In celebration of our upcoming 2 year anniversary, I'm going to reread and post some of those early blog posts during our arrival to Puerto Lempira...
Yes, this area is very much a third-world situation... where poverty looms large and consumes families, consumes marriages, consumes babies. Yes, there is inadequate education, inadequate nutrition... by any standard, US or otherwise.
Yes, there are some odd medical practices and there is fear about gringo ways. Yes, there are little girls having babies way before they are ready. Yes, there is every abuse that you can imagine on every level and in every type of relationship that you can imagine.
But, if my God is the God of this city, these people, then He sees something redeemable in their eyes. He sees something in them that should cause the rest of us to shout out with celebration. There are no accidents in God's economy; only inadequate human solutions; or humans who are willing to turn a blind eye.
There are days when I wish I didn't know about this place ... I promise, it is true. But I do know, for whatever reason. Because I know, I write. I just have to write some of it down. I contemplated writing a funny post about what 'I Spy' this week. But there is truly nothing funny about any of this.
A 2 year old who was so severely malnourished that he is the size of a 6 month old with white hair and oozing, painful scabs on his entire body. He may not even be alive today after his Mom ran from the hospital. She was staying here over the weekend. When the baby got worse, the Mom was forced to the hospital. She was scared and ran. I pray for God's mercy on this baby and this Mom. Or what about the new child here who was given de-worming medicine and vomited an intestinal worm up in the middle of church. Or, what about 2 new children who have lost 2 siblings to hepatitis and have 2 other siblings in the hospital right now. Preventable disease... immunizations available and yet not.
While this may sound odd to US ears and consciences, it is a common affair here. The diseases that have been all but eradicated in the US remain gigantic here... consuming all in their wake.
And so, I sit today attempting to celebrate the little things while allowing the heavy things to work their way into my soul. May I never again take a healthy child for granted. And as my wrinkles grow deeper and my hair much grayer, may I never underestimate the need for just 2 hands and 2 feet. That is all that is needed, you know. Just 2 hands.
I have no special training for this assignment; I have no knowledge of the psychology of poverty. But I work for a God who gives freely to those who ask. He is generous, He is ever-present, He is aware of my inadequacy and, most importantly, He is aware of each precious life that has to end too soon. I want to be as aware and as sensitive!