So often we are not made to know just why suffering is allowed in our lives or in the lives of those around us. But every once in a while, God makes known his purpose.
When the doctor made us understand that Vanessa must be hospitalized, we realized right away that is must be at the Regional Hospital. The charges for the German Hospital would have run several thousand dollars that we didn't have. And since we would not be compromising medical quality, just comfort, we knew what we had to do. I didn't know how miserable it would be, or I would have chosen to go into debt! I know that thousands get medical care there, and that maybe I'm just too spoiled, but the facts are that I was miserably uncomfortable. Vanessa would have been uncomfortable anywhere, as needles were going to be a fact no matter where we were. But I would have been better able to care for her in another setting.
Anyway, I am not a pouter. I tried to make the best of things and to be positive around the other children's mothers. Nessa's crib was at the end near the door and the recliners. Next to me was a little girl, Connie, who had a severe infection due to sinusitis that had not been properly diagnosed. The dr. let her mother know that she was in danger of losing her life because the infection might get to her brain. Connie's mom and dad took turns caring for her. Neil was able, over the 5 days to witness to Cristian. Jessica, Connie's mom, told me that she had been saved and baptized as a young person, but hadn't been to church in years. She was so glad that her husband was listening to Neil. They have commited to go visit the Temuco church. Also, next to Connie was Javiera, with a severe urinary tract infection. Neil was able to make friends with and witness to Eduardo and his wife. We passed out tracts and Pastor Jaime passed out Gospels of John to all the parents and nurses. Jessica told me that she knew that her child and mine had been allowed to get sick in order to bring us together so that her husband would listen to the Gospel. We plan to keep contact with these two couples.
When Vanessa was born, we didn't have a baby dedication ceremony, as many here think of them as the evangelical form of infant baptism. But in our home we talked and prayed and dedicated our Vanessa to God. Sometimes God needs to use us or someone we love to reach others. Sometimes that means suffering. If God needed to allow Nessa to suffer so that he could reach those in need, then I need to not grumble. I give her freely to be of use in the Master's hand.