Villa Esperanza

Villa Esperanza

About Me - trying to live a life that is as full as it can possibly be - loving God & loving others

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Amazed by YOUR kindness

Life has been as fun and busy as always out in the DR. The last mission team hopped on their plane and flew away two weeks ago. Since then I've had time to get back to the village I love so much and spend time there with my friends and the community. Being away for so long, working with teams, has really shown me how much I care about the village, and I believe that God has put a big Esperanza Shaped Hole in my heart. I love spending time talking with people there, helping them wherever I can and just being there with them. I've said before how hard it is to explain exactly what it si I do - its kind of a cross between being a youth worker, social worker, pastoral carer, bringer of food, problem solver, joker etc etc.

Two weeks ago I was asked to help the students who are now too old for the school in the village. They graduated grade 8 and they are the first cohort of students to do ao. The nearest secondary school is a long walk away and it just wouldn't be possible for the students to walk there and back every day. I had known that this challenge was coming, but I had been so busy with teams all summer that it kind of slipped my mind... so there we were, on the Thursday before school started back, with no transport and students wanting to learn but having no real opportunity. For families in Esperanza, the cost of sending someone to the school and back would be impossible. It's about the same as 8 pounds, or $12 US Dollars a week. The vast majority of the village wouldn't be able to afford it.

I am a great believer in education, and so to think that students don't have that opportunity to further themselves and potentially change their futures due to lack of transport money was pretty grim! So... in desperation, after doing some maths, I turned to the wonderful thing that is facebook to see if people might be able to help me help the students get to school. I really don't like asking people directly for money, but then I remember that Im not asking for me, Im asking for people who cant ask for themselves. When I get my mind straight and realize that we are all a part of this big world together, it helps!

 Anyway, the response was amazing! Lots of people responded with everything from one week's transport being paid for, to one year, toongoing monthly commitments being made! I am overwhelmed at the kindness of people thousands of miles away, and at the encouragement that I believe this is to me to carry on! Jesus tells us in the bible, in Matthew that we don't need to worry and that God will provide for all of our real needs - I still struggle sometimes not to worry a little when I see a big need and have no idea how I am going to deal with it.  This last week or two has shown me again that God sees the work here and He will provide for his children here - in school transport this time!

Im also excited by the kindness of the motorbike taxi drivers in the village. Im paying them each just under half what they would usually charge to take someone to the school and back, because that is enough to cover their gas and give them a tiny bit more on top - they all agreed that they want to help me to help their village, and that if more money comes in they will get a bit more. Their kindness, when they too are living in poverty, is so humbling. They could of stood together and demanded more, and what choice would I of had? But they know how important education is, and they want to help me help their young people too.

Working together - it's pretty sweet!!! 

SO, thank you so much for helping, and for reading, and for praying! I really do appreciate you all!

2 months until Im back in the UK, looking forward to seeing as many of you as I possibly can in that time!!

C xxx

Friday, 6 September 2013

A thumb for $100

Something that I love and hate, in almost equal measure, is that living here you never ever know what might be in store during the day. In the UK I had an office job, which was fairly mundane and almost always the same. I had a predictable pattern to my life, and I think I sort of liked it.... But over the last few years I have discovered the 'joy' of never knowing what lies ahead! It does make for some exciting days, and for some upsetting ones! 

Last week I was with the Mission Team, showing them where the family they had been building a new home for was moving from. We visited their old shack, spent time in the community, and just as we were about to leave I was introduced to a little boy. This boy was about to change my day, and I was about to have the privileged of changing his! He had a really badly infected thumb. Swollen so badly that it looked more like a disfigured big toe than a thumb. I was amazed! 

The team went back to the hotel, to enjoy a couple of hours of swimming and free time to celebrate the end of their hard work... I went off to the hospital with Davidson - after finding someone else to lend him a pair of flip flops, as he had none. Alessandro, my Italian friend, drove us to the hospital, where Davidson was treated to a coke and a bag of crisps - he hadnt eaten anything yet that day. He also used a flushing toilet for the first time in his 7 year existence! 

The doctor did his thing, pus oozed everywhere, Davidson screamed and wailed and got really distressed which was horrible - but ultimately he had to have his thumb drained or risk loosing it or getting a nasty blood infection. The nice part was I got an amazing hug when it was done.... 

Then it was off to the pharmacy to buy his antibiotics and painkiller and new dressings. We took him back to the community and told 3 people exactly how he needed to take his meds, and how to clean and care for his thumb... All in all it cost $100 dollars. 

Part of me felt cross that his thumb had gotten into that state - caused by a splinter! But when you realise that his Mother has no job and that there is no doctor popping into the community and no clinic there - that transport to get to the nearest clinic would be more than she could afford, never mind the medicine etc, it does make you think doesnt it. Life isnt as easy and simple as we often think it is. You never know what the day ahead might bring....

Its exciting to think that for a few dollars you can save someones thumb from being amputated.... its also a massive responsibility to keep your eyes open for what the real needs are around you! 

Im not adding photos because they are gross and you might be about to eat some greeny/yellowey soupy type thing....!!