Clinic Day, 2011
What do our daily lives look like? We get three meals a day and have not a care in the world. We have cars that take us to where we need to go, and jobs that help us pay to support our families. We complain about being late or even when we simply don’t get what we want. What do we do when we get sick? We go see a doctor because most of us are covered by insurance. On this years mission trip I met a boy that has touched my heart and forever changed me. Wednesday we held a clinic in a town called Los Pinos at the church that we attend on Sundays. I was assigned to take people’s blood pressure and heart rate. So many people came that in no time we got really backed up. While I was waiting I saw a boy sitting off to the side all alone. I decided to go over and talk to him while I was waiting. He saw me coming and smiled, so I started the conversation like I always do. I asked his name and he told me that it was Robi. He told me he was 13, and was at the clinic with his grandmother. As I was talking to him I found out that he lives with his grandmother most of the time because where his mother lives there isn’t a school. The day started to pick up again and I went back to my station. A little while later Robi and his grandmother were next in line to get there blood pressure and heart rate taken. After doing this I ask the patient why they have come to see the doctor. His grandmother replied with the usual response. A headache and stomachache. Robi’s symptoms were a little bit more troubling though. He said he had really bad pain that started in his leg and moved up into his stomach. I thought this was very strange, but wrote it down and moved them along. A little while later we got to another stand still. I turned around to see who Gayle was seeing at that time and saw that it was Robi and his grandmother. As I looked at Gayle’s expression I could feel my stomach drop. I knew whatever was going on was not good. As I walked over to see what was going on I heard Gayle talking with the translator and trying to tell Robi’s grandmother what she thought had happened. She said by what he was telling her she thought he had ruptured something in his stomach or possibly had internal bleeding. They were trying to convey the seriousness of Robi’s condition to them without scaring them too badly. As I watched his grandmother’s face I could tell that she did not comprehend how serious his condition was. In the end he was proscribed Tylenol for his pain, but Gayle told them they needed to take him to the hospital to get more tests done. Without even having to ask you could tell they could not afford whatever tests he would need, but I prayed they would take him anyway. When they had moved on to the Pharmacy, Gayle said that if he didn’t get to the hospital soon he might not make it. Those four words punctured a whole right in my heart. “Might not make it”. This was a 13 year old boy whose biggest concern was that he wanted to be able to play soccer again, and he might not make it. This was a boy who had his whole life ahead of him and because he couldn’t afford the help he needed and didn’t understand how serious his condition was, he might not make it. I watched to see if they would leave right away to take him, but I saw that they stuck around for at least another half hour. To this very moment I pray that God helped them realize the help he needed. But as my day went on I found myself trying to push this situation aside. I pushed it aside, and pushed it aside until finally it all came down on me at once. I stood at the Jesus statue looking out over Tegucipalpa listening to the sounds of the city. It was then that I realized that Robi was not the only one in pain that night, and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. There are countless numbers of children and families here that are striving just to get through a single day. Their worries are far beyond anything that I can even comprehend, and yet I see that they take more time than even myself to thank God for what they are given. They may not understand the seriousness of their conditions, but they trust in God with all their hearts to provide for their daily needs. As I told Tim Hines about my encounter with Robi I felt more and more like God wanted me to see this boy and to talk to him. That he wanted me to see the hurt and the pain because after a while we just start to push it aside and try to forget about it. Tim prayed with me and at that very moment I knew that God would take care of Robi. The people here have faith that can move mountains and as I sat listening to Tim’s prayer, I felt too that God had everything in his hands.
PS. Haylie does not know it yet as I am just reading her blog but Robi was sent by taxi to the hospital from the mountain clinic, that is why he was waiting with us until the transportation arrived. Her prayers were answered in the clinic, without her knowledge and her prayers later with Tim put Robi in God,s hands.