Luchando – this is one word that I use often. There are some words that don’t smoothly translate to English. This is one of those words. It means to fight, even when the fight is against yourself or more than you bargained for.
Our San Pablo students have begun their practicals on the weekends. This means that most of our students are working 8 hours a day at a job to pay for school, attending classes from 5:30-8:30 Monday through Friday and then leaving on Friday after class for a normally 2.5 hour bus ride to Quiche where they are working for their clinical – two 12 hour shifts. That means for five weeks straight they have continued this pattern without one day of rest. This is a lucha! Add to that the road conditions. This last week the students left the school at approximately 3:00 and encountered a road of mud along the way. Each time the bus got stuck, they unloaded the bus, the girls walked up the slippery slope on foot, and the guys put rocks and wood in the road to make is strong enough for the bus to pass. And then they pushed the bus through the mud. Needless to say, everyone needed a bath when they arrived 6 hours later. If the students did not have a lucha within them, I am sure they would not have boarded that bus!
The bus they boarded in the afternoon.
The road they encountered in the first part of their trip.
Surprisingly though, the clinics have rejuvenated the students as they get to experience first hand what it will be like to be a nurse. They have come back with stories about their patients – from crying over a patient that had lost so much weight they were about to die. Pushing old people in wheelchairs and bathing patients. And even greater stories of praying with patients and relying on God as they learn medicine. This of course is our greatest desire for these students… that they understand and trust God as the ultimate healer. One student told me a story this week about her patient – a mentally ill woman who is/ was married to a doctor – and now cannot even feed or bathe herself. On her charts, the diagnosis was “abandoned”. I wonder how many more stories there are of the same level. Our student told us that all she could do is to pray for her and hope that she can place her hope in Jesus.
We are mid-semester with these students and praying about a future. Do we open registration for a new class to enter? To we wait a year? Do we open a new type of class? Do we continue with what we have and grow it? We have begun to have students coming by from surrounding villages to begin the registration process – each wanting to continue their own lucha for hope for a future. And so we continue to lay it before God. We continue to watch what God is doing. And we continue on with our own lucha here, as servants towards what only God can do.