“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 ASV
Today, we truly had the opportunity to see the power of God work through the team and return to Him in glory. A young man named Juan came to the wheelchair clinic with his mother. He's 21 years old with physical and intellectual disabilities. When Pastor Donald prayed over Juan, his mother lit up and asked if Donald was a Christian pastor. She went on to explain she had taken Juan to 13 different churches, hoping for him to be baptized. Every church turned him away, saying he didn't need to be baptized because of his intellect level and innocence. Pastor Donald talked to Juan's mother about her own walk with God and her intent to continue to raise Juan in the faith. He then gathered Juan's occupational therapist, interpreter, and anyone on the team who had a spare moment into the chapel. Juan was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ early this afternoon. Pastor Donald read a passage from Psalms 139 and emphasized Juan's value in the eyes of his Creator. We welcomed Juan into the Christ's Church with joy and thanksgiving.
“Even the darkness hideth not from thee, But the night shineth as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: When I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalms 139:12-18 ASV
Meanwhile, in a hernia repair surgery, Dr. Ben Brown discovered a complication. In a previous surgery, the patient's intestine had been unintentionally stitched to the abdominal muscles. Fortunately, Dr. Brown's initial incision missed the misplaced intestine by about five millimeters. Additionally, since the previous surgery happened only about two years ago, Dr. Brown was able to fix this issue, along with the hernia, before it created major problems for the patient. In the pre-op room, another patient thanked her nurse, Lindsy, explaining with tears in her eyes how difficult it can be to receive medical services in Guatemala. On the other side of the hospital, a 28-year-old named Jeremiah returned to us with a Faith In Practice wheelchair he had worn out from using it so much in the last three years. His parents, Geronimo and Esperanza, left home with him at 5am. Geronimo prayed and prayed they would arrive in time and Faith In Practice would be able to supply Jeremiah with a new wheelchair. Because of a brain injury he sustained at birth, Jeremiah is unable to sit up without the help of a chair. Megan and Robert worked to modify a new wheelchair so Jeremiah can continue to sit up and move around for years to come. As we reach the halfway mark of our time in Retalhuleu, I'm continually amazed by the hope, faith, and joy of our patients and team. I pray we continue to be God's hands and feet and that He work through us to heal bodies, minds, and souls.