Dear Loved ones,
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The one who gave His life to pay for the debt of our sin, so that we could go free! What caused Him to do that for us? Love! Yes, He loved us that much, even before we repented He loved us that much. And since He lives in me, I too can show this kind of love, although many times I fail to do so, this is my goal.
Folks, as much sadness and hurt as there is around us, lets focus on the positive for an instant. How blessed we are that Jesus didn’t do what you and I would more then likely do when faced with such a thing as that. To take the blame for something that we all know we didn’t do, even to the point of being put to death He didn’t back out and say, now thats going a bit too far. He willingly did it so that you and I don’t have to. How incredible is that? He could have at any moment called legions of angles to rescue Him from it all, but he chose not to. Why? Because He loved us so much that He would have rather suffered the punishment than to see us go through it. That is the kind of love we as Christians should be demonstrating to our fellow men and women.
Ok, I’ll get off of my soap box now. I just got overwhelmed by the goodness of God for a moment.
Here we have all been doing well, and I pray that all is well with y’all. It is exciting as we learn more of the language and can communicate better with the people we have come to love. Although there are things that we are also finding out as we are more able to talk the language that are not so exciting, like the story of the little boy below. But that is why the Lord chose to put us in this place, because the people need hope. If everything was good, we wouldn’t need to be here.
We are continuing to work on the gardening project, to get the raised beds made and the fence built around it to keep the animals out. Many of the seeds that we brought are not growing, so some of it will have to wait until after November when we go to Managua to renew our residency permits, where we can hopefully find some seeds. We are hoping to let our neighbors each have a bed to plant if they want to, which will bring some variety to their diet in the rainy season.
On the medical; For the month of July we did a count again to see how many people came to our house for treatment, so here are the numbers. Some were repeats that came back every day for a while to have their bandages changed, or to have eye drops put in their eyes.
Number of patients———————-
Number from other villages ——————–24
Colds and Fever————————-
Cuts and Scrapes —————————— 20%
Ear and Eye infections ———————– 18%
Skin Irritations and Diseases
Headaches/ Toothaches/ and body aches 7%
Diarrhea and stomach bugs——————-6%
Stitching jobs 3. 1 from a machete cut, one from an axe falling off of a porch onto a child’s head, and one from a child falling off of a log bridge head first into the creek.
A few internal infections and other sicknesses
It is interesting to note that the diarrhea and stomach bugs is all the way down to 6%. In the beginning before we had the well done it was all the way up to almost 80%. Many of the colds, fevers, and ear infections are a result of the of the cool and wet nights that come with the rainy season, coupled with the fact that many peoples roofs leak enough that much of the house is wet and damp when it rains. There was also an eye infection similar to pink eye that made it’s round through the community this month. Many of the scrapes and cuts are not something that most people would need medical attention for, but since they have nothing to take care of the wounds with except wrap a piece of cloth around it, we are glad to put some ointment and a piece of tape on it, which keeps it from getting infected.
Other matters in the community:
The judge from our village just informed us that he will not be judge for another term. Please pray that the Lord would choose the person to be judge that He wants in there. In our eyes, there are very few people in the community that would even qualify to be judge, but God already knows.
Thank you for continuing to pray for a smooth transaction of the medical building, and for the doctor or nurse who will be coming to run the clinic.
Praise to God for the boat parts that we have been waiting on for several month. Please pray that the boat would work well now.
As the food in our village gets less and less, we plan to start cooking one meal a week for those who want to come and eat, until the rice harvest comes in about mid to late September.
My last trip down, I brought little Semena’s grandfather along to the hospital in Waspam because he was sick. Now this trip I brought the grandmother down too because the grandfather is within a few days of dying.(according to the doctors) Please pray for Semena and Anas as they cope with the grief of loosing their grandfather.
When people follow the sinful desires of their heart, children suffer the most.
Sinclair is a little boy about seven or eight, who’s father never wanted anything to do with him from the time he was born. The mother was a prostitute who never really took care of him, and at the age of two, she met up with the father somewhere and gave the boy to him and told him that she didn’t care what he did with him, but to get rid of him somehow. The father, even though he wanted nothing to do with the child, didn’t have the heart to destroy his life, so he took him and left him with the grandparents.
