iaomai guatemala 2011 :: sanctuary
websters defines sanctuary as a consecrated place; or a place of refuge and protection.
As I continue to process the things ive seen, and after having some time to relax, be alone and chill. And after a nice long hot shower…i decided it was time to venture out of the room and see what i see. Casa Santo Domingo is pretty cool hotel at nite. It has an old school feel, lots of exposed stonework and wood beams. The lighting is subdued, with candles everywhere and the sound of trickling water coming from the fountain in front of me…its dark enough to feel at ease but not too dark where the ambiance feels fake or contrived.
When i finally sat down, with some candles by my side and classical music playing in the background…sanctuary is what came to mind.The view from one of the many areas you can find to relax and reflect…this is mine
The army base that houses the hospital and all the medical workers along with support staff, really was a place of refuge for the many patients that came for medical help. A place where physical pain was relieved, be it in the elbow, tooth or abdomen. A place where sight was corrected or in some cases, restored. A place where those with physical deformities, which have caused them to be ostracized by the community around them or to be thought of as less than human…can have their physical appearance and self esteem made new again.This man came to have his enlarged upper lift corrected…now leaving much happier with his wife
It really becomes something greater than a medical mission. The work that has been done is truly consecrated, set apart for the Glory of God! That those in Huehuetanengo might know that there is a God who cares about their physical needs and comforts.
One of the biggest lessons that ive taken away from my experience with Adventures in Life, in Oaxaca Mexico…is that its not enough to meet the spiritual needs of those your trying to “minister” to. If you can meet their physical needs than theyre gonna be more receptive to the message of Hope that Christ has to offer, because their stomach wont be growling from hunger. Or in the case of the work done this week in Huehue, children wont be cast aside because they look different, or men can feel whole and complete after having their lip operated on.
I do believe that this hospital became a place of sanctuary for those serving as well. A place for doctors to give back to those in need…but also for them to realize how blessed they are…all because they were born in the United States and not somewhere else. This isnt meant to be a statement of supremacy of one country over another, just an observation. This sanctuary has changed the lives of more than a few high school students from Guatemala City over the past year or so… These quite extraordinary students have volunteered their time to be translators for us. I was told that many of them have had their own personal world shaken up a bit…seeing one time strangers, now friends, from another country come to their homeland and give of their time, talent and treasures…and serve their people selflessly. Has caused some of them to question why more Guatemalans arent doing this, why arent more people serving and meeting the needs of others in their country.
And many who came to serve, ended up being served by those who we were helping out. The countless stories of perseverance, patience and hope that we got to hear, thanks to our awesome translators, ended up giving us just as much in return.
The Good News is that this sanctuary can be found today, wherever you are…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 ESV)