We have been back in Honduras a little over 2 months now. Alena has been adjusting to life in Honduras fairly well while her parents are still trying to figure things out. Thankfully we are surrounded by a great community who has helped immensely with our transition back. From cooking us meals to offering to watch Alena for a few hours so that we can get some down time, we have felt loved and been blessed by the team around us. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”, and we have been encouraged by our village here in Honduras.
As most of you know we have a prosthetics lab at the hospital which is still in its infancy. We are in the process of training one of our on-staff pastors, Oscar, to be able to work independently year-round in the prosthetics lab. While Oscar is still a way off from that goal, we have seen good growth each time our visiting prosthetist comes down to train and work alongside Oscar. Oscar is very motivated to learn the skills necessary to help our patients physically but the trait that really stands out, which I also frequently get to see from many different people in the many different ministries at Loma de Luz, is his love for our patients (which is ultimately our collective ministry and why we are here in Honduras).
One Friday while working in clinic I saw a teenage patient, Gerson, who was left with a deformed and extremely shortened leg from a bone infection when he was younger. Because of his extreme leg length discrepancy, he has to walk with crutches at all times. Gerson had come to our hospital last April to get a custom shoe lift so that he could walk without crutches. During the process to make and fit the shoe lift, I got to see Oscar interacting with Gerson and encouraging him in both his spiritual walk as well as his literal walk. Gerson had been concerned about what others would think of his out of place shoe. Oscar told him that instead of trying to avoid the problem he should show off his new shoe to all his friends and school mates, telling them how this custom new shoe was giving him the chance to walk without crutches.
Gerson had taken Oscars advice and had been doing well but then his shoe got soaked inadvertently which caused his shoe to come off of the lift. Gerson and his mother live far away from our hospital (about 6 hours). After a few unsuccessful attempts to contact us they decided to just come without an appointment but because of how far away they live they did not get to our Hospital until the early afternoon (only able to rely on public transportation). The day they came Oscar had been planning on going into La Ceiba to see family and was needing to catch the last bus to La Ceiba from our area at 3pm. When I told Oscar about the situation, he immediately got to work to repair the shoe lift. Although it may seem like it would be simple to just glue some foam to the bottom of a shoe it takes a lot of work to sand, grind and cut the foam to the right contour to make the lift functional, especially when the lift is so large.
Oscar did his best to finish the shoe lift in time to catch the last bus but when it became apparent that more time was needed to fix the shoe lift, he continued to diligently work to try to make the lift perfect for Gerson. By 4:30pm Gerson had his custom shoe and was once again walking without crutches. Realizing that Gerson and his mother were also stuck without transportation, Oscar escorted Gerson and Gerson’s mom to the front gate of the Hospital. It just so happened that as soon as they got to the gate a passing truck offered to take them all toward La Ceiba. It just showed how God provides for those who are faithful and are called according to his purpose – to love others as he has loved us.
Our prosthetist, James, is going to be at Loma for the month of October working with Oscar to make more prosthetics, orthotics and shoe lifts for our patients. We also have our Orthopedic team here for a week performing much needed surgeries (ankle fusions, non-union fracture repairs, club foot corrections, and bow leg corrections to name a few). Please pray for stamina and renewed purpose each day for those serving and for exceptional outcomes for those being served. Please also pray for us as Alisa transitions back to work part time in clinic.