It is spring here in Honduras, as it is in the US. Our seasons don’t change as much as they do in the more Northern states; however, all of the blooming trees and shrubs are beginning to blossom at this time. For allergy sufferers, such as myself, that is not always the best news. But still I love the spring and what it signifies. It is a time when all that is dead and dormant springs back to life. It is such a testimony of what God does in our lives and truly a testimony of what God has done in these kids. All were lying powerless to save themselves, But God! 2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new has come.”
When you have 104 children, you can imagine medical needs and expenses can be overwhelming. We, however, are so grateful for our clinic! Because the clinic sees people from the community as well, it is self-sustaining, but still primarily exists to serve our kids. Practically every day, 3 to 5 of our kids are in the clinic getting minor issues taken care of. In addition, throughout the month, several of our kids are scheduled for “well child” dental and medical checkups, so that they are seen by the doctor and dentist at least once per year. We are so grateful to our clinic staff for the wonderful care that they have taken of our kids.
When there are situations that our clinic cannot handle, we must go to other local clinics and hospitals to get that help. The last 3 months have been great medical months in my mind because I feel like a few of our long-time medical mysteries have been solved! Those of you who have come to Honduras know Neyelly. She is 10 years old, and for at least the last 4 years, has suffered a very uncomfortable skin condition. Practically her whole body had broken out in hives with a very itchy rash, and we could not figure out what the problem was. We brought her to the local dermatologist and to other specialists. We had doctors from the US look at her condition, but we could never get a real diagnosis of what the problem was. Finally, our clinic doctor told me of a dermatologist in San Pedro Sula that she thought could help. I was a bit skeptical; after all, we had talked to several experts in the field of skin care, and still could not figure it out. But thinking it could not hurt, after 4 years of searching for answers, why not? ACTINIC PRURIGO were the words that came out of the doctor’s mouth when he saw Neyelly. Two words that sounded like Greek to me, however it is the name of a very rare skin condition, where the patient is actually allergic to the sun. After so many years of praying and searching, finally a name and a treatment. Neyelly has been on treatment for the last 2 months and has shown SIGNIFICANT improvement. We are so very thankful to finally get her the help that she needs!
We also discovered that Pedro, one of our newest little boys, has a slight case of Cerebral Palsy. When he came to the village last November, we noticed that he walked with a limp and thought that it could be a slight club foot. However, after an examination by a US medical team, they determined it is Cerebral Palsy and now Pedro can receive physical therapy through a local, free clinic.
In addition, Josue David, one of our littlest children, has been suffering with chronic ear infections for several weeks that don’t seem to clear up with antibiotics. We brought him to a special ear, nose and throat doctor for treatment and he has determined that he will need surgery. But no fear, a medical team from the US will be here next month to provide those exact treatments free of charge here at the local hospital in May. Isn’t it great to see how God confirms His provision time and time again!
We love circumstances when God says, “Look, I just wanted to show you that I am in control.” Such was the recent case with Hilda. She is on the list to go to the states this year with SEIP to visit her sponsors in Wisconsin. In order for that to happen, we had to locate her birth family to get the documents we need. Now in the case of Hilda, she comes from a very poor family that lives in the mountains of Yoro. They are an honest, hard-working family of farmers that never imagine that anyone intentionally hurts anyone. One day a group of “wealthy” people showed up in their village saying that they worked with a program that gave scholarships to underprivileged girls. They wanted Hilda (then 10 years old) and her sister, a year older than her, to come with them to Tegucigalpa to go to school. Their family was overjoyed and gladly sent the girls to study. The only problem was “studying” was not what would happen at all…the girls were taken into slavery. A few years later, Hilda’s sister was able to escape but could not get Hilda out with her. All of these years she feared Hilda was dead. Hilda, however, later escaped as well, and ended up with a family that brought her to us. Hilda was 12 when she arrived.
When the SEIP opportunity came along for Hilda, we decided to drive the 4 hour trip to the village she is from to see if we could find her parents. When we arrived, her sister ran out of the door to embrace and kiss her. She thanked us that she was alive. Hilda’s father was now 87 years old. Because Hilda’s mother was in the hospital, apparently in the last stages of cancer, we did not get to see her. However, Hilda’s brother called last week and told her, if you want to see her alive, now would be a good time. The next day, Oscar took Hilda again to see her mother and she was barely conscious. But, she did have the chance to tell Hilda that she was sorry for all that had happened and they got to say their goodbyes. Two days later, Hilda received the call that her mother passed away. The truth is at the beginning of the search for her blood family, Hilda did not have much interest in finding them, after the apparent way they had allowed her to be sold into slavery. But she agreed later to try to find them so she could go to the US this summer. It was literally just in time, too. It has been such a time of healing for Hilda, but please keep her and her family in your prayers.
We were very blessed this month by Dr. Jim Ogden and his optical team from Oregon and Washington. Dr. Jim comes to work with WWH2H every other year to provide eye exams and glasses to our kids that need them. About 25 of our kids will be receiving a new pair of glasses soon, thanks to this amazing ministry. As I told Dr. Jim and the team, there is no way that WWH2H could afford the cost of eye exams and glasses for our 104 kids. But praise the Lord, He always provides. We want to thank Dr. Jim and the team for their love toward us and the kids and this greatly needed service.
While the team was in town, we celebrated the 1st quarter birthdays. We also want to thank Mikaela Gronseth for her amazing Tres Leches cakes and all the work she puts in on this end to get the gifts together. This was the first time for Cesar, Pedro, and Manuel to celebrate with us. After years of rejection and abuse, it is awesome to have a day to celebrate the lives of these kids!
We want to say thank you and goodbye to Roger Addison, our volunteer from Virginia. Roger’s church in Virginia has been involved with WWH2H for many years. Roger joined his church on a team last year that constructed the girl’s house playground. Then he returned in January to volunteer at the school. Throughout the 3 months that he has been here, Roger has been cooking for the teen boys and helping in the math classes at the school.
We are so grateful to our great God for all that He is faithful to do. We rest in His care for our kids. We are also thankful to each of you who pray for and sponsor His kids. I trust that your reward will be great!
~ Oscar & Amy Serrano