Archive | April, 2012

Neighborhood firemen

14 Apr

Not all the adventures I have occur far from home.  I’d been here less than 24 hours when a neighbor started yelling our names.  I went to the gate and saw a brush fire raging with very dry debris and vegetation just waiting to turn it into a major problem.  Ben joined me, then some neighbors as people brought buckets of water and we dug away at burning piles.  These two tires were buried and burning so we had to pull them out.  Cathi often questions the condition of my Saturday attire, but I think my old clothes will have a reprieve now that these have survived the fight.  Just a few weeks ago my emergency nursing skills were called upon quite a bit in Hong Kong.  Today my six years as a volunteer firefighter came in handy.  And no, calling the fire department here is not a viable option.  Never a dull moment in this life!
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Putting a Face to Domestic Abuse

14 Apr

This morning my bus stopped for several minutes beside an newspaper seller allowing my eyes to scan the front page of a newspaper and immediately focus on a subject I became familiar with first as a pediatric emergency nurse in the U.S., and encounter nearly every day I spend in clinic here in Latin America. Domestic Abuse. The article caught my attention because it stated that an average of 222 cases of domestic abuse occured daily in Costa Rica during the first three months of 2012.

I thought about this for the remainder of the bus ride, and prayed for those who suffer abuse in the home…spouses, children and the elderly. Men and women alike. The article discussed the number of policemen who were injured while attempting to mediate such cases. I inwardly questioned the validity of such statistics, and pondered this as I poured my morning coffee and greeted the clinic staff. Life in a fallen world is messy and tainted.

Several hours later I would come face to face with this dangerous enemy. A client who had removed herself from violence by crossing a border illegally stated that she most likely would be missing her next appointment because she was thinking of returning to her homeland, hoping no further abuse would occur. I pray that I will see her cheerful face next month and that she’ll reconsider for not only herself, but for the sake of her unborn child.

Ben’s baptism

7 Apr

It is a tremendous privilege to raise children and watch them choose God’s path.  Benjamin didn’t want to be baptized until he really felt confident it was his own choice and not just what a kid raised in a Christian family does because it’s expected.  He also didn’t want to be baptized in a church baptismal or someone’s pool.  What he chose was to be baptized at a youth retreat here in Costa Rica.  The mountain waters at eight thousand feet elevation are a bit brisk to say the least.  But he’ll never wonder if he was fully immersed!  It was my great privilege to perform the baptism in this beautiful location and this was something none of us will ever forget.  Eighty witnesses, many of whom live a missionary kid life like he does, cheered for him as he came up gasping.  May this be a marker in his life.