I slept like the dead! I was so tired that as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out cold! The bus didn’t bother me and the first crows of the rooster only made me stir a little. I took what was my first and only bucket shower. Not a fan of the sweat box. But it was refreshing. We tried to bathe yesterday in the river, but the rain didn’t stop. Hoping we’ll be able to make a trip out there today.
I felt great after solid sleep and the feeling of being clean. At 7:30 I headed down for the daily devotional. We started off with testimonies; recapping some of the miracles I mentioned from Miracles & Healing yesterday.
Shannon’s devotional was sweet and easy to connect with if you’re a fan of the Disney move Ratatouille. She spoke about how Remy (the mouse) was able to help and lead Linguini (the garbage boy that becomes a chef) by being under his hat and directing him by moving his hair. This she compared to being led by the Holy Spirit. How with gentle (and no so gentle) shoves we are led to do the will of God. Words are not always necessary to get the message across. We are an extension of God.
At 8:00 we had breakfast inside the hall because the new village had arrived and it didn’t feel right to eat in front of them. At 9:00 work began!
We all went back to our same areas to start the day. There was this one older couple that I must tell you about. They both came in looking so serious. The gentleman was wearing his hat and I said “Hey Handsome” (in Spanish of course)! I knew his wife was right behind him and acted like I’d been caught and asked her not to be jealous! The whole room erupted in laughter. Turns out her name is Carmen like me. She was so sweet and smiled a little. After that I kept it going. “On no, I can’t sit there that’s to close; I don’t want Carmen angry with me”. The crowd laughed again. When it was their turn I tucked Carmen’s hand in my elbow and shimmied with her to see the doctor; again asking her husband to keep his distance. Didn’t want a jealous wife on my hands! They both laughed… Out loud! Finally! After they came out of the room I lead them to the Ministry Tent. When they were done they came up to me and gave me the biggest, warmest, and best hugs! It was the best feeling! I’d made a day when they were nervous and likely uncomfortable a little more bearable. They walked out lighter on foot and helping each other. I can’t get across how much their smiles meant to me.
While we were working in the clinic a group of ladies came in carrying a tea made from cocoa and oatmeal. It doesn’t sound very good, but it was delicious. Not only that, they brought shortbread cookies for everyone! It was very humbling after recalling Caleb’s message to see this kind of generosity from the community that by our 1st world standards would be considered poor. I tell you they are not! They are richer than anyone I know. They love the Lord, and they live by the bible! They look out for each other, and each other’s children. They laugh easily (might be because I’m pretty funny), and give abundantly! I couldn’t remember the book and verse immediately, but I shared my thoughts with Stephan and we found it together.
I spoke about the reading that Caleb had done earlier in the week.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4
The Collection for the Lord’s People
8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
Maria R. told me about a consult she did with Daniela. She said “Daniela Blew My Mind”! I asked her for more details. What it came down to what that the woman had pains and no one had been able to help her. Daniela asked her…”Do you have Jesus in your heart”? The woman said no. She then explained to her that as doctors they were limited, but that Jesus wasn’t/isn’t. She asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. The woman said yes and both Maria and Daniela prayed for her and for her healing. The woman wept, and wept. She ultimately did accept Jesus and gladly went into the ministry tent.
After a bit, the dental assistants needed their break. Maria F. volunteered to cover for me so that I could go into the dentistry area and give Karla and Alesha a hand. I held the tray for the first extraction, but I couldn’t see very well. Alesha said if I really wanted a good view I needed to hold the light. So after the first patient was done we traded spots! The next patient was a young boy. He was so proud and fearless. I kept asking him if he was ok. I think he did better than me! I watched as he barely moved a muscle, staying very still. The tooth was breaking into pieces and Karla had to keep digging. At this point she’d already done more than 50 extractions in a day and a half! She was incredible. When the boy was done he left looking just as solemn. I saw that boy every night at service. Every time I saw him he was smiling and playing. When I had my teeth pulled I was out of commission for a week! I was taking the pain killers as prescribed and this 7 year old was outside playing and worshiping God the very next day! Put that into perceptive!I watched a couple more extractions and then returned to my post. I can now understand why doctors and dentists talk around you when you’re in there. It becomes very routine to them after doing the same thing day in and day out. We were able to laugh with some of the patients before and after their extractions. Making them laugh during would have been in poor taste.
Hannah helped out in the triage today. She was fantastic and very efficient. I think she took some of the locals by surprise when she was the one to greet them. But they just smiled and did as she asked them to.The rest of the day was whirlwind of patients in and out. The guys disappeared for a bit to go see Pastor’s new house and help Chi do some work.
At 5:00 pm we called it quits and I had to force Karla to not take any more patients. She would finish with them the next day. She was at roughly 70 by then and her lower back and arms were becoming painful. We did have one scare with a baby that had scabies. It was the first baby that hadn’t cried when being held and both Shannon and Maria had carried him. Shannon had to run upstairs and change clothes, Maria F cleaned herself with Lysol wipes. But he was just so cute! Poor little guy. We prayed about it. And by the end of the week, no one saw any signs of the very contagious problem.
Don said the weather looked good to go to the river and we all jumped at the idea. We changed into bathing suits, grabbed out towels and shower necessities and loaded into the truck to head out. He’d found a better spot to take us to and we were excited! It was beautiful! The water was FREEZING! I just walked in quickly and didn’t give my body the chance to go into shock until I was submerged. Soon after everyone got over the cold and we were loving it! We had to be mindful of the current. If we went too far out we would be white water rafting with no raft!
We could only stay for an hour as Jon and the Marias had to go to another church to pastor. We headed back, changed, got ice cream and bread and then the group was split up. I couldn’t go with them since Maria R. and I were the only two that spoke Spanish in our group. We couldn’t both leave or those that stayed wouldn’t be able to communicate with the locals. Maria was going to translate for Jon during his service. I didn’t think I was going to have to do so since Don was supposed to be delivering the message. As it turns out Jesus spoke that night and he is very fast. I think I got at least half the message translated to our group. Sorry guys! Thankfully the message was mostly on David and Goliath. The same message as one of Shannon’s lessons for the week for kid’s church.
The team that went to Paso Escalera came back pretty late but they were pumped! They could wait to share with us what had happened. Apparently Jon preached on the Joy of the Lord. Jesus is not sad or weak. He is life and love. He told the people to stand up and walk. One mad didn’t want to stand. He had hurt his leg. Jon stopped the service right there to pray for the healing of his leg! Jon told him to stand and the entire church stand to see as well. The entire service changed after that. The people’s faces changed too. There was joy in the Lord and the lost some of the reserve and shyness they had. At the end of the service the man threw his crutches away and said “Jesus is Alive”! Praise God he was healed!
The energy was contagious and it took us all some time to get to sleep. Maria Elena leaves back to Tuxtepec tomorrow to do a women’s conference so we’re going to be another translator down. Oh vey!Thanks for reading this far with me. There is still more to come. I really can’t seem to condense what’s left into one post. So stay with me. It doesn’t get any less exciting!
Here’s some pictures of Kid’s church from today. Shannon is going to have to help me with captions. It looks like lots of fun, but I have no idea what is going on!