Our ministries vision is to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ through building relationships with people. But what happens when we see physical needs with those that we have built that relationship? How do we meet those needs without it taking away from sharing the gospel? We say that we do not believe in handouts but instead want to empower the people here. But when those ministry beliefs meet real life then the struggle is real. Let me explain…
Felipe is an older man that Shannon visits with regularly. He had an accident when he was younger and is now paralyzed. To put this in perspective, wheel chairs are not available, nor realistic for use here. Neither are indoor bathtubs/ showers/ toilets or any other mobility aid. All are unavailable. This means that all of his health care is provided by his wife and daughter without modern medical care or basic sanitation. His family takes care of him as best they can but are unable to care for him to the extent he needs. After Shannon visited him yesterday, Shannon said that Felipe’s leg was covered in a large bedsore that covered most of his thigh. Thankfully, we have a doctor visiting us from Tegucigalpa. She is making a house call even as I am writing this. She will determine whether she can help him at his house or whether he needs to be transported to the hospital. Either way, I am confident that for the moment, he will be taken care of… and then there will be next time.
Our heart and minds are consistently burdened for the Filipe’s of Honduras. Unfortunately, he is not the exception. It is so hard to know when to step in and help medically even though this is not our main calling here. There are so many who desperately need help and we cannot help them all. From a practical standpoint, medical care requires a great portion of our limited funds and emotional energy. But how do we look into the eyes of a colleague and say that we cannot give them the money needed for life saving medical treatment that will keep her child from becoming an orphan? Or not help a child with a cleft pallet so pronounced that she can’t gain weight? Or give up trying to find the solution to a rare skin disease of a 15 year old boy whose parents don’t’ understand how to help him? Do we abandon the vision for these things? No, because in all that we do, whether it is medically or just drinking coffee with a friend, we are sharing the good news of our Lord for the “Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us, because the Lord as appointed us to proclaim the good news to poor (Isaiah 61:1).” From Christ example we know this takes multiple forms from healing the sick, to feeding the multitudes, to preaching to the crowds, to mentoring a few.
Please pray, as we follow Christ example, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, will give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him and in whom to help medically. (Ephesians 1:17)
The pictures are of Filipe before the accident, one of the bedsores larger than my hand, and the doctor and her assistant getting ready to clean the wounds.