Daily Archives: November 23, 2007

When Thanksgiving makes me cry

Yesterday was great! The perfect holiday: family, food and festivities.

Today, my heart hurts.

My friend and co-worker in Ubaúna, Áudrey, had emailed me on the eve of Thanksgiving with an urgent request. A 3-month old girl by the name of Raquel was dying of a severe infection. Áudrey had emailed, appealing to me to mobilize prayer warriors to pray in her behalf. It wasn’t just little Raquel dangling between life and death in the ICU. Her parents are brand new Christians. People believe they were cursed because they elected to follow Jesus and abandon the spirits they once worshipped. Little Raquel is proof that they are being punished.

Her illness is a battle between mighty powers.

Áudrey said he was choosing to believe in the miraculous and wanted us to participate in this battle with him.

Last night he sent me the following:

Elaine, the mother of Raquel, gave the baby water to drink from the [contaminated] reservoir. According to the doctors, this caused the infection. This led to pneumonia and strong seizures. Yesterday her breathing stopped and the doctors struggled for more than an hour to revive her. They were successful, but, she is now breathing only because she is hooked to a machine. Only God can cure her.

As bad as that is, let me tell you the rest of the story.

Rafael and Elaine, the parents, don’t have two pennies to rub together. If they are fortunate, they will manage a single “meal” each day (their “meal” would not meet our qualifications for the use of that word). The treated running water that used to come into their shanty neighborhood was cut off months ago by local politicians who didn’t like the way the neighborhood had voted in the last election. There are no wells. Elaine has to walk two miles to the local reservoir, which is highly contaminated, to get water.

She would normally boil it, but she can’t afford matches. So they drank the water.

What’s wrong with this picture?

We, blessed beyond our needs, Raquel dying because her parents can’t even afford matches.

People, this doesn’t have to happen. We can make a difference through simple things like this. But, are we so thankful for what we have that we turn our eyes from what makes us uncomfortable? Our pets receive better treatment than this Christian family.

As I said, my heart hurts…