I Thought She Was Going To Die

August 22, 2012

Do you remember my beautiful friend Karina?

If you saw her today, you wouldn’t recognize her.

You see, she’s been really sick, almost to the point of death. And now she is so thin, her clothes hang off of her, her eyes are sunken in, and she’s been so weak she can barely move.

It all started the beginning of June.

Together with another neighbor, we were planning a project with Karina called, “Manos de Dios,” which means “Hands of God.” Karina was going to start an in-home daycare. Sarah had a team come and build a cute, white picket fence around her yard. I had donations ready to go, and trainings in place so she would be trained in child development and caring for children.

The plan was more than just a business for Karina to be self-sustainable. It was going to be a light house for her community, modeling the value of children to the neighborhood. It was going to be a safe place for young children while their parents were working, and a way for Karina to provide for herself and her family. Everything was in place, ready to go. The date was set. Fliers made.

And then Karina got sick.

She got Dengue fever and started losing weight rapidly. She had diarrhea and vomiting so bad she would pass out just trying to get to the bathroom.

It was so horrible.

Then she started to get better but just never fully recovered. She got weaker and weaker, thinner and thinner. To the point that two weeks ago, I was scared when I saw her because I thought she was going to die.

That’s when Sarah stepped in and took her to a private clinic. The public clinic just wasn’t doing anything for her. Sarah took her in and her sugar was so high she was about to have kidney failure. She stayed in that clinic for hours with insulin pouring into her veins, just trying to regulate her blood sugar.

Now she’s on the road to recovery. But it’s slow. She has diabetes. This is a life style adjustment. Karina has to learn a new diet and new way of living dealing with this illness. She also has temporary blindness right now related to her elevated sugar which impairs all areas of her life.

In the midst of all of this Karina has been working cleaning a hotel. It’s a hotel that rents by the hour in one of the worst spots in town. But she’s getting by, barely.

One of the things that’s hard right now is every time she needs to check her blood sugar she has to go all the way across town to the clinic. The nurses at the clinic have encouraged her to try to get her own gluco-meter in home so she can test her own sugar. But this costs about $60. Way more than she has.

“…you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” ~ James 4:2

We’re asking God for a Gluco-meter for Karina, specifically today.

We’re asking for more than just that, though. We’re asking for healing and health. For the promise of God who says He works all things together for good. We’re asking for Karina’s blood sugar to stabilize so we can move forward with the vision of “Manos de Dios.”

We’re asking for God to continue pouring His spirit on this family that they would be strengthened and sustained and a light for their community.

But today, just for today, we need a glucometer.

If you would like to give towards this or towards Manos de Dios, you can do that here:

~Thank you and God bless~!

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The Stuff of Life

August 13, 2012

Life and ministry all comes together at a Sunday morning picnic.

Normal life.

Living.

Walking to church, hearing the Word of God, sharing a meal, passing cups of juice, laughing, moms chatting under the shade of a tree while children play.

All the small moments, put together that make a life.

Community.

Smiles.

New friendships.

Relaxing.

These are the things that create a life that’s rich and full.

Building resilience, prevention and protection in a town full of risks.

In a place where so much is “abnormal” – we need normal.

We need picnics.

We need joy.

We need to be together.

“The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” Ephesians 1:23, The Message

“His love has the first and last word in everything we do.” 2 Cor. 5:14

“When the righteous see God in action they’ll laugh, they’ll sing, they’ll laugh and sing for joy.” – Psalm 68:2

“God is building a home. He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day – a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” Ephesians 2:20-22, The Message


Stoop Down and Reach Out

August 9, 2012

“Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens and so complete Christ’s law.” Gal. 6:3

I’m thinking about this verse a lot and what it really means.

As I sat this week holding Chorlin while she wept. So much pain.

As I gave Anyeli a message of love and a commitment from myself.

As I reassured Gerald how much I love him – that he’s special to me, because he was upset and needed to hear it.

Ana wanted to be sure that I loved all the kids the same and I don’t have favorites.

Breaking up fights and seeing the hurt and pain in the two boys’ eyes.

The pain these kids go through, the needs they each have is overwhelming. It’s so far beyond what I can do as just one person. Just the needs of my own four boys is beyond me. I can’t do it.

And so I worry – am I setting myself up to fail and let these kids down? Will I be able to be the friend that they need? Am I making promises I can’t keep? By getting this close will I end up just hurting them?

The bottom line question: Is this relational approach to ministry really the way we should go? Maybe we should just back up a little, not get so close, just teach a message, keep it safe?

I voiced these thoughts and fears to Scott last night. We talked about it and then we sat and reminisced about people in our lives who impacted us as children.

The teacher who believed in us, the adult who saw something special and called it out. The people we remember who helped spur us on in our development were the ones who got close enough to touch our hearts. 

It’s scary. It’s risky. It’s messy. There are no guarantees and success is hard to measure.

But focusing on relationship, spending time, pouring our lives into the children, it is what God is asking us to do. To tangibly teach, share and demonstrate his love, day in and day out, patiently, consistently, without fail, whether we’re embraced or spit on, told we’re fools or fall on our faces.

“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:7