Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Paul - known affectionately in these parts as Padre Pablo - is 79 years old. Over the years, he has taken Luis in as the son he never had, teaching him about the Lord and helping out however he was able.
Padre Pablo was not in best of health and was sent back to England last year for medical help (they have socialized medicine there). He returned to Antigua some time ago and has been back at work - not only with Luis, but also with some other ministries as well. Truthfully, I don't know how he did it! Every time I saw him he was falling asleep on the couch or in church!
About 10 days ago he was riding his bike and fell. He broke his hip and his femur. He went to the National Hospital, which is free (or almost free) - but then checked himself out and went home when they didn't do anything for him (he didn't know what the problem was at that point). After two days at home his room mate took him back to the hospital in a taxi - it took him 40 minutes to get him into it and another 40 to get him out!
They found out about the broken hip & femur and advised him he needed surgery. Well, he doesn't have any money for surgery. His blood pressure was too low and he went into cardiac arrest. We really didn't think he'd make it, but he has. We've been in contact with England and the English embassy and trying to figure out what to do. As it turns out, he is going to have to return home to England for surgery and then for post surgery rehab. This will be a long, painful process. There was some question if he would be able to make the trip and live, but his doctors seem to think he will be able to. The airline is requiring he upgrade to 1st class and have someone with him for the flight - there will be three separate planes he must take. The cost is exorbitant and no one knows where the money is going to come from at this point.
Luis is just beside himself with everything that is happening and the possibility that he might lose his Padre Pablo.
Please pray for Pablo - for his healing, for his comfort as he travels (with broken hip & femur!) back to England, for his finances and for those he is leaving behind.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
We awoke this morning to the sound of rain pinging on the metal roofs. From the base to the bus stop is about 6 blocks - and after a night of rain it's about 6 blocks of river! The water was 4-6 inches deep across the entire road - we tried to stay up on the narrow walkways as best we could (when there WAS a walkway!). The sidewalks here are more like wide curbs - about 8 inches wide. At times we were forced to cross the street because the sidewalk would end into a tangle of overgrown bushes and weeds. Sierra and I were laughing as we slipped off the curbs and soaked our feet or as we hopped across the street trying our best to jump to the low spots in order to not completely soak ourselves.
When cars would pass, they wouldn't slow down. As they passed, a wall of water would shoot up at us and we'd quickly bring our umbrella down to block the barrage of dirty rainwater. Needless to say, we showed up at the coffee shop fairly soaked!
Unfortunately, water isn't the only thing raining down this week! It's been a week of mishaps - our computer isn't working right (all Sierra's school work is on it), so we took it to the shop. A minimum of 1 week and $50. Our camera isn't working, either. Then I misplaced the memory card with all of our photos, plus Sierra's pics from China this summer (thank God - we found that one!!). Finally, my ATM card was stolen and some unauthorized charges have been made on my card. It was a hassle, but it's been cancelled now. They are sending me a new card, but it could be a few weeks before I get it so in the meantime it will be tough to get cash.
Please pray for us!! I am feeling frustrated and discouraged...however, I am determined that I am FINE...Faith-filled, In Christ, Not married to my feelings and Eternally Minded!! (Thanks to my sis for that little acronym!). Now I'm just waiting for my EMOTIONS to catch up to my HEAD!!
Sorry no pics this time...hopefully we'll be able to do that soon! In the meantime - be blessed!
Monday, September 08, 2008
So, we landed in Guatemala City and were picked up by Bruce and Marianne, who work at the Antigua base. Bruce is the director here. We grabbed some lunch and went to the base to get settled in. Later that evening we went to worship night at the coffee house - it's really cool there and we think we're going to really like it!
Most of the time we'll get around on "Chicken Buses"...these are old US school buses that somehow make their way down here, then they are painted wild colors and outfitted with ginormous speaker systems that blare latin music and have icons of Mother Mary and Jesus all over. They are called "Chicken Buses" because you will often see baskets full of chickens sitting on top, along with all manner of other things - fruits & vegetables, bikes, blankets, etc. Inside it can get very, very crowded, with 6-8 people sitting across the 2 bench seats that are intended for 4. The two who sit on the aisle part of the seat prop each other up with their shoulders to make a complete row across. Add a few kids on laps and you've got the idea! If I didn't feel big before...Haha! Sierra says I constantly smack people in the head with my backpack. Here is a picture of one, but there are not chickens on top - alas, we'll have to get that another day!
Sometimes we'll ride a "tuk tuk" - they are 3-wheeled vehicles similar to a golf cart. The steering is done with handles, like a bike. You can see a tuk tuk in the picture above, at the lower left hand corner, next to the motorcycle. Tuk tuks are a bit more expensive, but they get you right where you need to go and are a life saver if you are carrying a lot of groceries! Below is a little video to give you an idea of what it's like to ride in one! Caution - ride is bumpy!
Well, that's all for now - I'll put more in soon! Be blessed!