Sometimes we all need assurance. Whether it be assurance that we are making a right decision, putting our trust in the right place, or that we are where we should be. Most of the time we would like this assurance to be straight forward, like a yes or no answer. But that is not usually what we get with God. When we were trying to decide if we should continue to serve in ministry at Hospital Loma de Luz we did not hear an audible yes or no. Instead God spoke to us through our experiences and scripture. That scripture, specifically, is Matthew 11:4-6 which says, “Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”.
While serving in Honduras we have experienced the blind receiving sight, skin diseases being cleansed, the lame walking and through it all, the good news proclaimed to the poor. We were able to share a few stories with some of you who we had the privilege of visiting with while in the states on our recent visa trip. What follows are the stories we shared along with updates on their conditions since we have been back at the Hospital.
Just before returning to the states for a visa trip we had a young male patient in his early 20’s come into the emergency room complaining of eye pain after something hit him in his left eye. It turned out that a small rock had been thrown up from a weed wacker he was using to cut grass, lacerating and rupturing his eye ball, and now he could not see anything out of his left eye. We quickly mobilized our surgical staff. Dr. McKenney then, with the use of microscopic lenses to work with the tiny suture, delicately stitched up the cut to the patient’s eye.
Eye surgery at our hospital.
A ruptured eye is a true medical emergency to the point that timely treatment is of great importance, but even with appropriate and quick treatment, many times patients will not regain their sight or even lose their eye. So you can imagine the excitement when the next day after surgery the patient said he could see light and make out the shape of objects, like fingers, put in front of him. You can also imagine the even greater excitement when while following up this week in terapia, the patient was able to read the fine print on our prescription pads. His sight was completely restored!
Healing eye wound with patient looking to his right to better show the wound.
A day before seeing the patient with the ruptured eye, a 15 year old girl came to our emergency room 5 days after being bitten in her right arm, near her elbow, by a poisonous snake called “barba amarilla” (translated as yellow beard). The venom of this snake is so toxic that not only does it cause local tissue necrosis and infection but is also deadly. She had been treated at another hospital with antivenom but had developed complications. When she showed up to our hospital her entire right arm was open from the palm of her hand up to just below her shoulder and she had no feeling and could not move her hand or arm
We cleaned all her wounds as best as we could and using “surgical rubber bands”, began the process of trying to get her skin to close over all of her exposed tissue. Within 4 days the upper part of her arm had closed enough to use sutures to hold her skin together and she had regained sensation to her entire arm and could move her fingers. Just this past week she came back for follow up with all her wounds completely healed and with continued sensation and movement in her hands. Not only is it a miracle that she still has her arm but that she has a functioning arm.
As far as the lame walking, we have seen many instances of God healing people who otherwise should not be able to walk or even have a leg to stand on (including the man with the mangled foot that we blogged about 2 months ago). One of those miracle patients recently had what we hope is his final surgery to not only preserve his leg but to also enable him to walk again. His story is still unfolding but already is a testament to the faithfulness of God. I will share more of his story next month but suffice it to say that the healing we have seen in his leg, despite many challenges and complications, is nothing short of God at work.
More importantly, even in the midst of the ordinary and extraordinary, the gospel is being proclaimed to the poor through words and actions. It is a privilege to serve here in Honduras. It is a work that God has called us to and has been faithful to sustain us in through our support team. Thank you for choosing to partner with us. Every prayer and donation has a significant impact on us and those who we serve. We can say to you with full confidence and assurance that the words on the Hospital’s front gate are true; Dios obra aqui, God is at work here!