I got an email today with a scanned copy of a letter from a man who leads a remote village in Papua New Guinea. In broken English, he sent a request for help from our ship, listing out about 10 health problems the village are facing, the last of them being “lumps.”
As I read that, I swallowed a lump in my own throat.
I can picture the lumps. Strange growths like the man who had a tumour so big in his mouth it has started leaking through his cheek… for the past several years.
Giant, infectious lumps like this little girl’s…
Lumps and bumps that never get diagnosed… and often claim lives.
And to me, its that extra bit of sad right now because my own baby has a little lump… that still isn’t gone.
I’m so grateful to live in a country where we have had adequate health care. And not just adequate, but nurses that remember him between visits and treat us like rock stars. Surgeons who spend an unlimited amount of time answering our questions. Doctors who come in just to listen because they’re all a little puzzled about what’s been going on…
It tells me they aren’t just doing their job but they actually care about our little boy.
We’ve followed up on Max’s surgery and they’re not happy with the way his wound has healed… or about the new lumps that have emerged. That said, its not bad enough to warrant surgery yet… and they are over trying antibiotics.
So we wait and we watch and we pray.
And while we’re okay (I mean, you can’t argue with the fact that he’s an adorable almost-18-month-old who runs around giggling and cracking us up for the better part of every day), we don’t like it. We want to know he’s healthy and forget about the scary words the doctors mention as possibilities.
So while we wait… and watch… and pray… we continue on with our life. And for us, continuing on means doing our best to help other peoples’ lumps go away… Recruiting doctors and nurses, fundraising, renovating ships, writing newspaper articles, planning strategically for the future…
Because just a couple of hours away is another mother, making dinner over an open fire outside her hut, who is not only wondering what that lump is on her little boy’s neck… but also knowing that she may never find out… and may face the very real possibility that he won’t be okay.
We believed our little Max would bring life to many… and he inspires us every day to do our best to do the same.