As usual, there are other prayer requests from clinic at Aselsi today, although all in all, the day was pretty calm. The most striking are two babies who are struggling to maintain and/or gain weight. One is because his mother keeps feeding him "agua caliente" (hot water) in his bottle instead of straight breastfeeding! He is less than 2 months old, and she keeps giving him water because breastfeeding doesn't make him go to sleep right away-- so she figures he must not be full. The biggest problem with that is that when you do not use bleach to clean your bottles or do not boil your water thoroughtly, you end up giving your 6-week old baby an amebic diarrhea! This is the kind of thing that young babies die from here, and would be almost completely preventable if mom would stick to just breastfeeding.
Our translators did a wonderful job explaining to mom in great detail what she needs to do to keep her baby healthier. We have a bad feeling, though, that she was sitting there thinking something along the lines of, "What do these gringos know about feeding my baby properly?! I've already done this 8 other times!" But at least 3 of her other children have ended up in the milk/nutrition program because of malnutrition... So please pray that God will transcend cultural and language barriers to save the life and health of this child.
We also saw a kid who was both in March with an imperforate anus and needs surgery. He got a colostomy done as a newborn to avoid the immediate danger of not being able to pass his bowel movements, but obviously a corrective surgery is much needed, along with an eventual reversal of the colostomy. The family has taken him down to the National Hospital in Guatemala City TWICE already, and both times been told to come back sometime later, because the doctor would not be coming in that day. Can you imagine how frustrating that would be? It is not cheap or convenient for this family to travel to The City, either... It's not like they just hop in the family mini-van and go! Please pray that we are able to help find them the help that they need.
Also please pray for two patients who did not show up for their scheduled appointments today. Pablo Torres is in his 70's (at least) and has suffered a stroke some time back leaving him unable to walk unassisted. We have been helping with his blood pressure to prevent a repeat stroke, but are worried that something has happened to make him miss his appointment today. (His sons and daughters are usually very faithful about bringing him in)
Another lady who missed her scheduled appointment today is Encarnacion Suar-- She is the lady who has the basketball-sized (at least!) tumor in her pelvis, along with an umbilical hernia. She would have been a great candidate for a surgery by the team from Woman's Hospital in Houston that is coming down in two weeks, but it appears that she has decided against surgery. This tumor will likely eventually cause a blockage of her intestines and kill her unless we can prayerfully intervene effectively!
Tonight Carrie should get here from Houston to start preparing for the teams that are coming in this summer. The first group comes in on Saturday, and kicks off three weeks straight of teams in the house. Wish us patience, efficient cooking and cleaning skills, and lots of love for these people who are giving of their time and money to come down and serve the people of Guatemala on a short-term basis. Prayer is always in order for the effectiveness and spiritual growth of these teams as well.
Tomorrow Heidi is at Buen Samaritano, and Matt and Carrie will be busy around the house. The weekend will find us back at the Fickers...