Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is it possible to See God?

I’ve arrived in Curahuasi at Hospital Diospi Suyana!  I flew to Cusco Saturday and then took a minivan (about a 2-3 hour ride) to Curahuasi.  Currently I’m staying in one of the apartments located on the hospital grounds while I adjust to the hospital system and culture, until I can find an apartment to move into in town.  So far I’ve been getting to know the hospital, missionaries, staff, and town during the day.  I started shadowing the other doctors a little today.  I’ll starting seeing a couple patients a day starting next Monday and increase the numbers I see as I get accustom to the language, culture, and system.
                The way the hospital system works is people line up to be seen early (some even the night before).  In the morning coupons are given depending on how many patients the doctors can see per day.  At 8:30 am the hospital starts with a 30 minute worship service/devotional in the chapel.  Labs and xrays/ultrasounds/cat scans are done as needed and patients are treated and sent home if possible. They’re admitted into the hospital if needed as well.  The doctors are on call 5-6 times per month over night, and see all emergencies that come in.
                The name of this blog comes from the presentation Dr. Klaus John (a general surgeon and also the founder of the hospital, along with his wife) gave me about the start of Hospital Diospi Suyana.  He’s a surgeon and his wife, Martina, is a pediatrician from Germany. Some of Dr. Klaus’ training was in Germany, but some was at Yale as well.  The Lord gave them both a vision when they were teenagers for practicing medicine in developing countries, and caring for the poor (they’re now in their 50’s).   They toured South America together during a gap in their training.  They fell in love with the beauty of the land, yet were disturbed by the lack of basic medical care the indigenous people had.  They spent multiple years working at Shell Hospital in Ecuador, and then the Lord called them to Peru. 
                The story about how the hospital has come to be is one reflecting baby steps of faith the entire way.  For as frustrated as a felt coming into the country trying to obtain a missionary residents visa while I’m here, the John’s story is filled with so many more obstacles, red tape, and the rich trying to charge them a million fees.  One of the classic missionary culture shocks is that you’ve given up well paying jobs, friends/family, comfort and you come to a country to help the poor and the government/system/rich all get in the way and no one appreciates what you’ve given up.  The beauty of these obstacles is that that’s how all can most clearly see God.  If it was easy then the missionaries could take credit for the good that was accomplished.  But God has been glorified countless times in Peru, through all their news papers, magazines, and news stations as bureaucratic barriers collapse, supplies are donated and the hospital continues to grow.  Dr. Klaus has an hour or more long presentation of every single miracle that God worked to allow for Diospi to be what it has become. 
                One example would be that he had a projector that he used as he traveled throughout Germany and the USA giving presentations in order to raise money and equipment and workers for the hospital.  On one trip back into Peru his $1000 projector was confiscated in customs (they claimed that he’d never declared it and let them tax him for it) and they refused to give it back despite multiple letters from powerful friends within Peru.  But while shopping around looking for a new projector a man happened to overhear his presentation in one of the stores who was related to the owner of the shop who was moved by the presentation and wanted to help.  This man was high up in a satellite company.  They ended up giving a satellite for phone and internet use free of charge.  This included the $50,000 annual cost of the service, which was also donated for free for an unlimited number of years.  This happened 8 years ago, so God’s already made $400,000 out of the lost $1000.
                Another example would be that the John’s medical degree/license was not recognized in Peru even though their training is far superior to the training offered in Peru at the time.  They went through more than a year process of trying to get their license approved, and yet still were rejected.  But then they knew someone who knew someone who knew the president of the country.  They were able to talk to him and he granted their certification of their Peruvian license.
                Another example is that you’re taxed 30% of the value of everything that comes into the country other than a number amount of personal items.  Much of the equipment for the hospital had been donated from Germany new so was worth a lot.  They talked to many people but no one could figure out how to get all the equipment into the country.  Finally, again it was through meeting and talking with the new president of the country that they were able to get all of the equipment easily and quickly through customs.
                The answer to the question of can we see God is an easy “yes.”  We see God when God uses 12 uneducated men to build his kingdom.  We see God when he feeds 5000 with a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  The nation of Israel saw God when a million miles from a destroyed Jerusalem, 3 men were NOT burned in a fiery furnace and Daniel was not harmed in the lion’s den.  And in the same way, even though no one wants taking care of the poor to be hard, that’s the moment that no one can deny that God is here and mightily at work!

1 comment:

  1. Ari, what a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing. We will be praying for your transition, community and kingdom vision every day!
    Michelle, Adam and Cole Yates