Missionary, blan (White), nurse, PARENT?!
We’ve been called all of the above, but the last one came as an unexpected surprise. Life here in the Aleg mountains is never boring, especially now as we are short staffed. And it seems like the less people around to handle all the problems, the more of such we get. Austin and Emma left in January, Lorrayne left in March, just after Gloria came back from Furlough. We have one of the Haitian nurses staying with us overnight so we have more human power to stretch around. In the middle of all this craziness, we had a gate knock one afternoon. It was a neighbor with a message. We need to go visit Little Emma. She’s very sick.
Cody, Daniella, and I jumped on a machine and drove to the foot of the trail leading to Emma’s little mountain home. We found her daughter Abigial sitting outside in the dirt, and beside her was the tiny human Emma. She could barely lift her head, and her body had shriveled down to what I guessed was approximately 80 pounds. A neighbor man offered to help us carry her down the mountain since the trail was very slippery from recent rain, and he proceeded to pick her up and sling her painfully skinny body over his shoulder and walk effortlessly down the mountain. I brought Aby, dodging the puddles and sometimes grabbing onto vines to steady us. At clinic Emma requested to speak to Fre Noes, since she felt like she was close to dying. We drove crazily and snatched Fre Noas from his beanfields. And faced another dilemma. He refused to go anywhere in his muddy clothes! So we backed up to his house, and told him to hurry. Two minutes later he came back out, shirt tails still flapping as he unknowingly buttoned his shirt wrong, unbuttoned twice, only to proceed to do it wrong again. After praying with Emma, we took decided to keep Abigail at our house while we transported Emma to another hospital.
Aby flourished, packing as much food as she possibly could into her stomach, till we had to remove food so she wouldn’t eat herself sick. She had gone hungry to many times and now ate everything I’m sight. She gained a few pounds and her skin healed up from her scabies, while her legs gained a delicious plumpness, even as she became more active. She struggled with sleeping at night, so we took turns keeping her so no one would get to sleep deprived.
Poor Aby was also introduced to various parenting techniques as we were thrown into the roles of 3 first time moms and 2 dads. Things became interesting after I offered a significant prize to Gloria if she could potty train her before she leaves. This manifested in howls from the bathroom as Aby became used to perching on the toilet, and once in awhile puddles would appear on the floor unexpectedly, but 2 weeks on and Baby Aby was in fact, almost potty trained.
Emma missed Aby terribly, so one weekend we packed up and drove the 3 hours to the hospital. She was overjoyed to see her little girl, and she was definitely getting better. They were able to spend almost an hour together.
We still have Aby here, as long as we can if it doesn’t interfere with our clinic work. We have someone who cares for her while we’re busy, and so far it is working out! She brings us so much joy.
Please pray for Emma as she recovers!