Medical Mission Trip

Earlier in the month before our scheduled trip to Guatemala I received a call telling me of an accident with one of our children in the village where we were working.  Diego was in the process of cutting open a coconut with a machete when he accidentally cut off his thumb.  He was rushed to the hospital unfortunately his thumb could not be reattached.  I made sure we had additional first aid kits to take down for the family.

When we arrived as always, the children were all waiting for us by the house we were staying.  As we were greeted and hugged by everyone, I noticed Diego was not himself.  He stayed in the background behind his mother.  You could tell he was still in pain.  First thing the next morning when it was light we took our first aid kit and hiked up the mountain to his house.  There his father greeted and thanked us for the medical supplies.  He then proceeded to tell me that his bandage had not been changed since the accident, a week or so earlier.

Now I am not a doctor, I was in the US Navy and have been trained in first aid, but normally first aid has always made me squeamish.  But this time was different.  I knew in my heart that his bandage needed changed and I had to do it right away.  We set up our little triage area, set Diego on Beverly’s lap and I started to take his bandage off.  I could tell that even my light touches, hurt.  Once I finally got the tape off, I began to gently pull the gauze.  It was not budging.  He was!  The skin had begun to graft to the bandage.  I took the bottle of peroxide and began to soak his bandage.  As the bandage soaked, it was also cleaning his wound and killing the bacteria.  After a bit of time, I had Beverly hold his head so he could not watch.  It was very emotional for us all to say the least.  I will never forget the shriek that Diego let out when he saw his thumb, or what was left of it.

I continued cleaning his wound very gently with peroxide and then applied an antibiotic cream before bandaging it back up.  We then set Diego down, laid hands on him and prayed for God to take away the pain and provide healing to him physically and mentally.  There was also another baby from the village that was sick and we were asked to lay hands on and pray over him as well.  God also healed this little baby also!

Loosing a limb changes your life.  I know from personal experience.  Twenty years prior to this event I almost lost my 2 middle fingers on my left hand.  It took the doctors 6 hours in surgery putting everything back together, and months of therapy.  Today, I still do not have normal function of that hand, but you learn to adapt.  At the time of my accident I remember questioning God as to why He allowed this to happen to me.  Twenty years later He gave me the answer:  so I would be able to show compassion to Diego and help him in his time of need.

A day after we got Diego all bandaged up and prayed over him, he was smiling and laughing and yes even climbing a tree by the church.  God does answer prayers.  Sometimes He might not make sense in the circumstance we are in, but I can tell you for certain, there is a reason.  He will bring you through it, and one day, he will use you to comfort someone else going through a similar circumstance.

I remember this event like it was yesterday.  But at the moment, it was the Holy Spirit working through us.  On my own, I would have been barfing all over the place and probably would have been passed out on the ground myself.  But not once did I have any though of myself or my comfort, this was definitely a God moment in our lives!

Led by the Holy Spirit, we are HIS hands to do HIS work to bring HIM the Glory!