In clinic it seems that it’s always the last patients who are the most needy. As I began to talk to the last family I had today I knew right away from watching the baby that something was wrong. Nicolasa was really 13 months old yet she looked so frail and lethargic. At first this is a sign of a high fever or respiratory infection, but neither option was true. When I realized that the baby was blind, I knew there was more to the story. The dad told me that they had come all the way from an aldea in Zalcualpa, at least a five hour walk because they had been told that we could provide care for this kind of problem. Their daughter had had a high fever and they took her to the government clinic closest to their village, there they were told that they needed to take her to the hospital in Quiche. She spent 50 total days in the hospital, 30 in intensive care. Yet when asked what her diagnosis was, the father said that there were so many people there and it was so overcrowded, that every time they would ask what was wrong, he never got an answer. Eventually they released her, but they had few answers and even less idea of what to do for her. And so they came to us with the hope that we could heal.
She was being fed sugar water from the smallest bottle I had ever seen along with coffee and a little mashed oatmeal as the only nutrients sustaining her life. As we explained the truth to them, that we trust Jesus to heal and do miracles, and that we could do little for her physically it was an encouragement to hear him say that others in his church were praying for the family as well. This story is common in our area as high fevers and other infections cause brain damage as well as hearing or vision loss. As they left they thanked us for the answers that they received and the understanding they had of what has caused the difference in their daughter. To a father he noticed that his daughter is now unable to nurse from her mother and cries a lot, but to us we understand it is much greater than this. This child will suffer for the rest of her life if not for a miracle. And so we continue to trust that we are used as vessels for Jesus to still do miracles, to still heal, and to still provide hope for those who suffer. We say, “break our heart for what breaks yours”…. and to hold a child clinging for life and struggling with each breath really brings reality closer to home. Our hearts are broken for the things of this world.