’t like anything we know or have experienced. For many, I think that life is simply survival. When, in the midst of a life of survival, you get sick, it isn’t just an interruption in your day. It isn’t simply a matter of emails or meeting missed and work piling up on your desk. It is a matter of who is going to feed your family? How will the children be taken care of? How can one possibly survive a serious illness or injury here? Simply stated – many do not. But having Loma De Luz here can make all of the difference. To receive quality health care can easily make the difference here between continuing to survive, or losing the fight. The work that this hospital does is vitally important to God’s children in this area. I see that in a new light today. I’m sure that God will reveal this over and over again to me during our time here.

On to the mundane – I fought with some computers today. I won some and lost some; pretty typical. The difference is that it is harder to do the simplest things down here, because you can’t just run over to Best Buy when you discover that you need something. It is either here or it isn’t. Time to improvise. I think I was able to solve a problem with getting video off of the camcorder and into a video editing software (on a Mac no less). This will help the staff here be able to produce videos that help “tell the story” of Loma De Luz. It is a good feeling being able to help a little bit. I also helped a visiting surgeon look up an article on the web and print it out so that he can study for a surgery tomorrow. Such a little thing, but in some small way – I was able to help a little boy get relief from a “club foot” by helping the surgeon prepare for tomorrow morning. He was kind enough to make me feel like a computer genius for helping him. Such a small thing that we would all take for granted back in the states is turned into an exercise in patience and grace just simply by applying God’s love. God’s lessons hang like low, ripe fruit here – all you have to do is reach up and feast!

We finished the day off with a nice group dinner here at staff housing. We had a Spanish couple in attendance, so I got to work on my Spanish some. We definitely have more ground to cover in learning Spanish than I thought we did. We will most likely end up having to spend three months living in La Ceiba going to “Language School”. This will be four hours a day for each of us in the family (probably less for the kids) with one-on-one tutors. We won’t be fluent after that, but we’ll have the framework in place from which to gain our fluency much more rapidly.

Lastly, it is laundry and dishes. Oh, how I miss Marinajo! I love you honey. I do miss you for more than laundry and dishes – I miss your cooking too! I miss you Mariah and Benny! I’ll be home in just four days – and then the next phase in our adventure begins. God is good!