Let us get right to it, shall we? I mean, I am too busy to take time for chit chat after all right? Hmmm, it might make more sense to cut to the chase in this forum, but I saw several people today, some planned, some not...and how did I treat those interactions? Did I stop, slow down, take some time to talk and just hang....even if we are talking for one minute? Or did I sash and dash with a few kind words and off running in another direction. We do not confess enough to each other, so allow me to take this little time to say...I often get so caught up in the hustle, I bustle too much and fail to take those oh-so-important moments to their full potential.
We went to San Felipe today. It strikes me that this nicer of the two big public hospitals here is far much easier to get into and around. Sometimes it can be easier emotionally there, sometimes more difficult. Generally the patients are not as far gone....generally. Here are two boys we visited and prayed with in one of the wards (one aspect of ministry where no one has accused me of dashing too fast)....where there were thankfully only three total patients. These two boys had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (affects the nervous system...they used to be able to walk...and with proper treatment will be able to again, but not for quite some time, each has been dealing with this for at least 4-6 months.) They were upbeat, and played back with us very well. Notice I said there were three patients, but only two boys here (actually, three more were out in surgery), the other being a 12 year old girl. She was very somber, but could be coaxed into a brief smile through tickling or threatening of me dancing, but did not really want to talk. She has been there for months...the doctors have yet to come to a conclusion what is wrong with her.
Stop dashing....this employee of the hospital followed us around the halls, and finally came up to ask for prayer for her as well. I came out of our room with a TB patient (no masks for mom or anyone? Hmmm) to see them praying and got this picture...I did not hear what was going on in her life. We also prayed for a very nice little boy, Daniel, who had been going to a bilingual school and could count to 100 in English and knew his colors. His mom was very nice and had a very beautiful smile, even as she told us of his problems, and need to cut out part of his lungs. We prayed...and I looked up to see the women in the group quickly moving to Mom...she was overcome with emotion, for several minutes, during which I tried to play with Daniel.
What could I say to her? What did I say to a friend this week who struggled with justice in the world? God has a plan...if we believe the Bible, we know that. Sometimes that plan is out of our field of comprehension or vision, but we know it is there....and sometimes that is the only thing other than comfort of the Holy Spirit that can give us peace in those circumstances....like bathing your little five year old boy...knowing that he will be soon undergoing invasive surgery, cutting out part of his body, in a hospital where infections, complications, and mistakes are not exactly rare. Wow. What do people do who do not have prayer? Not just then...but every moment of every day? This may sound odd to some of you...but I can praise God right then and there in that seemingly crappy situation...I have been given the gift, the privilege and responsibility to pray...and James tells us that if done right, it has power to make stuff happen.
I went right from there to run over to try to finish the arduous (but nonetheless praiseworthy...at least this means we have the ability to have such opportunities!) process of getting the license plates for the Land Cruisers, which I can happily report that after another three and a half hours of waiting, copying, etc....is done.
After all that, I was stuck on that side of town...too late to go help get the group, so I did some homework...like finding out at the Sony authorized repair shop that it would cost more than the camera is worth for us to fix it (at least $180)....and see this bizarre little display of one woman using a camera...albeit on the move with her windswept hair, and the other apparently admiring her reflection in the LCD screen....since the camera is clearly not turned on. Hmmm, you would think I waited there three hours as well to have noticed all that, but it was actually much less. Go figure.
I also priced tires for the Land Cruisers....none of the tires looks confidence inspiring, and with going to Sampedrana and Oscar preparing for Panama, it got us thinking....more so since Pricesmart has a promotion, buy three get the forth free. I think we are going to take the preventative measure of getting tires for them all (Oscar and me personally, the mission for Sampedrana) although I am not exactly sure how I am going to pay for it yet.
And finally...I ask you, blog reading person that you are....is this a relatively good price for pickles given our location? I have it in my head that pickles are dirt cheap in the US...but can not really remember. This is the hu-mong-ous jar found in the industrial supply area of grocery stores in the US, retailing here for $6.87. As a family (ok...really just Cecilia, Soren and myself...or is that me....or I? I think I now that I read the sentence....feel free to opine on that as well) we really like pickles, but is this a relatively close price to what it is in the US? If not, I think I can wait another seven months.