My dad always told me that if I didn't answer him with "Yes Sir" or "No Sir", it meant "NO". Sometimes, you think you are doing all you can do and God asks you to do something different or special and I don't know about you, but sometimes I whine about why I can't or shouldn't and then, I don't say "yes"and I don't say 'no'. Many times when I tell the Lord that I have a lot on my plate, He gently reminds me that He is the one who put it on the plate in the first place to give me an opportunity to serve whatever He has placed there.
Being a missionary, you get into the realm sometimes of thinking that you are doing over and above what you should be doing, or doing more than anyone else, which is really just a religious spirit, because although we don't have to do everything, we can do all things the scriptures tell us, through Christ who strengthens us.
I was checking my facebook a few weeks ago and a message came up from a Facebook page called Honduras Missionaries and then disappeared. What I could read of it was that there was a special needs girl, who was 6 months pregnant, and was 17. I went to respond and couldn't find it and so I figured, "Must not be for me". But God kept wheeling that invisible message around in my head. I finally wrote the Facebook Page and asked if anyone wrote to me about a circumstance with a 17 year old. I got an immediate response. She told me the situation. The missionary told me that she would take her except that she had a house hold full of boys, so she was hesitant. I agreed with her and told her we would try.
The girl lived a little more than two hours away and so Rosa and I went to see her and her family. We picked up the missionary who knew her and arrived at her house. The door to the home was open. It was a dwelling with old rusty metal laminate, dirt floors and feed bags of old clothes stack up against the wall they used to keep the wind and rain out. The father was gathering firewood, which he sells for a living when we arrived. Mom does odd jobs and she wasn't at home either and so the girl we will call Wanda, was left alone a lot of the time. ]The main problem was that Wanda has epilepsy. Our new missionary friend couldn't figure why the door was open. She knew the family must be close or they would have locked the door. Finally, Wanda just appeared out of nowhere. She was very disoriented and had what looked to be a green heart drawn on her cheek. The missionary kept saying she wasn't herself and that normally she is very sweet and not non-verbal. When she started talking we realized by looking at the dirt all over her clothes, that she had a convulsion right before we arrived. She told us later, that she actually had two convulsions that morning. The green heart on her cheek was a leaf from a plant that looked like a heart that she had fallen on during the convulsion and it had stuck to her cheek. All through this situation, I was speaking to myself, that this may be a lot bigger case than I need to handle. I felt like the Lord said, "Really? What is your criteria?" Since I don't say those kind of things to myself, I figured I needed to pursue the matter. But I didn't say, "Yes, Lord".
We told the missionary we would be back in two days and pick up Wanda and get her to a doctor, so she could get some type of medical care hopefully get her on a medication to prevent seizures nd to check on her baby. The missionary and her son went with all of us in our mini van to go back up to our mission. The plan was to get the parents to sign that we had her temporarily to get her some medical help. We then would get her settled in our mission and the missionary could see where she would be and let the Wanda's folks at home know that she was okay, We only got to the first part of the plan. We drove back home to the hospital in La Esperanza and the doctors ended up saying that she had to go to Tegucigalpa at about 5:00 pm and they would carry her in an small Toyota ambulance. They said because she was under age she had to have someone go with her. I guessed that would be me. Even though I tried to think of tons of reasons why I shouldn't be the one to go, I knew that she now was my responsibility. So I went home, signed the workers checks, went to the bank, and bought some groceries for the mission. I had to get Miss Marina, one of our lady workers, to stay with our 38 girls on her day off.
I got to the hospital at 4:30 and they were ready to leave, but another pregnant girl that has epilepsy too had to wait for her person that was to accompany her. That was four people at that point, and we would fit nicely on the bench seat. There was an gurney in there too. It had most of the fake leather covering that had cracked in several places and had begun to peel off in these cracked sections over the years, revealing the yellow foam cushion below that was stained with blood. The ambulance driver assured us that it was clean, but my nose said differently. I was just thinking I am thankful I don't have to sit on it. About that time however, their was a little old man, and his grown son, and another couple who had just had a baby that was 4 hours old, suddenly appeared at the rear of the ambulance. The ambulance driver told all of us that were waiting in the van, to move and he made seat assignments. I was to move to gurney on the exposed stained foam cushion. Of course, my attitude again was not "Yes, Lord". It was more of a resigned, "Fine, whatever". The driver also told me that I had to give as much space to the new mother as possible, because her baby was on an IV that was hooked to the top. So even though I was the tallest of all the occupants of the ambulance, I folded myself in a pretzel like position, putting my faithful backpack behind me and my sleeping bag thinking that I would protect my back in this ride of over three hours. Nobody else but me and the driver had ever been to Tegucigalpa before. They had no understanding how long it could take.
