Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In the last 24 hours I have just been overwhelmed at how wonderful and faithful God is! There are so many things going on in my life (as is the case with most everyone these days) and to be able to just stop and be aware of how AWESOME our God is and to see how much He cares about little O' me in this huge world we live in ... its breath-taking!!!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
It was our Monday off and we had been out shopping for some supplies in a mall in Manila when we got the text. "I need Brittany back here in no less than 2 hours." That was it. So we had little over an hour to finish up before we needed to head back towards the orphanage, I not knowing what was awaiting me when I got back. When I got back I went straight to the orphanage's ICU. There lying on the bed was the man that I had seen a few days earlier for the first time, a man I later came to know as Kuya Bernardo (the term Kuya is tagalog (the language spoken in Manila) for Mr., or meaning older brother; a sign of respect). He weighed about 80 lbs when he first came to us. Why did he come to us at all you might ask? He was dying, he had TB and was dying; we were to provide basic hospice type care for him in his last few days.
Over the next few days, the majority of my time was spent in the ICU. I was told he didn't speak a lick of English...and I didn't speak a lick of Tagalog. So there we were, him lying in his bed, gasping and battling for breath, and me just sitting in the floor, praying, reading my bible, making bracelets, journaling, or working one of my sudoku puzzles. There was usually someone else in there as well, whoever was scheduled to work that shift. But there we were, we'd spend hours in silence. When it was time for dinner or whenever his water bottles got low, I would go and fill them and bring in dinner. And that's how it was.. we just waited. There were some nights when I would have night duty and would bring in my small mat and tiny travel pillow to sleep on the floor; although sleep was usually the fleeting. I would get minutes here and there, but everytime he would cough or move, I would sit up making sure he didn't need anything.
I prayed, oh I prayed. I prayed first and foremost for salvation and secondly for healing, accepting however that if it was God's will to take him now, then so be it, I would still praise Him no matter what he brought of this situation. But, how much of a testimony would it be to the greatness of God, if this man were to WALK back into Malabon, the community where he lived; a community in which everyone knew he was DYING. He would truly be a walking miracle that no one could deny. My mind kept going back to Jesus healing the blind man, a man who everyone knew was blind. When he was healed, people couldn't deny it, some ventured to say he had been faking his whole life, but that notion was quickly done away with... people knew he had been blind. In the same way.. people knew Kuya Bernardo was dying, there was no denying that.
There were a couple nights that first week that were very close, we didn't know if he'd make it another day, even another hour was uncertain.
And then, as always, God was faithful. Kuya Bernardo accepted Christ as his savior and the Lord of his life. That was it. That was the changing point.
At that point, he was filled with something we had never seen in him before; he was filled with Christ; with the Joy of the LORD! He began to gain strength! He began to be able to walk on his own, without the need of his walker/chair. He began to talk! For the first time since I had seen him, he was happy! The change was incredible and was almost overnight! No one could deny that the LORD had truly done a work in the heart of Kuya Bernardo.
He began to get stronger and he began to gain weight!
One day during a shift in which I was the only one in the ICU with Kuya, I was working on a sudoku puzzle, when I heard a voice ask, "Ma'am, when do you go back home?" The voice was soft and hoarse, but it was voice that I wasn't accustomed to. I looked to the door, no one was there...the only other person in the room was Kuya Bernardo. But that was crazy Kuya Bernardo didn't know English, and I had understood what was said, so whoever had just spoken was clearly speaking in English... slowly my head turned towards the bed where he was laying... he was staring straight back at me. I glanced at the door once more, making sure there wasn't anyone else there. Hesitantly I looked back at Kuya and asked..."Me?... Are,...are you talking to.. me?" and without hesitation he asked again, "Ma'am, when do you go back home?"
WHOA!!! KUYA BERNARDO IS SPEAKING TO MEE... IN ENGLISH!!!! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS?? my thoughts were screaming! It took me a second or two before I finally responded, "We will leave Gentle Hands on July 25."
So Kuya Bernardo knew english! Another miracle! In the coming days we talked about family, about his family, about his mother and sister that lived in the province, about his brother in Malabon. We talked about my family, I showed him pictures of my family, my parents, grandparents, brother, best friends, he even got to see pictures of my pets! haha!
Kuya Bernardo continued to gain strength little by little, untill the day we left, that morning, he was able to walk outside and spend a little time outdoors! I couldn't believe it! The LORD had done a miracle, there was no way around it, this man was a walking miracle!
That was several months ago... I had heard from updates from some of our guys that Kuya Bernardo was doing well, but I was always so curious as to was 'well' entailed. Was he still enjoying walking outside? was he still gaining strength and weight??
Yesterday I was looking through some pictures of the work that our guys are doing, they were helping clean and prepare to rebuild our guard's house, he lost his house in the recent flooding. These are some of the pictures I saw:
YES!! I'm not sure if you can see it very well, but that guy in the grey shirt in the middle...THAT IS KUYA BERNARDO!!! He is healthy and getting healthier and is helping in the relief efforts!
Here is another picture of them leaving for the day, on the right is Kuya Bernardo, hauling a shovel! PRAISE GOD!!!
This last one is of Kuya Bernardo and some of the guys at Gentle Hands, preparing food to feed those who lost everything in the flooding!
I saw the first two pictures this morning and am still at 6:20 PM speechless over this!! Oh what a MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!!!