|On the bus...we were packed in like sardines and at one time |
Dan held a heavy little girl on his lap!
Dan, Sindy Sinclair (a local friend) and I went to see Herman and his family in northwestern Nicaragua. It ended up being a 10-hour trip Thursday by boat, two buses, and taxi, and then an hour Friday morning by pickup truck.
We stayed overnight in a little town called Muy Muy which means "Very Very." We wondered, "very very what?" At first we thought it may be "very very beautiful", until we got there and thought, "very very small", but by the end of our stay we decided it was "very very interesting".
On Friday morning we talked to Herman by phone. He and his family were to come meet us in Muy Muy. He was bringing his ill mother to the clinic to get an injection. He first had to carry her on his back (remember he is blind) down the mountain and across a stream that was up to his knees. He then put her on a horse and held her on while one of his boys led them down to the road. They were hoping to catch the one bus to Muy Muy that day, but got there late. We we talked to him, he was very upbeat and said not to worry, they could probably catch a ride with a truck going by. This seemed very iffy to us so we began looking for someone who could take us up to meet them and and bring them all down. At breakfast we prayed and asked the Lord to provide a way for Herman and his family to get to town. We asked two different men, but one was charging too much and the other couldn't go for an hour. (I neglected to add that Herman's 70 year old mother had had a fall and was no longer able to talk; we think she probably had a stroke.) Finally, we were told about a mechanic down the road who might know someone who could help us. We headed out to find him. What an answer to prayer he was! Juan Carlos Lopez is a strong Christian and travels all over Nicaragua sharing the Gospel and ministering when he isn't a mechanic. After we told him about Herman and what we wanted to do, he said he thought he knew of someone and he would like to meet Herman himself. He called his brother, who for a good price agreed to take us to Balsamo, the area where Herman was waiting.
|Finding Herman and his family on the side of the road.|
When we got up the mountain, which took about 45 minutes, we saw the little band...Herman with his arms wrapped around his mother trying to keep her warm, and his four children huddled him around like a hen with her chicks. The kids were so excited to see us, they were jumping up and down. They had to look in the bag we had to see what we had brought them. The soccer ball was the biggest hit.
|Talking with Herman on the way back to town.|
|The two younger boys...|
Then we dropped the bag off at a neighbor's, and headed back down the mountain. Our first stop was the clinic to get Herman's mom set up with the doctor. She needed an IV that would take several hours.
|Sindy and the kids eating a hearty lunch.|
We left Herman with her, and took the kids to lunch. We then took them to buy warm jackets, shoes and hats. It gets pretty cold at their elevation, especially during rainy season and they had left Bluefields so quickly when they heard the grandma was sick that they didn't take much with them...not even shoes, only rubber boots.We left Herman with her, and took the kids to lunch. We then took them to buy warm jackets, shoes and hats. It gets pretty cold at their elevation, especially during rainy season and they had left Bluefields so quickly when they heard the grandma was sick that they didn't take much with them...not even shoes, only rubber boots.
It turns out that Herman has four brothers and a sister, but he is the only one willing to help his mother. Even her husband quickly drinks up any money he is able to make. Cousins were supposed to come and help him get his mom back up the mountain...but no one came and he ended up carrying her on his back through the stream that was then chest high. Through all of this he has the most loving, grateful heart. He never complains, nor does he speak against his father or siblings. He just takes it all in stride, working when he can find work, taking care of his mother and his children and never once even mentioning that he is blind which makes everything harder.
|The IV wasn't finished when it was time for them to catch the |
bus home, so they took it with them and Dan tied it
to an upper rack in the bus.
So, when we start to complain about some little "inconvenience" in our lives here, we think of our friend, Herman, and his family and what they deal with every day, and we are humbled and grateful for the example Herman is to us.
Please continue to pray for him and his family that they can get home to Bluefields as quickly as possible.