During this Holy week, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died for our sins. It is a story of unimaginable pain and suffering resulting in rebirth and renewal.
Rebirth and renewal were on our minds when we read the story of Marisol, a shy little girl from rural Honduras. Born with a severe club foot, Marisol was orphaned by her parents and left in the care of her grandmothers. At six-years-old, Marisol has never attended school – she rarely leaves her home.
God stepped into Marisol’s life in the form of a medical mission team carrying medicine and health supplies from MAP International. Doctors found Marisol in her remote village where she was home-bound. After examining her, they believed they could help. Marisol had never seen a physician. Her grandmothers could not afford the bus fare to the clinic. But God had greater plans.
The mission team helped make arrangements for Marisol to travel to the nearest hospital hours from her home. There doctors would remove dead tissue from her foot. X-rays revealed she had a severe bone infection caused by bearing weight on the outside of her club foot. Normally life-threatening, Marisol required a hospital stay, but her grandmothers refused. Her life was at risk. God had greater plans.
She was prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. The mission team organized frequent home visits. No one could forget the little girl with beautiful dark eyes and a shy smile. Thanks to the medicine she received, Marisol survived. And, God had greater plans.
Months later, a team of community leaders, her family, and local medical officials arranged for an evaluation by a separate mission surgical team. They agreed to correct her club feet – a miracle for a girl who many had been abandoned and socially ostracized. Clearly, God had greater plans.
Blessedly, Marisol is scheduled to have corrective surgery this fall. A local tutor now visits Marisol helping her catch up with school work and learning she missed. She is a bright and enthusiastic student – she will not be able to walk to school for another year. Marisol’s rebirth and renewal continue.
“Through our ability to work with the rural health services and other resources in Honduras, we are able to make a difference in the lives of families who otherwise have no access to care", said Jennifer Smith of Community Health Partnership of Honduras.
“In many cases, it is simply the lack of funds for bus fare that prevents families from seeking care for their children. Together, we can truly make a difference.”
Like a complex puzzle, getting to the root cause of a health care issue is challenging. Multiple visits to a variety of doctors may be required. It is time-consuming, fraught with anxiety but for most people in the US, they are rewarded with a good team of doctors. For individuals living in resource-poor communities, multiple visits to a physician are a dream; medicines are rare or simply unaffordable.
God has greater plans for Marisol and her healthcare continues. She is living a rebirth and renewal of her young life thanks to a team of talented doctors and medicines and health supplies provided by MAP.
This Easter we celebrate Marisol's joyful story and are reminded of God’s promise:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3
Happy Easter from MAP International.