Anyone who has ever been to Guatemala with me or even knows much about me knows how much I love visiting the Ficker family (and extended "family" of friends and co-workers in The Gospel) in Canillá! This trip is pretty cool since I am out here the whole time, although a little disappointing to not be operating.
When we planned this trip late last year, we knew that there was a pretty slight chance (kinda like a snowball's, if you know what I mean...) that the ORs here at the new hospital would be open for business... but honestly, we are super excited and in awe of all of the work that God has done so far here at the hospital! The ORs have floors, finished walls, ceilings, and overhead OR lights-- and the second story over them is nearly finished as well! So now it is time to start sorting through the "piles" of surgical equipment that has been sent-- to organize it and figure out what we might still need.
Luckily, I'll have several other physicians/surgeons to share that responsibility with next week, and I'm looking so forward to it! Everyone who knows a surgeon knows we love to play with surgical tools, so it should be plenty of fun. And I fully expect that we will be continually awed by the completeness and quality of what God has sent for the hospital before the doors even open...
And speaking of opening the doors, WE HAD OUR FIRST INPATIENT THIS WEEK! The grandson of one of the long-time workers here came in with pneumonia on Wednesday with pretty horrible breathing and oxygen levels. We were blessed that the family agreed to stay here at the hospital, and Leslie stayed with him most of the night watching his oxygen levels, adjusting his medications, and watching God heal him. Then Dr. Jack from Docs For Hope took the night shift last night, and today he was ready to go home! It just so happened that today was also his third birthday, so you can imagine what a fun party we had-- all the hospital medical providers and many spouses, all the translators, plus the child Isaias (Isaiah)'s family.
So we literally got to celebrate his birthday with cupcakes for him and his family (thanks to Naomi!), a couple of gifts grabbed quickly from town this morning, the singing of "happy birthday", and getting dad to help him blow out his candle since he is just recently off of oxygen ;-) I'll try to post pictures tomorrow or to Facebook-- or you can see Dr. Luis's post that I shared there also.
God continues to amaze with His provision and love for us all, despite a very challenging year for many of the boots on the ground here as well as Matt and I. From illnesses to closing down projects that were begun and deeply poured in to, to losing family members and the supporting doctors committed to the hospital losing practice partners, and from weather woes (too little rain again) to attempts at extortion from the government to injured workers and livestock... God is still in control and shows it in mighty ways as we continue to trust.
Please pray that those encouragements continue to be noticed and cherished by all of us~ and medically, please pray for Martina and her family. She has 4 children, a loving spouse, and now a 14 week pregnancy with a placenta previa. That's usually not an issue at 14 weeks, but we diagnosed it because she had some bleeding today! For the non-medicals out there, basically she is at high risk for blood loss (that could even be fatal quickly!), preterm delivery (with unlikely baby survival here, generally...), and hysterectomy. We counseled her extensively then prayed with the family (they are in an evangelical church family here) and will continue to do so.
Again, I'll try to be near my phone cord tomorrow to post some pics, but until then~ good night and God bless you all!