Thanks for all your comments! I know you don't always have anything specific to say in response to our blog, but it's nice to get a sample of who's reading from time to time.
A couple days ago I mentioned that we were able to give away our old fridge. I learned yesterday that it had a bigger impact than we imagined. We gave the fridge to Jenn and Joe's helper, Elsa. Elsa lives in a poor community near the beach. I could tell you some super spiritual version of this story, and talk about how the Lord suddenly spoke to me and told me to give her the fridge. I could tell you that, but it would be a lie.
It went down like this: I was trying to figure out how to get rid of this stupid appliance that I no longer wanted. I asked Joe if he could ask his helper where I might be able to sell it for a few pesos. When he talked to her about it, she expressed an interest in buying it. I went to Joe's house for lunch that day and she asked me about buying it, and how much I would charge her for it. If you can believe it, I actually spent a minute thinking about that! What a schmuck...I considered taking money from this poor woman.
Anyway, after being an idiot for a moment, I suddenly came to my senses. I told her "Merry Christmas, we will give you the fridge." I'm such a saint...sometimes I even amaze myself. Joe and I threw the fridge in the back of the truck (I love my truck) and delivered it to her house that afternoon. She seemed very very happy to receive it, and her husband seemed to be pretty pleased too, though with his limited English all he could say was "Merry Christmas". I was just as happy to be rid of the thing as they were to receive it.
And now for the rest of the story. Elsa's husband (I think his name is Dodong) was one of Mordegai's patients. Many years ago he got a terrible infection in his toe that spread up his leg. Eventually Mordegai had to amputate Dodong's leg. Since then, he has sunken into depression and turned to drinking. It is my understanding that he is very difficult to live with. When Joe and I dropped off the fridge on Thursday, Joe commented that he had never seen Dodong in such a good mood.
When Elsa came to work on Friday, she kept telling Joe how blessed she was by the fridge. Joe says she was almost crying about it. Joe couldn't figure out what the big deal was, but Elsa soon explained her elation. Dodong has decided he is going to make ice in the freezer and sell it. He is very excited about the possibility of having his own small business.
As Joe related this to me later, I again demonstrated my incredible ability to miss the point. I immediately began crunching the numbers. Could you really make enough income with ice sales in a poor community to offset the cost of the electricity and your time? I'm such a putz. It's got nothing to do with how viable such a business idea is. The point is this: Dodong has a new-found purpose. He has an idea he's excited about. He's going to spend his days making and selling ice.
The Lord used our old refrigerator with broken shelves to bring hope to a family. It's rather humbling when I think about it. Bethany and I are so blessed to be used in God's big plan. Even if we don't realize our role at the time.
I don't have a photo of the fridge delivery, so I'll include a pic of Bethany's most recent delivery, her eighth. This is Kyla. Weighing in at 8lb 4oz, she's a chunk. She was sucking her thumb so much in the womb that she got blisters on her thumb. She was sucking her thumb again as soon as she got the chance after the delivery. Despite the momma having a serious urinary tract infection and a host of other issues, she delivered her healthy baby at Mercy under Bethany's care. She's enjoying putting into practice everything she is learning and just finished her last assignment for 2007! She is excited to have a slight break in the paperwork....the exam is on Thursday, so you can be praying for her.
Many blessings to you all this Christmas season!