Sarai – why we are here.

It started yesterday evening about 5:00 pm as I was leaving the office here at the hospital. John Alden (the doctor on call that evening) came racing up the hill in his truck and drove around the corner to the back door of the hospital in a manner that told me something “was up”. Since my office is near the “Emergency Room” (2 beds), I could also hear some pretty strong crying coming from the windows – which are always open. I thought I would walk down to the ER and see what had just come in and see if I could lend a hand. As soon as I walked in the room I saw John standing at the head of the bed over a child who obviously had a pretty good head injury. One look from John told me that he was pretty concerned. I took up station next to the girl and started rubbing her shoulder and trying to calm her. The ten or eleven year old girl had been involved in pretty serious bike crash and had a nasty gash on the top of her head. It went almost down to the skull and was several inches in every direction. Fortunately my years as an EMT prepared me well for this type of thing and I was able to help out without passing out. As I gave her the shh,shh,shh,shh,shh that a father might give a crying child, I rubbed her arm and told her that everything was all right as best as I could in Spanish. I really felt the presence and peace of the Lord as I calmed her and she almost immediately stopped crying and closed her eyes.
Soon after, in a coincidence that can only be attributed to God, some visiting anesthetists just happened to walk by several hours after their scheduled surgeries had all been completed and were able to assist John with sedating the young girl so that he could stitch her up. After cleaning her up and stitching her up she was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation and rest. While John was working on her, I went out and sat down with the mom and prayed with her (I am just learning to pray with people in Spanish – imagine the equivalent of a baby crawling). Her mother needed so badly to know that her baby was out of danger. After consulting with John, I was able to go back out there and tell her that she was indeed out of danger. I found out that the little girl’s name was Sarai (I am probably not spelling this correctly).
The next day (today), I went to visit Sarai a couple of times. She tensed up immediately when I came up to her bed as if I knew her this morning – she did not remember me at all. So I took the curtain that was hanging around her bed and made a makeshift skirt out of it and started dancing the hula for her. Her laughter was such a blessing. Hearing children laugh when they are hurting is so beautiful.
This evening as I was leaving the office around 6pm (almost dark here) I encountered little Sarai and her mother leaving the hospital. They had convinced John to let her go home, but didn’t have a ride to their home village of Limeras (about a 20 minute drive) and the buses had stopped running for the day. I was able to give them a ride home and I know that God took me by them at just the right time to be able to pick them up.
It occurred to me, on the way home, that this is really why we are here. The computer work that I do here makes me “useful” and gives us a legitimate reason to be here – but we are here to participate in what God is doing through the work of Hospital Loma De Luz. Our little hospital makes such a big difference in the lives of people here each and every day. Many of our doctors and nurses get to be involved in stories like this every day, for me it is less frequent. I’m so thankful for this little reminder of why we are here.