International Ministries

Continuing to See Lives Touched, Lives Changed

August 12, 2011 Journal
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God's Mysterious Ways

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to witness how God can take the most unlikely people and use them to bless even the "least of these."  I have a good physician friend named Jake who was able to visit La Romana with a medical work team made up of high school students and one other physician, Molly, his sister.  There were other adult leaders present, including Jake's best friend, Jesse.  Despite having such a small team of medical personnel (it really was just Molly, Jake and I!), the student were so willing to help in any way we asked and Jesse managed the pharmacy like a pro.

On one particular day, we saw several severe wound care issues and Jake, as an orthopedic surgeon, was our first choice to care for them.  There was just one issue...Jake was dealing with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and as much as he wanted his hands to work normally, they refused.  Jesse and I helped him put on his gloves and Jake gently guided Jesse through the care needed to clean and dress a large, smelly, maggot-filled leg ulcer.  There was a crowd gathered and several times we had to ask them to step back because the heat was overwhelming.  I watched from the doorway of the clinic as Jesse, Jake and their elderly patient sat together under a tree.  One acting as the head, one as the hands and together serving the poor with unbelievable compassion.

The students were so concerned about the future of this patient that they asked for much of their budget to be used for his care.  He was set up with a wound care technician at our hospital and continued to be cared for with gentleness and love.

How often do we look at our circumstances and think that we can't do anything to help?  Too often, probably.  It is really easy to find excuses not to serve but I will always remember how Jake didn't let his weak hands stop his heart's desire to serve one that had been abandoned even by his own family.  Let us focus on the POSSIBILITIES and not the IMPOSSIBILITIES of our lives so that many can be reached and love can be shared.

Update in La Romana...

As is always the case in La Romana, there are about 100 things going on at once!  This year has been no different.  Here are a few updates to the projects and the people I have written about in the few months...

In February, we had the honor of receiving a visiting pediatric cardiologist from Hasbro Children's Hospital in Rhode Island.  Dr. Ziegler was able to consult and recommend treatment for several pediatric patients with severe heart defects.  I am proud to say that we have now arranged for several of those children to be treated by Dr. Quinn at Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME!  Thank you for all of your prayers and concern over these young ones.

Unfortunately, one of the children I wrote to you about, Miguel, was unable to find treatment either in the Dominican Republic or in the United States.  He has enough heart and lung damage to make his surgical risk too high to consider for treatment.  Please Miguel and his family in your prayers.  We will help as much as is possible to keep him comfortable and continue to accept donations for patients such as Miguel.

The hospital continues to expand its building and seek out new ways of providing advanced care.  The third floor is under construction and will be solely patient rooms and nurse stations.  Our ambulance has arrived is quickly bringing patients to the hospital for care.  The Emergency Room is continually busy and we now have FIVE functioning operating rooms, one right in the ER.  Lastly, we are one of two international locations being considered for a very large grant to start a telemedicine collaboration with Los Angela Children's Hospital.  We need many prayers for all of these projects as well as your help through work teams, funding and collaboration. 

A Change in Plans

Thank you for all of your concern and many prayers for my health this summer. I am feeling stronger and more energized as I look forward to returning to La Romana sometime this fall. Rest is a wonderful balm, isn't it?!

Unfortunately, I will not be able to travel to the northeast this fall as I had planned.  After consulting with the staff in International Ministries, everyone concerned feels that I must focus on resting and taking care of myself.  That includes not overdoing things with travel and speaking engagements - no matter how enjoyable it would be! 

Thank you for understanding.  I hope to visit with many of you later as you continue your partnership in La Romana.

I am learning that taking time for rest and renewal is a good thing, and it's not selfish.  It's been a hard lesson for me, but one that is so necessary if I am to continue serving God in the Dominican Republic.  I am beginning to see that the trials of the day will be much less intimidating when I am rested.  I have also begun to sense God's leading in new ways that, quite frankly, I was unable to before now.  I am loving the clarity that comes with rest!

So, thank you, again, for all of your support and consistent prayers and emails.  I am excited and so looking forward to where God will lead all of us on this wonderful journey!

We did it! 

(a note from Kristy's Missionary Partnership Team)

Thanks to all of the faithful supporters, Kristy has met her financial goal for this fiscal year!  What does that mean now?  We still continue to need donations for work projects and Kristy will still need ongoing financial support for the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2011.  Remember that she needs to raise support EACH YEAR, starting from zero, on October 1. Click on the box on the top right side of the screen (under the word GIVE) to become a partner in Kristy's ministry.