The grandparents tried to provide for the needs of little Sinclair along with his two other siblings, one older and one younger, who they had ended up with earlier. The grandfather already had all he could do to raise enough beans and rice for themselves, so the extra mouth to feed wasn’t exactly what he desired, but he didn’t have a choice but do what he could. Because of his bad health and inability to provide enough food for everyone, he became very irritable and short tempered.
With all the stress of feeling insufficient and a bad provider, he became more and more critical of the children’s inability to perform the work he assigned them, like carrying enough water for the grandmother, and finding enough firewood for her to cook the meals with. As time went on, the four year old sister wasn’t the only one getting beatings almost every night.
Little three year old Sinclair and his two year old brother became victims of the abuse too. Grandma hated to see all the abuse, so she was harder on the children during the day, so that more of the work would be done when Pops came in from the fields. But it only made matters worse, because now crying wasn’t only a part of the evening, but during the day as well.
At dark one evening as Pops was coming in from the field, Sinclair was quickly climbing down the steps of the house. It was normal for all the children to disappear from the house before Pops came in, to avoid the conflict as long as possible, but tonight Sinclair had played with the beans he had to sort for dinner a little too long.
With the bellowing of Pops, the poor child lost his footing and fell the rest of the way down, knocking himself half silly. Pops managed to grab him by the arm before he got away, and dragged him up the steps and into the one room house. Grandma was bent over in the corner trying to get the cooking fire started. She sighed as she heard the commotion. She had a rough day from going up and down the steps numerous times, drying rice in the hot sun, so her mood wasn’t very good either. As the scolding and beating commenced, her fuse expired as well.
Her efforts to calm the situation were counterproductive, and as she tried to rescue the boy from the brutal beating, Pops tore him away from her grip and threw him out the window. After he hit the ground, the only ones to be heard were Grandma crying and scolding, and Pops yelling at her for sticking up for the “little brat” as he called him.
Soon there was wailing and crying from Grandma and the two siblings as they knelt around the motionless body of little Sinclair. About five minutes later, after Grandma had carried the limp little body inside, he woke up again, to the horror of life.
After this things went a little better for a while, but after a really bad bean harvest, the stress level of Pops went up again. There were clearly not enough beans to feed them until the rice harvest would come in, not to mention that they had hoped there would be enough to sell a few hundred pounds, so they could buy a few bars of laundry soap, a little salt, and maybe even a little cooking oil.
During that next year, life for Sinclair was a living hell. His little body became riddled with scares from all the abuse of pops trying to teach him to not be so stubborn.
Finally the boy couldn’t handle it any more, so he did the only thing he knew that would help. He took his brother and sister and ran away, away from the house that kept getting him hurt, away from the village he knew as a cruel place to be. He ran out into the jungle where there would be no one to hurt them. At four years old he was used to finding enough food in the jungle to survive, and he knew to stay close to the river for water, so in his mind it had to be better than what he had known up until now.
It wasn’t long until his little three year old brother became frightened from the thought of being away from everything he knew and started crying, wanting to go home. Sinclair and his six year old sister talked about what they could do, and decided to follow a person going down a foot trail close by. They followed at a distance, and after a long walk ended up in another village, which was Namahka, the next village down river.
It wasn’t until about midnight that someone found them huddled under an empty house, all wet and scared. The woman in the house next to them finally went out to see what was going on after all three of them were crying for a while, and took them inside. The following day after figuring out who’s children they are, word was sent to the grandparents where the children were, and in a few days the grandma made the trek to her neighboring village to retrieve her little ones.
Sinclair and his siblings were eating their lunch that day when they heard their grandma say something outside of the house. The children realized what she was there for and made a mad dash to get away. Grandma caught the girl at the doorway, and as she struggled to keep her balance on the steps and to keep ahold of the frantic six year old, little Sinclair slipped by her and ran. At a distance he stopped to look the situation over, but after seeing his sister get one of the biggest thrashings of her life he knew he wasn’t going back.
