As I look back to the previous blog posts, there’s a theme: brokenness and grief. And here I am again, thinking about the broken healthcare system, the fact that it seems “not fair” that not everyone has the same access to healthcare or to quality healthcare. How the brokenness and hurt in this world is never ending. It’s as if everywhere you look, it just continues to get worse. More families who need help, sicker and sicker patients, malnutrition becoming more of a problem instead of improving.
Recently, we have been doing more house calls. I love house calls. But honestly, it’s like a love-hate relationship at times. House calls means they are REALLY sick. We want to do whatever we can to help. However, that requires extra money above and beyond the budget to pay for transportation to and from a clinic that can do labs, ultrasounds, ct scans, etc, money to pay for all the exams that they need done, consults with specialists, and treatment options that usually aren’t cheap by any means. I miss the days where I could help the sickest of the sickest and not be thinking about the cost, how we’re going to get the supplies, where do we draw the line, saying that we can help in this scenario, but not that one because the cost is too great and we need to be helping the greater number of people. Every life is precious. Every life counts. When do we say yes and when do we say no?
There seems to be a trickle down effect with house calls. More and more people are hearing about our ministry and are asking for help. We have been receiving messages about some really sick patients. It’s hard trying to decipher what our part is with each patient! One was a 24 year old with a severe rash all over her body, was now unconscious and the family didn’t know what to do. It looked like end-stage lupus. We were 7 hours away from this family at the time, and they are 2 hours away from the closest hospital. Because of liability, we couldn’t go and take her to the hospital as it seemed as though she would probably die soon and we couldn’t risk losing her in our car. There’s no ambulances that could go get her. The family didn’t have any money to pay for a hospital bill either. From the looks of it, all the family could do was keep her comfortable. A few days later, we heard that she passed away.
It’s ultimately all in God’s hands. We are His instruments. Peter and I (Donna) try to approach this matter by praying about how God is leading us to help these patients. Others have told us that we can’t be everyone’s “yes.” God may be calling us to be there to pray with them, to pray for healing, to pray for the provision to be able to see the specialist that they need to see; but it may not be us being the ones to take them there. God may be calling us to jump in with both feet and not looking back to pay for whatever treatment they need. Or He may be calling us to do something in between the two extremes. Many times, the decision as to how far we are going to go with a patient has to be made in a split second. That’s a hard call to make. I tend to second guess my decision. I want to help them. But, I don’t want to get their hopes up that we will try to do something and then the money isn’t there for us to make that happen. It’s easy to make the decision when the money is already in the bank account and I know we can pay for it (as everything is to be paid up front). It’s much more difficult when there’s a lot of unknowns about the case and the cost of everything and the money isn’t available yet.
I was just in the states, visiting family and friends, and speaking at some churches about our ministry. The fact that I was able to get to the states was a miracle. We didn’t have the funds for me to buy a plane ticket and spend all that extra gas, driving from one side of the state to the other. But our “village” (aka you all), pulled through big time and every penny of gas and my plane ticket was paid for. At the first church, the sermon was called, God’s Provision. We sang songs that had been on my heart as I wrestled prior to getting to the states about how in the world we would make through the month with all of the expenses. The pastor mentioned how God will provide. He will use others to get us through. We’re not alone. We have this community that God has allowed us to be a part of. God will walk side by side with us every step of the way. We just need to be willing to speak up about needing help and God will provide. At the second church, the sermon was about anxiety and worry. How we need to lay it at Jesus’ feet. He’s got us. He feeds and cares for every living thing, so of course He’s got us too! We see others being blessed, healed, having a breakthrough. Yet when it comes to us, we tend to think it’s not going to happen. Like we don’t want to get our hopes up and instead feel disappointed.
I needed to hear these messages. I needed that reminder that it’s all in God’s hands, that He will provide for our needs and for this ministry. How He chooses to heal people is not up to us. If He chooses to use us to get the treatment that these patients need or chooses to heal them in heaven is up to Him. I think that something that makes it a bit harder for me is that I’ve worked in healthcare in the states. I have seen patients taken care of with high quality technology, medications, and with well trained healthcare workers. Meanwhile, here in Guatemala, we’ve had to watch patients pass away, all while deep down knowing they would have had a shot at living if they would have had the same healthcare that is provided in the states. But, they aren’t in the states. They are here, deep in the jungle, along a river. He knows the big picture. We only see a small glimpse of it. If He calls us to help in a way that requires money, He will provide it. He will touch hearts to give that will greatly impact these patients.
As I sit here in tears, I ask you to pray about this current patient who we feel led to help. A 7 year old girl, who has been sick for the last 4 years with a swollen face, abdomen, legs and feet. Has been battling worms and intestinal infections, a protruding rectum when she has a bowel movement, severely anemic, short of breath, and is the size of a 4 year old. She has 7 other siblings and the mom is pregnant with child #9. The family lives deep in the jungle, only accessible by foot, and lives in a one room house, sleeping on wood planks. They have been praying for years that someone would come help their little girl before she dies. Then, from word of mouth, we showed up one day to their door. The family was so incredibly grateful and want what’s best for their little girl. But they don’t have the resources. They are working hard to make ends meet and have enough for some food each day. We need $1,500 to pay for everything needed to find out what is wrong with this girl.. That will cover all the tests and exams needed for this girl and all of the transportation needs to make this happen. Would you consider being a part of this girl’s story? We understand money is tight for almost everyone right now with the rising prices of everything. Every little bit adds up and makes a huge impact for this little girl! We are so incredibly grateful for each one of you! Anyone feeling led to donate, can do so on the home page or on the donate tab of this website. Thank you!