We made it! Another project down…What an adventure we had in Pucallpa. We had an 8 day marathon of medical clinics coupled with tons of kid activities and games. It was a fantastic time filled with tons of stories for sure.
Royer, who had been in an accident with his 10 year old daughter, showed up one day to our clinic. He was brought to my attention because of the difficulty with communication that he was having with our volunteer. He explained some of his dilemma and proceeded to drop his pants and show us his terrible burn which covered most of his clothed body. He told us what had happened to him and his daughter and my heart sank.
So the story goes that they had an accident where gas was spewed all over the two of them and it was ignited by a spark. They both were seriously burned. The government is taking care of the girl, but he is left alone to deal with his injuries. It happened in September. His wife and daughter are a 20 hour bus ride away in Lima. The medical attention for the daughter is being paid for by the government, but the mother who is homeless and without food or money is trying to survive near her daughter while trying to help her daughter sustain life. This father cannot work because of the pain and infection from the burn and is not able to support his family. What a predicament he is in. He asked if we could do anything to help. With God, all things are possible. Our group rounded up some funds to send the father by bus to Lima. What a blessing that is for this family to be together during this difficult time. We will have a pastor working with them to take care of some of the basic needs that they will have in Lima while the healing process is taking place.
This project group was comprised of two main groups of people; One from Ohio and another from California. There were a couple of others in the mix as well. Emma was blessed to have another feisty little friend to hang out with during this project. They had a blast hanging out, doing puppets or jump rope, or getting muddy anytime they thought they could get away with it.We had two doctors, a dentist, a handful of nurses and a solid group of impact people. This was a fantastic team full of energy and willingness to serve. It is always encouraging to see how God uses people and their strengths to build His kingdom.
One pleasantly unexpected and relatively unplanned thing took place during this project. We had a baptism service on the river. This is not just any ordinary river. It is a river that feeds the Amazon. You know the big river that runs through the jungles of South America? Someone put a bug in my ear about doing a baptism. The thought never crossed my mind before, but wow, was it a good idea. We decided that we could do it after our clinic on the last Friday. Well, I talked it over with a local and found out that it was best to do it in the morning. I also found out it was not a good idea to have a baptism after dark. Apparently the crocs come out when the sun goes down. This left us with a little window of time to get the river, do the service, and get out of the water. So our plan was to go straight from the clinic to the river. We arranged for the bus to take us to the spot where it was suggested to do the baptism service. We figured that we would arrive at about 5:30 and this would give us about 30 minutes to do the service. Well, everything took longer than expected. We got close to the river and drove up to a spot in the road where there was a guy laying in the ditch on the side of the road. He was apparently in a motorcycle accident where he was a passenger along with two other drunk people. It looked a lot worse than it really was, but we stopped the bus to help as we had two doctors and a bunch of nurses. We figured that we might be able to help out with our people. It pushed back our schedule a bit and got us closer to dinner time for the crocodiles. No worries! The river was close and we arrived shortly thereafter to the baptism spot. In all, there were 6 people that got baptized. It was a memorable time swimming in the "coffee with cream" colored water. Once the baptisms were done, many just jumped in for the experience. It was a great time that finished with a 45 minute bus ride back to the hotel. It was filled with a beautiful sunset, a number of worship songs, and some great times fellowshipping with the team. This was definitely a memorable time in the jungle for this group of volunteers.
I witnessed something that melted my heart the other day at one of our clinics. I was outside working with our impact team while one of our volunteers grabbed my attention and demanded that I come and take a look at something. What could it be, I thought. When I got into the clinic room, there I saw my daughter Kayle holding the hand of a little girl of the same age who was scared to death of the treatment that the doc was about to give her. I observed a little American girl with a heart so precious and full of compassion that I could not hold back the tears of joy that were bubbling out of my eyes. My Kayle was giving this girl a dose of encouragement that could send any team to a championship. How amazing is this gift that God has bestowed on my life. I thank God for my family! Way to go Kayle. I am so proud of you!
The clinics were tough, long days, but we made a huge impact in those communities in which we served. Thank God for his provision, giving us energy, and allowing all of us the opportunity to serve in this capacity. We treated about 900 patients in 8 days of clinics(Kudos to my wife who lead the clinic team), showed the Jesus film 4 times to a total of about 500 people, played about 20 total hours of soccer, painted hundreds of butterflies on the sweet cheeks of the little Peruvian princesses, perspired gallons while our volunteers braved the “Rico” the cuy/guinea pig costume, had hundreds of decisions for Christ, and just had an overall wonderful experience with this group of dedicated people.
The Englund Family