March 20, 2013

So sorry for not writing more. The CURE Hospital had been without Internet for about a week and we ran out of Internet at the hotel a few days ago but CURE internet is now back in service.

Today we made a second visit to an orphanage for children who have lost their parents and day care place for children whose parents are unable to pay for child care. When we visited last week the woman who runs it was having major surgery that day. So we prayed for her and Elba (Spiritual Life Director from CURE) drove her to the hospital. We (Leslie, Esther and I) stayed with the staff and played with the kids for a few hours.

Leslie brought an easy craft to do and the kids ate it up. She also brought some other fun things for them that turned out to be perfect. While the older kids were doing the craft a younger child climbed in the middle and began crying. After a little while I picked him up and held him. He quieted so well I decided to play grandma and let him go to sleep in my arms. We took groceries last week and it turned out that there was hardly any food left in the house.

Let me back up and explain that this is a Christian ministry and they do not have any regular income or means of support. God has been providing. When we arrived last week the kids all came up to us and hugged us and it was so good to see them receiving warmth and affection from the “Tias” (aunties) during our time there. We returned today with more groceries and for visitors from a church in Michigan to meet the staff and see the home for the possibility of a service project there when they return with groups in the summer. We saw on the walls samples of the craft the kids did last week.

Before we left, the kids who were home decided to put the puzzle together that Leslie brought last week. We learned also that the lady that runs the home is recuperating from her surgery and we were told as the rest of the staff were hanging in there. Afterward, Lenin and I went to visit CURE patients who were receiving or had received help for surgery from US donors. Our purpose was to take pictures of them now (mostly ‘after’ pictures.). We had no GPS and it felt like we covered a good part of the city to find the children’s homes. There were lots of phone calls along the way and turning around but we found the places in the end thanks to our driver, Ramon.

I’ve found the Dominican people to be such a warm people and these families were no different. It was great to see the kids doing so well too. Unfortunately, there was one exception we need to look into. The little girl had a cast on and when I asked the mom how long she’d had it, she said a long time. When I tried to get her to be more specific, she said it had been a year. It was very worn but a year’s worth? Not so sure….Maybe (hopefully) it has seemed like a year but it’s been a more reasonable amount of time. We’ll see. Elba has certainly kept me busy and helped me feel like a part. Various staff members keep asking when we’re coming back. I say “Dios sabe” (God knows) and tell them we love it here and we want to come back.

Thanks to all for your prayers. We’ve seen Him work in so may ways. It’s been a privilege to be here and see first hand once again lives that have been transformed both physically and spiritually. This place is gaining a great reputation here for quality medical care and genuine caring and nurturing of the individuals (patients and their families) who come here. What a testimony. Praise God that most of the employees see their work here as ambassadors of Christ who happen to clean, do bookkeeping, do nursing, doctoring, drive for the hospital, administrative work, etc. They’re even getting involved in morning chapel now- sharing messages, leading singing, singing songs. I return home refreshed and challenged and encouraged spiritually.