Friday, August 31, 2007

Day #4 Dominican Republic: "Say it isn't so..."

Called the police today. Had to. By 11am we had a mob brewing and a crowd getting out of control. We shut the clinic down, the cops dispersed the mob, we closed the doors to the clinic, had a team meeting, prayed... and then we had lunch.

Everything was going well until there was a lapse in crowd control. We were in a church with a lot of people getting through the doors and the team surrounded by people wanting to be seen. The crowd outside over ran registration and those with numbers began to panic and started to enter the church demanding to be seen. By then I was outside with Yolie trying to make sense of what was going on. It didn't look good to either of us, and that was when I told someone to call the police. They arrived pretty quickly and took control for the most part, but there was still chaos. We were witnessing first hand, desperation from people who had nothing, who wanted to be seen, who needed medicines and who knew that there would not be another chance. Could we blame them? Not really. The team was calm, and since most of the team are seasoned Medical Mercy members, they knew the drill when I announced a shut down. Details aside, we got things under control by 1:30pm and saw 400 patients today.

Marien is 5 years old and not a sponsored MoM child, but we were seeing her as we do the whole community in addition to the sponsored children. She is the only surviving triplet born at 7 months gestation, 2 months early according to her mother. The other 2 triplets were still born. She is healthy, bright and loveable. And here's the catch: according to mom, when Marien was delivered, she was breathing, but just barely. The doctor said to the mother "Take this parasite home to die." What? I asked the mother to repeat what she just said. "Take this parasite home to die." I got another interpretor to verify the translation of what the mother was saying: "Take this parasite home to die." Say it isn't so...but it is the truth the mother said. I had to stop for awhile and simply hold Marien. What a world we live in.

They buried Pastor this morning right around the time that I was examining Marien. I have been thinking about him alot since yesterday and now have Marien in my mind. A life taken, a life given. The one taken from neglect. The one given as a grace from God. Or am I being too harsh? I have to believe that the people here are inherently good people, with good intentions, and virtues. I believe all that, is hidden under the hardship of living in poverty and abondonment. Sometimes we do things to survive that are not very pleasant and we witnessed that today. To come here with the intent to show the love of Christ is a hard taskmaster. These past 2 days have proven that. But there is something more that we intend to do and that is to make ourselves aware of who we are, not what we are: vulnerable, fallible, and weak souls, who struggle every day to do the best we can, knowing that He is in control of everything. Just like the mob today, the Pastor dying yesterday, and Marien living as a human being and not a parasite. And for all of that...

....we give thanks always...He is in control and we believe in Him. Simple as that.