After placing the backpack just so, it immediately fell between the wall and the gurney and I couldn't retrieve it. So I placed my sleeping bag on top and my lap pillow on my back. I was also close to a piece of rebar that came out of the side corner, where I was located right beside my right frontal lope of my head. A person lying on the gurney wouldn't have to worry, but every bump we hit (and there were many) I connected with that piece of rebar in the side of my head. I finally, with great effort and kindness of the other passengers, got my backpack and hung the padded straps on the vicious rebar protruding from the side wall. So then I couldn't lean on anything, and so I rolled my tiny pillow up and made do.
Then, I was in the process of getting comfortable, and I decided to say "Okay, Lord", and I start talking to the couple with their first newborn baby. The young father starts to cry and I began praying for them and I am feeling very missionary-like. I am thinking, I am here for this reason, and I am getting to know my other occupants and I am saying the Lord's prayer over my little group, and then the little pregnant girl beside me, starts vomiting She vomits all over her sister. She just had a canned juice, which apparently doesn't do well on trips down the mountain, with said ambulance driver, who never slowed down, but just laid down his ambulance siren when he wanted traffic ahead to move over. However, it is a curvy road and she wasn't doing well. At that time, I did notice that there was no one in the front seat but him!! I made a mental note to ask him to have the front seat on the trip back. I got out my hand wipes, and hand wash and got folks wiped up. I had dumdum suckers that a team brought, that I dispersed and tried to encourage others, and then just started saying the Lord's prayer to myself. I had been up since 2 am that morning. I think I fell asleep, for a moment. Then it started raining and the trip got a little dicier.
WE got to Tegucigalpa around 8 pm and it was dark and raining. I was the last to get out because I was in the corner. My hair got entangled with the one of the many IV clip and while I was getting myself untangled from that situation, my group walks into the hospital without me. I get to door and I am noticing about two hundred people sitting outside on cardboard, with plastic tablecloths, and on cement benches. It looked liked a homeless convention. A church group was passing out bean sandwiches and coffee, which I thought was a very nice thing to do. I go to walk inside the hospital and the security guard stops me. I told them the girl I was escorting here from Intibuca, had already come in and that I have her papers. He said that family and friends are to stay outside for the night!!! I then did not act very missionary-like and I asked, " What was the purpose of me coming with this under age girl, if I couldn't be with her"? I told them I am just trying to understand. Then this tall middle aged Honduran man appears and asks if there is a problem. I repeated my question to him and he said his name was Dr. M and he was the supervisor, and he said I could go in. I was sure this man was part of the angelic host that have been guarding over us on this trip, and I went inside, but not before I noticed that the security guy and Dr. M were having a discussion about rules. I just went around the corner, trying to be out of sight out of mind. Dr. M found me and told me to sit on the wooden bench along the wall and not on the chairs and don't move from that spot. I thanked him and started praising God that I didn't have to be outside. I still hadn't seen Wanda. They did call for the family of Wanda and I saw her at a distance. She looked very tired and very disoriented. She had another seizure. I went back to my assigned bench when I gave over my papers and the security guard with a gun and matching billy club, comes up to me and tells me to go outside. I have never been good with names, but I remembered Dr. M's name. I told the security guard, I appreciated that he was doing his security job, but that I was following instructions of the supervisor that told me to be here. The different guards came back about four times with menacing stares, but I was not to be moved.
It was getting late and I was so tired. A nurse, looked and me and just made a noise "Pssssttt" I was trying to be invisible, and so I didn't know she was talking to me, but she crooked her finger for me to come. I looked around to see if she was talking to me or someone else. Across the hall were two double doors and she got me through them and said, "You can stay here tonight on this bed." I am thinking that Florence Nightingale had nothing on this nurse. I was so thankful, and in the bed at the end of my assigned bed, was Wanda.
I had to leave early out of the room the next morning, before people started rounds. I helped get Wanda into a hospital gown and get some of the examinations from Wanda that the nurses needed and went outside. I waited about 4 hours and went back inside and asked what did I need to do. Another shift of security guards were threatening me to go outside. Wanda's assigned Doctor named Marianne, said that there was really nothing I could do and they would take care of her, but she said, "Bring the mom, That will help". So I tell Wanda her parents are coming after making a call to the missionary who knows the family. She had to go to the location, because they don't have a cell phone to tell the parents that Wanda and the doctor needed them to come. I dropped all my dumdum suckers, and some Sweet Tart chews on their counter and I was gone. So I left and called Mirian who knows everybody to get me a name of a taxi driver that was trustworthy. It sometimes can be dangerous in the city getting a random cab. The taxi driver arrived and he took me into downtown Comayaguela to get a bus back home. I just made it to be able to get on the bus before it left. The missionary calls back and tells me the moms not coming. She is afraid that people will steal her stuff. I am thinking, "What stuff? ", but it was important to her. I prayed for Wanda and I got home about 4 p.m. I got some soup and went to bed and slept until 12 a.m.
