The chatter and laughter have faded.
Everything now is dark and quiet unlike hours before when the din of young people working together to finish their chores filled the air.
Now the first rays of morning light have broken across the tall and majestic mountains to the east and they are greeted by the cheerful sounds of small birds.
Tuesday has begun.
Today we are off to a clinic where we will care for people who have traveled, quite far in many cases, to a hospital that treats only the poor and indigent. Our makeshift clinic is in a nearby house with many rooms that Sergio and Teresa gladly provide to accommodate families who have accompanied their loved ones to the hospital. Theirs is a ministry of love to these often desperate people. The shelter and food are provided at no cost for them.
We arrive to a crowd of people who have gathered in need of our various services. We are greeted by familiar faces who have become our friends over the years.
For me the first round of encounters were routine until Maria, a middle aged diabetic, entered the exam room. She seemed pensive and we learned that she had been losing vision over the last few years. Her eye exam revealed that she had significant diabetic eye damage that threatened her vision.
This was hard news for her to hear. With tears in her eyes she expressed her fears of going blind wondering aloud how she could continue to collect the scrap cardboard and other recyclables she gathered daily to barely eek out a hardscrabble existence. She told us she didn’t have any family and no one to care for her. We prayed with her and for her. We inquired and some people from a local church came forward and assured her that they would assist her to receive the care and treatment she would need.
Later, as I reflected on the day, it was encouraging to witness the church being the church as God’s people came together to be the eyes, heart and hands of Jesus to minister to some of the least of these.
Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their
synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every
disease and every affliction.” Matthew 9:35