Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,
Well, July has come and gone and much had happened here and in our personal lives as well. I know many were praying for us and asking how we were doing since the chikunguya virus episode. Almost everyone we know here has had it or someone in their house has. Even our friend Kerianne from Ocala, who paid us a visit and stayed here with us for a month , came down with it. Everyone in our family except for our daughter Maya has had it. But, we are all feeling better now and pretty much back to normal. Thank you all for the prayers and concerns.
As always, we have been praying about how to make the best use of the time the Lord has given us here and trying to remain sensitive to any changes that may need to be made in order to best honor and glorify God.
What we really want to share this month is something unexpected that has happened to us recently. Being here and working among the poor, we see a lot of kids, poor kids, with lots of needs. Many families here cannot even meet their children’s basic needs. We often go to such a place. Some of you have either been here or have seen pictures of a place we minister in called Piedra Gorda.
About three weeks ago, we were there with a visiting group. There is a mentally disabled girl there who’s name is Yeira, that sometimes comes to service on Sundays, that is around 18 or 19 years old (her mother doesn’t remember her exact age). This girl was the victim of a rape and became pregnant. She had the baby on April 4th while we were still in the states. To be honest I had heard of the baby but rarely saw it. For some reason, this day my wife went with another lady from church to see the baby. His name in Yeison, he was small and in poor condition. The baby has a condition in his neck known as torticollis which has his neck stiff and his head leaning to one side. He was skinny and we noticed his head was a little lopsided and his face by his eye and temple was a little flatter on one side than the other side, not too serious but noticeable. We believe this is from the baby being left alone laying on that side for long periods of time.
We gathered the family and spoke to them asking if we could take him for a little while to get him looked at by a doctor. The family definitely does not have the resources to get the baby the care it needs and the mother is unable to care for him because of her disability and the grandmother is sick as well. The other family members agreed to let us take the baby knowing we would do what is best for him. One of the baby’s uncles came to me and said that none of them were able to care for him and that we should keep the baby. I was shocked at first and said “let’s worry about getting him healthy first”.
Little Yeison barely weighed 10 lbs. at almost four months old when we took him to a pediatrician here. She said he was malnourished and needed vitamins and an antibiotic for an infection he had in his eyes. We have had him for three weeks now and he is gaining weight and is much more alert than when we first got him. We have been doing neck stretch exercises with him also and he is starting to get a little more flexibility in his neck, but he has a long way to go. The good news is the doctor said giving him some time, proper nourishment, and lots of love, he should be fine.
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.- Psalm 72:12-14 ESV
We don’t know what will happen to little Yeison. We don’t know if the family will want him back or want him to stay with us. We are starting to get attached to him and it would be difficult giving him back knowing the conditions of where he would be and knowing they are unable to give him the proper care and attention that he needs. But he is theirs and we would have to whenever they wanted him back. Many of the family members seem to want us to have him, but a couple of them seem unsure. But, if the Lord were to give us the opportunity to adopt him, we definitely would. Please pray for us and for baby Yeison’s situation. Pray for his mother Yeira as well, she is in a bad situation herself. May the Lord’s will be done in all of this. Pray.