So he turned and ran on out into the jungle by himself. Being out there without his bigger sister, all by himself was hard, and in the late afternoon he again followed someone walking down the path. They soon came to another village, which was Krinkrin. For the next few nights he slept with the pigs under the school building, where no one would find him, and in the day he would try to find some fruit or something to eat. The people had figured out who he was, but he made sure to keep his distance from them so they couldn’t catch him.
People scolded him and said bad things to him for running away, and then some would tell him that if he carried water for them they would give him some food, but after he had carried the water they refused to give him anything, but laughed at him instead and told him how stupid and worthless he was.
The grandparents were again told where he was, but when the grandmother came to get him he ran out into the jungle, where he spent the next few days until he was sure that she had left. Finally one of the ladies from the village couldn’t take it any more and started feeding him every day, and with time he would go into her house and lived with her for a time.
Sinclair like his grandfather also had a bad temper and often got into fights with the other little boys, as well as getting angry at the person who was feeding him. After repeatedly refusing to do the work he was assigned, the women got on his case about it, so he got mad and ran away.
For the next year he lived with four different families, with periods of sleeping with the animals in between because he would always run away after being confronted about not doing as he was told. The last family he stayed with let the grandma know to come get him after things weren’t working with him any more. They made sure that he didn’t know that she was there until they had him in the house. So the grandma took him home to Pihpilia, the village that had been his home before.
The boy was still afraid of his grandfather, and the grandfather greatly disliked the boy because of his stubbornness and for running away, so it wasn’t long until it was back to old times. This time though the man knew that if he beat him a lot, the boy is going to run away again, so after a squabble with him one night he grabs the five year old by the arm and drags him over to the corner where the cooking fire was. He grabed the pot of hot water that was on the fire and threw it on little Sinclair’s feet and said, “now run away if you can.” The water was very hot and scalded the skin off the top of the child’s feet.
Of course the child couldn’t run away for a while after that, but long before his feet were healed up he did run again, one evening after another encounter with pops.
After wandering around in the jungle for several days, he decided to cross the Coco River on a log, like he had seen adults do a lot when they went to work in the fields. But what he didn’t know was that he wasn’t strong enough to paddle across the strong current, so down the river he went, floating on a piece of drift wood.
Sometime during the night the piece of wood drifted close enough to the bank that he swam to shore, where he spent the rest of the night. The next day he followed the path to the close by village, which was Krinkrin. He went to the house where he had last lived and they took him in again and attended to the wounds on his feet.
Since then he has lived there most of the time, although he has run away several times to other villages, because he refused to mind the people he stays with. The last couple times he ran was since we live in the community, and after being gone for a few weeks, someone brought him back to our village.
A few weeks ago the family finally had enough and told him that they are going to tell his grandmother to come and get him since he refused to mind. From there he wouldn’t go back into their house, but came and spent the rest of the day at our house. This wasn’t unusual so we didn’t think anything of it until it got dark and we told him to go home and he told us he doesn’t have a home, so we went and investigated and found it the way he said.
We decided to take him in and try to help him, because we are convinced that most of his problems and bad behavior come from the lack of love. It breaks my heart to see him in the state he’s in now, but he knows that we love him and is sucking it up right now. The only way he will do what we ask him to is if he loves us enough to want to please us, and that is how we hope to win him, with the same love that God loves us with. We pray he will stick around long enough to know without any doubt in his mind that we love him regardless of what he does, but just don’t like some of the things he does.
A few days before I came down river we gave him the choice to have a new name if he wanted to, which he did. He chose the name Benjamin David, so that’s what his name is now.
Would you please pray that the Lord would cause Benjamin to feel His love through us even stronger than before? A few days after he came to live with us we got word that his mother died. Even though he didn’t know his mom, we can still sense the grief he has about it. These next few months will be very trying for him, and for us, but I am convinced that with Gods Love all things are possible. Thank you for praying. By Eli Lee