I noticed that I had messages during my nap. Another precious missionary, who lives around the Tegucigalpa area, who was helping me with Wanda's case, had written telling me that they couldn't find Wanda in the hospital! My friend Suzy has tons of connections and so I wrote back specifically where Wanda was located. I read that she had become violent with the nurses. Wanda was upset at being left alone and that her parents didn't come and I couldn't help but feel that she thought like she had been dumped at the hospital by me. I was wide awake at that point. I prayed and asked God to help them find her. I recognized my attitude had been far from what it needed to be through all this mess. I finally said "Yes" to Jesus to use me in this crazy situation. They found her about 2 in the morning, but again she was not cooperating.
I got up and got my shower and got ready to travel back to Tegucigalpa. I prayed and waited until I thought Wesley and Suzanne may be up. They were going to pick up the medical team from the airport for me. We made a plan for us to leave earlier and get me to the family of Wanda and I would endeavor to get her mom in the car. Thankfully, everyone was home and she just peacefully said she would go. Wesley and Suzanne (who will be running the boy's home starting in January) drove the mom and me back to the Siguatepeque and left to San Pedro Sula to get our team that was coming in from Texas. I got on the La Esperanza bus and the owner was driving the bus. It was a new bus with a/c and a movie. There was no place to sit for the first 30 minutes, so I stood up with Wanda's mom trying not to watch MAD MAX on the their movie screens strategically placed all over the bus. I felt like the driver of our bus and the driver in the movie were similar.
I tried to call the secure taxi driver I had the day before. I bought the mom some juice, not remembering about the ambulance ride. While I was looking for a taxi driver, mom threw up everywhere. After 3 hours we were almost to Tegucigalpa and I finally contacted my taxi driver and he was recuperating from a cold or recuperating from the night before. He couldn't come. I prayed and decided to ask the bus driver if they had secure taxi's. He did and I loaded the mom into the cab. She was scared to come the day before. Not just because of losing her things, but because she couldn't read and she didn't know her numbers, and she felt like she would have gotten lost, which I totally understood. Suzy had one of her staff who had found Wanda, waiting for us to arrive. I get to the gate and the taxi driver won't drop me at gate six, but at gate four. I got into gate four and asked where gate 6 was and it was back outside on the busy sidewalk. So mom and I locate gate 6 and another security guard told me I couldn't come in I told him because she didn't read, that I had to go with her. He basically told me, "Not in this lifetime". I was about to go into round 3 with the security guard and here came Dr. Marianne running up to the gate. I surprised myself when I remembered her name. I said, "Hi Dr. Marianne and then she recognized me. I introduced the mom and told her the situation and that I needed to get in. She talked to the security guard not breaking her pace in motioning us forward. She told him we were going with her. Another miracle. If I had been let off at the gate I needed, I might have missed Marianne completely as fast as she was moving.
I met with Suzy's liaison upstairs with Wanda, and we dropped the mom off after the nurses bent our ear about how uncooperative Wanda had been. I talked to Wanda and told her to behave, gave the mom some money for 5 days of food, and left with Suzy's staff member. When we got to the gate Suzy's group with Lamb Ministries had another girl waiting to carry in some personal care products and a blanket. The security guard said, "Forget it". So we took the stuff from Isis and ran back upstairs to floor number 5 and dropped off the supplies. Prayed, and hugged everybody and told the nurses how much we appreciated them and ran out the door. I called my taxi driver and he came as I waited in front of the hospital. I got to the bus station right before it was to leave. I would have had to wait 2 hours for the next bus. It was the same bus I came in on. I thought I should get home at 3 o'clock
I had a seat this time and watched Jungle book and Tarzan on the drop down movie screens in between dozing and calling back and forth to Wesley and Suzanne to see if the team had arrive. As I was calling another Doctor to see if we could et another doctor for the medical team that was on the way. I am on my way home to La Esperanza on the bus and the bus stops, for a demonstration for over an hour. Police were there with their riot gear, but I am too tired to care. Further down the road there had been an accident so it was another delay. Because of both of those delays the new tolls had a huge line of cars trying to get through. I just thanked God for the a/c and a great trip. I arrived at the bus stop and because of all the delays, 10 minutes later, Wesley and Suzanne drove up. i wasn't even tired because of all the mess I saw Jesus clear away. I realized how God had worked everything out for me at each step of the way.
I want to say that you to Suzy McCall and her staff that say "Yes" to God everyday. I am thankful to network with a mission agency of their caliber. I want to thank the Doctors and Nurses that worked at Hospital Escuela, who said "Yes" to their calling, and to help strange North American missionaries who are trying to be obedient I want to say Thanks to my staff and Associates, who said "Yes" to be here in Yamaraguila helping Ministerio Asi Es El Reino. I also am thankful to God for challenging me everyday, to say "Yes" to HIm so that others might do likewise, from my example. Finally, a great big thanks to all of you who come to serve and be a part of the lives of the girls at Project Talitha Cumi, through your visits, prayers, gifts and encouragements to all of us. WE love you all. Blessings from the "Yes" saying Honduran MOM