This week a family came to Diospi with their 4 year old son who was swollen, breathing fast, and appeared to be at the point of death. Dr. Martina was in charge of his care, as the pediatrician. They reported that they’d just come from another hospital, but it always takes a while to sort out the truth. It was a poor uneducated family who lived in the country. They had noticed that their 4-year-old son was gaining weight so had actually put him on a diet for a couple of weeks, but he them became very week so they went to a hospital in Cusco. There he was admitted for 2 weeks and found to be in renal failure (they threw around the diagnosis of “Membranous glomerulonephrosis disease” but never did a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis). Usually they put most patients on hemodialysis (which is through the veins and is every 2-3 days in a facility) but since he was so young they’d put him on Peritoneal Dialysis (which is through the liquid in your abdomen, and can be done at home each night if you have the equipment and fluids). They stabilized him and sent him with to Lima with a transfer order (but these transfers are always by private vehicle and so you have little control as to whether they actually go. Many of the people are afraid to go to Lima if they don’t have any family members there).
But his parents didn’t take him to Lima. They went home to their village. They decided that he’d heal with Herbs and prayer. They didn’t understand what complete renal failure meant, nor that we cannot live without kidneys. Two weeks later they presented to us, with him at the point of death. He was still making a little urine. But he needed super high doses of Lasix to do so. His pH was 6.93, his potassium was 8.6 and his hemoglobin was 6 when he arrived.
Martina was also trying to unite all the evangelical churches in Curahuasi for a Easter Service. Most of they time they don’t get alone and bicker about minute details. But there are missionaries that attend each of the 2 Baptist churches, the Peruvian evangelical church and the nondenominational church. She had a meeting with a representative from each of the churches with the hope that they could unite together at least to celebrate the Resurrection. But she walked away from the meeting downcast in heart. They refused to work together. They said that if Diospi planned everything and invited them, only then would they come.
Then the 4-year-boy died. The plan had been to stabilize him and send him to Lima (an 18 hour bus ride from Diospi). His second day he seemed to be doing a little better, but then he worsened and died. The sadness of the unnecessary loss of life convinced Martina that the only hope we have in this life full of pain and suffering is the resurrection.
She again became determined that this Easter service with all of our Christian brothers united together happened. She decided to ask an American, Brandon Conley (who attended university at ACU) to preach. He’s a bible translator in Abancay working with another Christian organization. He’s fluent in Spanish and Quechua. His wife, Erin is a dentist and works at Diospi once a week. Martina decided that if he agreed to preach, then she’d go forward with the Easter service plan. Not only did he agree to talk, but he agreed and was greatly honored and exited about the opportunity. This greatly encouraged her, and so she sent out invitations to all the churches.
Please pray for this service and for unity in Christ’s body despite the differences that will always exist. Please pray that God is glorified in this moment and that we draw near to him.
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Another moment of hope happened today. Since I’ve been studying with Dennis and Rosemery I’ve realized how valuable it is to them to read the Bible with someone who has known it for years. I learned the Bible reading it on my own with commentaries so I didn’t realize how valuable it was to them to read with others. One time Dennis and Rosemerry made the comment that went they read on their own it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that when we read together it because clear. Like the Ethiopian Eunoc in Acts, “How can I understand what I’m reading if someone doesn’t explain it to me.”
So I’ve had it on my heart for a while to ask the owners of my house (Mario and Domingo Asurin, who live on the 2nd floor, we live on the 3rd floor) if they wanted to study the bible. The other day I arrived at the front door the same moment that they did. Domingo had just returned from 3 weeks in Lima. Normally she’s real serious and a little cynical at times (she reminds me of my dad’s mom). But consecuently I’m used to ignoring that. So with a loud happy voice I welcomed her home. Instantly her continence melted and a smile shown through. She was so moved she invited Inessa and I for lunch. I always try to make her smile. Usually its pretty easy. It’s the end of rainy season now and has been raining in the mornings when I go out to run, so I’m quite a sight completely covered in mud returning from my run. It’s impossible not to smile. The other day I was calling my patients and there was her name. They all have to stand out in the rain at 6:00am hoping that they’ll get an appointment for the day. It had been busy because it was the last week of school vacation. They distribute the appointments by chance. They draw a number, for example 5. And so every 5th person in the line gets an appointment. Half joking I said to her, you could have just come upstairs and knock on my door.
I’m friends with the step-son of Mario’s cousin (Glicerio) and their granddaughter, Maryori. They both go to the church and are believers. Mario and Domingo aren’t believers but have gone to the Catholic church in the past. Glicerio came out running with me the last two Mondays. He always manages to come on the days its raining. I usually have my prayer time in the middle of my run before I head back (rain or shine) because I can concentrate better out in the country. It was Glicerio’s idea to run with me. I told him that’s fine but that he can’t interrupt God while I’m praying. So he came along and had his own prayer time with God. This last Monday when we came back Mario was at the door. I said good by and left Glicerio at the door talking with Mario (I don’t think they know each other real well).
Then today we went out to lunch after church at the home of a couple of the foreigners who attend the church. Maryori came to and sat near me at the table. A couple weeks ago she had a couple bibles that she said she was talking to her grandparents (Mario and Domingo). I asked her about this today. Maryori said that Mario had asked her for them so that they could read the Bible. Walking home, I decided that I would ask if they wanted to read together the next time I ran into them. As I walked up to the door Mario greets me from their balcony on the second floor: “Where are you coming from? Work?” “No from church, “ I reply. At this point I’d already decided yelling up to the second floor balcony wasn’t the best time to see if they wanted to read the bible together. Mario replied, “When are you going to take me to your temple (church)?” “Whenever you want,” I replied. “Do you want to read together sometime?” He replies, “so that you can explain what I’m reading to me?”…And so the plan is to read together tomorrow when I get home from work.
So here are two more people that you can be praying for: Mario and Domingo (which means Sunday in Spanish) Asurin.