Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mission of Healing 2013

In the time of the Gospel, Jesus walked to where the sick people were.  He went inside.  The people came, carried on little stretchers and walking by foot.  Their small beds were lined up outside the door of the house.  The people waited and waited, and Jesus healed and healed and healed.  

In our time, you come here by airplane.  The people come in vehicles and they line up inside and outside the door.  They wait and Jesus heals.  He heals and he heals.  This is the power of God.


Pastor Martir, quietly reflecting  on 
the Mission of Healing 

We have almost concluded another Mission of Healing in El Salvador.  On Monday, we will return to the women's prison to give needed medications to the women who received healing a week ago, and we will give two big boxes of medications to the prison pharmacy.  The women will be surprised to see us, two women from the US and two pastors from the Salvadoran Lutheran Church.  The women told us that no one keeps promises.  Maybe these small gifts of medicine will help a few women to be able to trust others who love them.

During our first healing week, we worked in Nejapa, and during the second week in San Salvador.  It's always good to see a little one who has grown over the past year.  We try to remember people's names and faces, and there are a few who we are extra anxious to see each year...like Miguelito.  He is the little guy who, five years ago, was malnourished and struggling for survival with no hard palate and a large gap where his upper lip should have been.  He is a walking miracle, a testimony to the power of prayer and the perseverance of his mom and our team members.  His community arrived on Wednesday.  I escaped from the exam room in which I was translating, and went out into the crowded main room.  I saw him right away, standing on the other side of the room in his yellow shirt.  "Miguelito," I called, and he ran over and jumped into my arms.  He was really excited, and remembered to use good manners and say, "Hola, Leeeee-nda."  After the crowd thinned, he and his little brother had a lot of fun circling around the waiting area chairs, counting each one with a slap and a giggle.  Miguelito recently had another surgery.  His speech therapy will be covered for the next year by donations from the team.

People come to the Mission of Healing for prayer, for massage, for check-ups, to learn about HIV, to listen to or to play music.  Luis Mario came for a touch of magic.  He is about 18 years old, but seems much younger.  He has "special capacities" or "special abilities" as Salvadorans would say.  I like this focus on ability rather than disability.  Luis Mario has many challenges, and a smile that lights up a room.  He was fascinated by a pink plastic wand, which lit up and made a magical sound when a button was pressed.  A simple tool used by us to make kids more comfortable -- who knew it could bring such fascination!  Luis Mario took the magic home with him.  When he left to catch the bus with his mom, the wand was still held tightly to his nose.

We will go home soon, taking with us the memories of all the special moments we shared - some happy, some difficult.  Some of the people we met this year will not live to see another Mission of Healing.  Some people we met this year will live until next year because of the Mission of Healing.  We came by airplane.  The people came in vehicles and by foot.  God was already here.




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