Sovereignty and Surgeries

Stop striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NASB2020

Shonuff, it has been a good minute since we have shared on this blog.  Since the last blog on community, we’ve had an interesting few months.  The Rolfe’s have had lil’ baby Santi and the Johnson’s (Brock, Kerrie, and Lucy) have been here for several weeks.  Also, the Academy has opened back up in a limited capacity. 

On top of that, we have had the privilege of experiencing 2 surgeries on the mission field.  Yep, there have been 2.  On Sept 4, Hannah had an emergency appendectomy and Caleb followed her on November 3.  All we can say is “Wow!!”

With Hannah, she had been having stomach pain for a couple of days and we thought it was the normal “Guate Gut”.  Yet, we grew more concerned when she woke us up one night with increased pain.  After some oils and rest, her pain subsided yet didn’t go fully away.  The next day we sent some samples off for testing.

During that day, the pain would come and go and at times was really bad.  Laura grew more concerned yet wasn’t sure of the cause.  She had texted our faithful friend, Dr. Carlos, and we thought he was going to come by the following morning to examine Hannah.  She was able to eat that night but not much.  She went into the living room to rest while the rest of us prepared dessert and played cards with Nicho.  To our surprise, Dr. Carlos texted saying that he was coming and would be at our house in a few minutes.  As the rest of us were playing cards, he examined Hannah.  Within 5 minutes, he was telling us that Hannah needed to go to the hospital, “NOW!!”  

For help and clarification of details, we got Brock on the phone.  Brock was encouraging Carlos to take Hannah to a hospital in the Guatemala City.  Carlos said he’d prefer a different place in Jocotenango.  We made the decision together to simply trust.  So, Dr. Carlos, Laura and Hannah sped off in the night to a private hospital that none of us (Brock, Laura, nor myself) knew.  The anxiety was also high because Laura was going into an emergency medical environment with capable and growing (but limited) Spanish skills without Brooke nor Brock.

Upon arrival, Laura and Hannah were greeted by a bilingual Pediatrician who had been called in a few hours earlier.  Gracias a Dios!!  This pediatrician would be able to stay in the surgery and talk to Hannah in English to help her through.  Hannah had an emergency appendectomy within a couple of hours of Dr. Carlos’ arrival.  The hospital stay was non-eventful and we were able to go home the next day.

During the whole time, all we could do was react and trust.  Trust that God is in control.  On the backend, you got to see God’s Sovereign hand guiding the whole process.  First, we were not expecting Carlos to come that night yet God moved him to come see us at the right time when we were not expecting.  Next, it was not our hospital of choice yet God had ordained for the English speaking pediatrician to be present and allowed Carlos to be in the operating suite sending pictures.  Also, God graciously gave Laura the ability to speak with Carlos, other docs and the pediatrician.   On our way home, God providentially sent rain to clear our way of temperature checks at each village.  When it rains, the local officials don’t stop the cars to check temps for COVID.  Hannah was running an 101 temp.  Gracias a Dios!!

Caleb’s surgery was not as eventful but it was a surgery in a 3rd World Country nonetheless.  His excitement came with a post-op infection with a fever hovering above 103 and Motrin not helping.  Thankfully, Laura is a skilled nurse who recognized the symptoms early and, along with Dr. Carlos, they jumped on getting Caleb on some IV antibiotics.  He is now becoming more active and is doing great.  

God was our comfort and peace. Peace built from sweet time in God’s Word and in praise of Him. Peace built from going through hard times in the past. Before being taken back, Caleb started singing a really cool song by Evan Craft. He sang “Be My Shalom” in Spanish and English. It was really cool to see Caleb latching onto the peace of God…peace that can only come from knowing and trusting that God is there, even when times are tough.

Yes, I wrote it correctly above.  It has been a privilege.  Scary at times…challenging too, but a privilege to grow in our trust of a Sovereign God.  When we look back over the last few months and how God orchestrated each time, we see His Sovereign hand guiding each circumstance.  There were things that could only have been explained through God’s Sovereignty.  

Psalm 46 has become very dear to us.  Shane and Shane sing a fabulous song called “Psalm 46 (LORD of Hosts)”.  It was our anthem during these nights.  The famous line in Psalm 46 is verse 10:  “Be still and know that I am God…”  The NASB has “Stop striving…”  That is a better translation.  When you look at the Hebrew, the word means:  grow slack, release, let go.  That is all we could do.  All modicum of control was gone.  In Georgia, we would’ve chosen the hospital, the doctor, tried to get the “right” anesthesiologist, and been surrounded by some of the best ‘medicine’ in the world.  But here, in our current environment, the current place God has placed us in…all we could do was let go of the rope, let go of control, cease striving and fully trust in God.  

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