The alarm was set earlier today, but didn’t get a chance to chime, as the anticipation of another beautiful day was announced by clanking pots and pans in the kitchen. Albeta and Virginia smiled away as they prepared for the thundering sound of feet rushing down the stairs. Dr. Ed declared early in the week that the last person at the table after the ringing of the bell would have to say grace, and though it is an honor and privilege to bless the day, the race down the stairs is actually quite comical!
Today we had a 2 hour bus ride to the community of Cairo, Comayagua and upon arriving we were greeted by the usual cheers and waves of the families that gathered along the roadside of the local school house. Wendy delivered the welcome speech and informed the families that we would be dispersing hugs and taking lots of pictures with them. The village responded with great appreciation! Right away the male community volunteers lined up to help carry the materials and escort the families with care to their needed stations. We were amazed by their gentility and grace.
Brooke gave her cross to a dear man who was battling cancer in his spine. He walked with a cane and smiled as we chatted with him and his young son. He was going to his chemo treatments and didn’t let his pain show, only his gratitude. He cried tears of joy as Brooke gave him her cross and we all sighed as they hugged.
Danny was moved to give his cross to one of the village volunteers. He had been a policeman for many years but suffered with anxiety from the atrocities he had witnessed. He would panic around crowds and Danny took the time to speak with him and finally walk him over to speak to Dra. Moncada. She listened quietly and reassured them that she would connect him with the proper professional help. He was so grateful and right away volunteered to work the door with all the crowds with a big smile.
One lovely lady in her mid 70s came with smiles and stories and lit up the room wherever she went. She was widowed 10 years earlier and a few years ago her house burned to the ground. Right after that her only daughter died, leaving a young child. She took her in and the two walked everywhere collecting bottles and cans to earn their daily meals. The granddaughter shared her propensity of positive living, but was developmentally delayed. It became quickly evident that no challenge or obstacle would keep them from being grateful to their Creator for the abundance that they enjoyed. This joy affected our team in a profound way.
Suddenly we were warned that an expectant mother at 9 months was slowly heading our way with abdominal pains. Brooke was ready to start disinfecting the floors when Dr. Carlo began to assess the symptoms and became concerned with the fact that they all seemed to point to pre-eclampsia. Although her blood pressure was high, she was not in labor and Clara jumped in to educate her, as she had no clue as to the birthing process. This loving assistance helped her to calm down. We are glad to know that FOB is training midwives in these villages to care for expectant mothers like her.
Another little girl was asked about her mother and the grandmother responded that she didn’t have one. The little girl corrected that by declaring that her grandmother was her mother. After all, she was raising her. This made us all smile. Later we found out that the mother had run off with a boy when she was an infant and the grandmother took her in as her own.
Near the end of the day, a 13-year-old boy dove in the gate as it was being closed. He had dirty clothes that were ripped and torn and wore a pair of old boots that were ripped and worn beyond belief. He had just gotten off work on a farm, and after hearing his aches and pains, he looked more like a 40-year-old than a boy of 13. He would go to school daily and loved to work the fields after that. Clara saw his boots and quietly left her shoes next to him as he was being seen. Danny wanted to make sure he would receive vitamins, but had to start opening boxes to finally find some for him and his mother. This lad walked away with shoes, vitamins and a great big smile that spoke volumes.
Every day here there are more stories than time or space could possibly contain, and we find ourselves living in awe of the people we serve in love. There is great joy in giving, and we all feel that we are the recipients of so much more than the villagers who have profoundly touched our lives.