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Gift of the Cross

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Many of us received a cross as a gift from our Team Leader, Jack. The beauty of this gift is that we have the opportunity to pass the cross on to a person that touches our heart this week.

Several of our team gifted their cross during a clinic day this week. I passed mine on to a 14-year-old girl. I was assisting in the dental clinic and met Keily and her three siblings. As I applied fluoride to each one, I was struck by the kindness she showed while helping to care for her siblings. She had a gentle way about her and seemed surprised by the gift. She immediately showed it to her mom who grinned widely.

Sue gifted her cross to a woman she met today as we arrived. Our clinic today took place in the local school, which was built into a steep hill in the village. The woman graciously stepped in and helped us by carrying supply boxes up the hill to the classroom.

Judy was brought to tears by her interaction with a four-year-old boy who had suffered from traumatic asphyxiation at birth. Caring for a boy with significant developmental delays, this boy and his mother touched Judy deeply. She gave the cross to the mother and promised to pray for her son daily. "I believe in miracles, Judy said, and will pray for a miracle for the family." The medical professionals referred the boy to the Friends of Barnabas Extended Care Program, and when enrolled, he and his family can receive ongoing care and support with medications, treatments, food and other basic needs items.

Joe's first patient of the day was a young woman who was wearing plastic knee pads and flip flops on her hands. The teenager crawled on hands and knees to receive care and consult with Joe today. Despite surgeries in early childhood, her mother reported that she has never walked. A possible diagnosis is Spina Bifida. She endured her illness with fortitude, and Joe decided to give her his cross. She was grateful and said "Gracias". She was also referred to Friends of Barnabas' Extended Care Program for follow up and additional services.

At the end of our clinic day, our transportation leader, Giovanny, carefully drove down the winding roads back to Alfredo's House. We polished off another homemade dinner prepared by our talented cooks, Karen and Albita. After dinner, Jack led a devotional, reading from Matthew 25. "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." We listened as Jack connected our experience to this verse, "This is really what the work this week is about." The reading resonated with me, and I suspect with many of our Harrisonburg team.


Photos by Becky, Sue, Shawn, Judy

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