Today I spent the morning with Isabel from San Antonio. We sat in the clinic waiting for an ultrasound. This seems to be my norm these days, waiting in clinics. I ask God all the time in my prayers to use me as he sees fit. I guess that this is one of the ways because recently I have a heart ache for the women in San Antonio and especially their health. I have read and been told many times that if we starting taking people to the clinic or buying prescriptions for them, that we will have a line up out of the front door. I have taken that into consideration and decided that I don’t care. All I can think about is what if I was in that situation? If I knew that I couldn’t afford the medicine that was needed to make my child healthy or if I couldn’t afford to see what was wrong with me, so I just had to live with it? There is a free hospital here, but it takes 3 months to get an appointment and then even when you do, you have to pay for your prescriptions which are usually quite expensive. We have found a fabulous clinic here with an Ultra Sound Technician, a lab, a paediatrics doctor and an English speaking adult doctor. They have been very kind to us and are even going to help us out when we host our own clinic in San Antonio on Saturday. It costs money to get a consultation, but they give as much as the medicine for free that they can.
Anyway, back to Isabel. She thought she was pregnant because her period stopped and her tummy was getting bigger. After a few months though, her tummy just stayed the same size and remained soft. She went to a doctor and he told her that if there was a baby in there, it was not alive, and she needed an Ultra Sound. Yesterday we went to visit her and we were with Tomasita, the area Director, and I overheard Isabel telling her this, but that she couldn’t afford an Ultrasound. Thinking again about what it would be like to be in that position, I offered to take her today to find out. This morning at breakfast I asked Stuart, “what do I do if it is bad news?” Usually I am not very good at handling that kind of thing. He said to take one step at a time and go to the hospital if we need to. I was thinking more along the lines of how to handle it emotionally, but oh well, guys don’t understand that kind of thing J!
So she had the ultrasound and we found out that she has a large cyst in her stomach. At first I thought she was going to be upset because she was so excited when she thought she was pregnant. I said I was sorry, but then she said, “No, this is a good thing because it is reversible and I will be able to get pregnant again!” So we went to the hospital and made her an appointment with a doctor to start the treatment to shrink the cyst. While waiting it also gave me the opportunity to chat with Isabel. A few months ago I found out that she used to work with an industrial sewing machine. Since I have been trying to start up this sewing machine project using local people, I thought she would be a great person to ask help teach. Yesterday I asked her if she would and she said no because she didn’t think the other people here would listen to her, she says that there are other people more qualified. Today I shared with her that I think the Lord has big plans for her and that he uses people just like her to do His work. God you are good!!
This brings me to house #2 Christina and Carlos
Using the screws that Kade and Winnie’s school purchased (Escuela Canyon Meadows), by collecting recyclables, we put together another house. Each of the kids helped, by screwing the hinges to the doors and windows. At first it seemed odd that we were building a house for a couple with no kids, but then we dug deeper to get Christina’s story and it became clear. Christina 25 and Carlos 28 lived with their mother in a little lean-to shack built beside the house of her mom. Carlos works in a factory hauling bags of sugar cane. They had a child 3 years ago, but two years ago he choked and died. She has been trying to have another child since then and is unable to. It is time like that when I hear these stories that I feel so blessed to be born in Canada. I also can’t help but think what I would do in that situation? Would the St John’s ambulance training would come in handy, or would I just freeze with fear? Christina is so ecstatic to have a house to call her own. She is taking great pride in keeping it up and I think that Tomisita is training her to take over her “job” as Director because every time we come to visit, she always yells at her , “Christina, let’s go!!” (In Spanish of course)
|Stuart & Trent with Tomasita|
Also Christina lives in a different part of San Antonio then the other families we have been building for. Usually it is Stuart and Trent, our 4-man local crew, and maybe if we are lucky a couple of other men. At Christina’s house, there were about 15 young men that came out to help. It was amazing to see the community come together and help each other. This week we are building in that area again, and about 20 men showed up to help. I really hope that this pattern continues so that even when we are gone, we can send money for a house and know that it will be built by a community together with the 4 fantastic men that are part of our crew.
Speaking of which, we are getting a little low on our funds for projects and would like to keep our crew employed building two houses a week. If you find it in your heart to help us and the community we are working in out, PLEASE click on the "Donate Here" button on the side of this webpage and specify PROJECTS when donating. A house costs $2700 to build and every little bit counts. Thank you so much for your support emotionally, spiritually and financially.
*a special thank you to Kerrie for taking most of the pictures and a special hello to all of Laura Martin's co-workers. We appreciate you keeping up with our lives!!