Humbled by Joy

Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’  Then the tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praises all the day long.  Psalm 35:27-28

We had some new experiences today.  An unexpected task for some of the construction crew today was that the pump at the children’s home went out and needed to be fixed.  Without the pump there was no water to the home.  There were three miracles regarding this event.  First, the pump went out at a time when our team was there, and there were some team members who knew how to fix it.  Secondly, we didn’t have any big projects that needed to be finished up that morning, so there was time to fix it.  And thirdly, the pump needed to be replaced, and it just so happened that we had some money left in our budget that we had to spend, and amazingly enough, we had enough money to cover the cost of the new pump.  God works in pretty amazing ways!

For the first time in the five years that I’ve been coming on this trip, we visited the government run hospital.  Like so many other moments on this trip, our visit was an eye opener.  One of our interpreters, Marisol, works at the hospital as a nurse in the maternity ward.  Because of her, we were able to visit the maternity ward and have a mini tour of the hospital in general.  We were privileged to meet several moms that had just had babies, as early as today.  The maternity ward consisted of a room for delivery, next to an operating room, next to a recovery room.  We met a first time mom, and a mom who was there because her stiches were coming out from a C-section.  In the same recovery room were women who had had hysterectomies, as well as abortions.

Once again, as Americans who are far too privileged, it was difficult to imagine having a child in the conditions that we saw.  We wondered how they could mix new moms with women who had been through an abortion in the same recovery room.  We also saw a pediatric ward with injured and sick children, and we secretly shook our heads at the rusty beds, and the sometimes dirty sheets that we saw.  It is uncomfortable to be in such a place, realizing that that place is the best that the people of Roatan have, if they need medical help.  The equipment was old, the space was cold and uncomfortable, and yet there was gratitude and joy on the faces of the people that were there.  The staff were friendly and doing the best they could with what they had.  It was inspiring to see. Once again, the spirit of the people here always shines.

Entrance to the operating room

Entrance to the operating room

Mom and April, born that day.

Mom and April, born that day.

Sweet, sick boy. :(

Sweet, sick boy. 😦

Main hospital hallway

Main hospital hallway

Open air waiting area

Open air waiting area

After fixing the pump and visiting the hospital, we had a short visit to a new community called Mangrove Bight.  We made an initial contact with the church there and we visited 12 families with groceries and Bibles.  We also provided fluoride treatments to dozens of kids.  It was awesome to form new relationships in a community that we haven’t visited yet.  The church members that we met there were so grateful and warm.

Praying with a family and Mangrove Bight.

Praying with a family and Mangrove Bight.

As our trip is wrapping up, it’s difficult to internalize all the things that we’ve seen, the people we’ve met, the blessings that we take away from this place, and the awesome privilege it is to serve here.  There are so many moving parts to this experience and God, being the grand weaver that he is, knits it all together in a way that we never could.  It is really quite overwhelming.  There are so many special moments that we experience here and it fills my heart with so much joy!  Words can’t express how meaningful and humbling it is to be a part of what God is doing.  We thank him for using us!

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