The week before last, I was notified that one of the little boys (Julio) who was sent for cancer treatment passed away. He wasn't responding well to the treatment, and had a stroke that he never woke up from. I can only imagine the grief of his mother and his family. It breaks my heart.
That same day, I found out that Yajaira, Calix's little cousin who I took to San Pedro for the cancer foundation, is stage 4. The Wilms tumor that she has that is typically very easy to treat, has spread to other parts of her body. She may be inoperable. One of our doctors here recently (a couple of days ago) told me they should just take her home to die. (What do you do when someone tells you this in the cafeteria and you can't break out in tears)
For a week and a half, we were taking care of a patient and her 4 kids. Her family went to our church. 2 of the kids were at the children's center (we brought them there to help the family out) and 2 with her in the hospital. The 12 year old was watching her mom and helping her with whatever she needed and watching the 2 year old baby who was still breastfeeding at the time. I went in with another missionary last Tuesday to do a CT scan bc the pain she was having in her head wasn't getting better and was not calmed by any medications. The CT scan showed swelling in the brain. That day was really hard and we started to see her decline that day. Her body became limp and she had slurred speech and we had trouble getting her back in the car. She digressed from that day until she passed away on Saturday night. Sunday we had the funeral at the church and buried her that evening. It was a very sad day, but grateful to the Lord that she had professed faith in Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday, I had run up to the hospital on my day off to see if I could see our little cancer patient, Osiris who was supposed to come in for a Chemo injection. When looking for her, a bus pulled up to the front of the hospital with a guy who looked like he had fallen off the bus. There was blood everywhere. They quickly brought a gurney and rolled him to the ER. The question to the driver was...did you run over him? He was in such shock...he couldn't really answer. He said I don't know...I think maybe. He had in fact been run over and had a crushed pelvis and some crushed organs that caused lots of internal bleeding. We did lots of X-rays and blood work that day and ended up giving him 6 units of blood. We pretty much completely replaced his blood volume. I had to call in all of my lab staff to help because there was so much work with this one patient.He went to surgery about 5 hours after arriving to stop the bleeding. He is doing well, thus far. Please continue to pray for him. He has a very long road to recovery. He is from the same community as the following story.
Wednesday, just seemed like a normal day...until we got a call that a fishing boat had sank and many from our local community were on it. There were 6 young men that went out on that boat, they left Saturday and planned to be back in 6 months with some money to provide for their families. Work is very scarce here. There are very few jobs. Many live off the land. Many leave to find work in other places. Many go out to sea to fish. Why? Because there aren't many other options. Many tried to convince them not to go. Many were young and it was their first trip out to sea. It was a hard decision they made to go. They agonized over making the decision, and then after they had made it.
When the call came on Wednesday, there were several rumors saying all were ok, then one that said only 7 had made it to the islands that we can see across the ocean call the Cayos Cochinos. The second of the 2 turned out to be the truth. The 7 were soon brought to the mainland and questioned by the Navy and coast guard who were out looking for other survivors at this point. Only one of the 7 was one of the 6 that left from our community. That left 5 young men still missing from our community and 4 from other surrounding communities. According to the testimony of the survivors, the boat went down so fast, that those who were down below sleeping (the 9), would not have had time to get out. However, they are still declared missing, not anything further as of yet.
We had a prayer service led by the local pastors last night in Lucinda. It was a very emotional time, but very good for us to rally together as a community to give hugs, show love, and pray for one another. Sometimes all you can do is hold someone and let them cry when there is so much sadness. You try to encourage them that God is good and He knows best and that His will is perfect. However, in such circumstances, the way seems so narrow, and the tunnel seems so small that the light will never appear. Several families are suffering double loss, because the community is so small. Some have lost brothers and also sons. Some have lost nephews and also brothers in law. 5 men from one community involves just about every family in the community in one form or another.
The navy has supposedly found the ship and they were supposed to be trying to dive it last night. We will probably find out today or tomorrow for sure how many people were still on board. Many of the loved ones still have so much hope that some of them escaped from the bunks down below...and so we hope with them until we have reason not to.
I knew 3 of the 5 young men who are among the missing from the local community. So, while we are sad for their disappearance and probable death, we cling to the Lord as our strength and our fortress.
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.