and it is so hard to say goodbye.

Sometimes I have to be careful how much time I spend at the hospital.  It seems I get sucked in to a few patients that I check on for nutrition reasons.  By getting sucked in, I mean it is hard for me to say goodbye when it is time.  If I am honest I don’t see my self as an overly compassionate person, but more as someone who advocates for those who are hurting and once I hear someone’s story, it is hard for me to leave it alone, until I know they are through the trial…maybe that makes me compassionate on an individual level?

If you remember, a few months ago I blogged about a child named “Gift”. He went home with an ostomy in April. Paul told him to come back to the hospital 1 month after the previous discharge and it had been way past a month.  I was so worried I wouldn’t see him again or that something had happened to him.  I kept asking Paul if he had seen him, but no sign of him.  And then last week I saw him with his father outside our out-patient department.  I was so excited to see him and I was thankful that he was able to come back.  His first operation had given him an ileostomy and now it was time to reverse that.  He looked healthy and his cheeks had gotten a little rounder.  He had traveled a few hours by foot and then taken a mini bus into Soddo.  The hospital’s benevolent fund was able to fund his surgeries.

After they admitted him, I walked into the surgical ward and the nurse said in Amharic, “Your child is back”  I said, “I know and I have come to see him.” Even the nurse knew I was attached to this sweet little boy.

He successfully received his operation last week and was able to go home today.  Before he went home Nathan picked out a car to give him and I gave him some powdered milk to take home for extra nutrients.  We prayed for him and they praised God for the care they were able to receive.  They said a big thank you and when the child kissed my hand I said a big thank you and God bless you!  The other patients in the ward laughed that I would say thank you back to them.  But it is true, I am thankful that God has given me the opportunity to be involved in their lives and I was certainly going to thank God for the life of the  little boy who kissed my hand.

It is so easy to get attached to some of these little lives, but it is certainly not a bad thing to feel compassion for those who are hurting.  It is hard knowing I can’t do more, but we can pray for him.  Pray that God will guide his little life and sustain him.  Help him grow into a mature young man who follows after his father as one who recognizes God’s power and praises God.