Today we visited the General Hospital in Port au Prince. As we drove in, you could see the ruins of what looked like a main area of the hospital, left over from the earthquake. In my mind I imagined that we were going to minister to people in a big white building with white walls, dirty floors and busy doctors and nurses running around, with one to two patients in each room.
When we walked down the sidewalk between two green structures made of wood, you could see in the open air windows the mothers and fathers with their children who looked like new born babies. We learned that most of the babies were anywhere from about one to five years old and were either sick, malnourished or dehydrated or all three. There were maybe 24 children crowded into the one large room. Doctors and nurses were walking from crib to crib talking gently with each mother and father as though they were ministering to the families. I felt like I was walking in a sacred area.
One boy I noticed was sitting up on his crib bed; he was very weak and barely had his eyes open and was very malnourished. I went over to him to hold his hand and touch him. His breathing was so heavy and he had an IV hookup to his hand, but he looked into my eyes so intently, almost like he couldn’t believe I was there. I held his hand and just kept stroking it, praying for him quietly that he would feel Jesus’ love for him. It almost seemed like when I prayed Jesus’ name, he looked straight into my eyes like he was looking at Jesus, and I knew Jesus was there. Jesus hadn’t joined our team when we walked in, He was there all the time. And we were joining Him. This sweet little boy kept wanting me to touch him, to rub his hand and arm; he held onto my hand so I wouldn’t let go and began to rub my thumb with his thumb. I know Jesus was with this little boy.
On the other side of the room, there was another boy named David who had meningitis. Laura had been with him the whole time and I joined her at his side. She was rubbing his leg and shared with me that he had been abandoned. As soon as I walked up to him, his eyes just connected with mine and he would not look away. We talked to him and rubbed his legs and loved him. Laura prayed for him, for the other children and their families in the midst of this room with so much need for hope, for healing, for food and water and peace. And in the moment when Laura prayed, we felt Jesus presence there, knowing that He felt it all – the need, the hurt, the desperation. It was amazing to be a participant in His grace for these people, for their willingness to let us into their lives, to touch and say hello, to encourage with smiles and words to feel His love for them.