September 4, 2012


Ma'am Dibble has this little ministry.  She visits the National Children's Hospital (NCH) every Tuesday with Annie.  I've followed her blog for a while now and every time she posts about the hospital, I think: "Wow, she is SO BRAVE and SO STRONG to be able to visit and pray with these kids".  And I always thought that there was just no way I could do the same thing.  I am just not brave or strong.  I did not think I could hold it all together, keep calm, smile and pray without falling totally apart. 

Today was my 3rd visit.  It was quite shocking the first week with Ma'am Dibble.  A little scary the 2nd week by myself with Annie...but something happened to me today. I felt the little "switch" inside my heart turn on for this ministry.

I cannot offer any of these kids money, but I can offer hope.  I can pray, offer a smile, a word of encouragement.  A little bit of sunshine to their cloudy day...that is something I can give.  And I choose to give it.  I choose to share a part of me that I did not know existed until now.

It is hard to find the right words to say when you are praying for a little boy or girl with leukemia, sepsis, hydrocephalus, heart or kidney problems.  It's not something I see very often.  I am not in the medical field.  I do not have a medical background.  All of these diseases or illness are very SCARY to me because it is something I am just not exposed to.

Each week that I have gone, I been touched in a way that I hope I will never forget.  

The first week, there was this little boy in a coma.  His body was so far diseased that he was clinging to what little bit of life he had.  I do not know what happened to this boy.  Whether he pulled out of the coma or not.  But I prayed and cried with that mamma as if that were MY little boy.  I know a God who is able...and a God who is a comforter.  

The second week, I met 3 siblings that were all in the hospital for the same thing:  Malnutrition.  The mother and oldest sister were there also.  They seemed to be in better condition than the 3 smaller children.  They were "healthy" looking.  And yet, here were 3 children that were starving.  They each had a little saltine cracker in their hands, food provided by the hospital.  If there is ONE thing I am taking away from this experience, it is I am going to do my BEST to not waste food anymore.  I am pretty good about cleaning my plate or only taking what I need, but sometimes...well, food is so plentiful for us that I don't think anything of leaving a few bites behind.  But those few bites...they could mean LIFE to someone else.  You've all heard that expression:  "There are starving kids all over the world that would gladly eat your food"...well, there really ARE starving kids here that would gladly eat that vegetable you do not like, that fatty piece of meat, that burnt piece of toast, etc.  

Today, we visited the 4th floor.  Annie told me that when the bill is too high for the parents to pay, the children are moved to the 4th floor.  The care is the same, but they will share beds.  Annie has seen as many as 6 children in one bed!!!  Today, we saw a bed with 3 children sharing--all there for a different reason.  Many of the beds had two patients each.  We prayed for several children with leukemia, heart conditions and kidney conditions.  I told Annie that is is very hard for me to see this, as our hospitals are so different in the states.  

I really cannot put into words how seeing all this makes me feel.  It is a sad feeling, yes...but there is more.  I wish I could describe it.  Maybe, I can find the words someday.

John, age 12

Maria, age 6 (also, Maria's mamma)



Kelley Highway said...

When I saw the picture of you holding my notebook of names, ... I lost it.

God is stretching you each time you visit HIM at NCH.

Love you. xo Mama Dibbs

Amgilliam said...

Mama Dibbs...I hope you understood how I purposefully understated "little ministry". I do not think it is little at all. It is HUGE!! It is life is precious. Thank you for letting me fill your shoes for a few weeks. I will do my best to make you proud. Yes, the little notebook goes along as well!! It is my little piece of you that I carry with me that gives me the courage to do this. :) I really am grateful for this opportunity and for a chance to share this ministry, even temporarily, with you and Annie.

Kelley Highway said...

It is a little ministry, my girl. Seems like a drop in the bucket in a sea of drowning need.

*gulp* *tears* Love that you love them, too. All the precious drops. Thank you for going in your .own. shoes where many dare not trod.