|dr. carlos treating one of the rhinos in our home|
if you grabbed my phone and looked at "recent calls" at any point during those 5 years, i bet you find his number towards the top. we've been through a lot together, much of which you'll find documented throughout the history of this blog.
esbin's years of treatments while fighting for his life. doña juana's fight for hers. berter's bout with aids. countless malnourished and/or sick children. surgeries, operations, and treatments. i can't even count all the rhinos who have cracked their head open and needed stitches. when it happens, dr. carlos is here within minutes. i'll never forget the incredible "accident" last year, where God used the doc in carrying out a miracle.
all of this doesn't scratch the surface. and i didn't even mention the sicknesses within our own family!
dr carlos grew up in magdalena. his parents sacrificed everything to get him through med school. after 1-2 years of school, carlos would work in the fields for a year to save up money... then go back and continue. this cycle repeated itself over a 12 year stretch! its the only way he could help his parents with the costs.
his parents, who run a tiny little fruit and vegetable store in a tiny little village, gave everything they earned towards their son's education. they believed in him, and they shared his dream.
with his degree in hand, along with a license to practice medicine, it was time to leave magdalena, move to the big city, and start making a doctor's salary. makes sense, right? wouldn't that complete the incredible success story?
not in this case.
before starting the journey to become a doctor, carlos' dad gave him one condition. he told carlos that he would gladly sacrifice - by all means necessary - to help him through med school. but... he would have agree to use his education to serve and help his own people.
there would be no fat salary, no big house, and no fancy cars. he would have to agree to treat people who can't afford to pay him for his services. he would also agree to never turn down a knock at the door.
he didn't have to twist his son's arm. carlos is a unique breed, and i expect he was even as a kid. he loves what he does. he recently told me "i love it when someone knocks at my door at 3am. it gives me joy to jump out of bed and do my job. its what i was made to do."
whatever he is taking... i need some! he's twice the missionary that i am. i moved to this country specifically to help people, and in no way am i waking up "joyfully" to a 3am knock at my door! i can't even fathom saying, at that hour, "yippeee! i get to take a pregnant lady to the hospital!"
during the time that i have known the good doc, he has proven himself to be man of integrity. he is honest, even when the truth hurts. he is direct, even in a culture that is not, because he knows that people need to hear the truth. he is gentle, kind, and thoughtful.
to me and my family, he is much more than our doctor. he is our friend.
which is why we are soooooo excited to be a part of a new project, where he will be blessed with a new home and clinic.
with the help of our close friends and stateside supporters alex & marie, who over the years have developed a special friendship with dr. carlos, God is making the project possible. that story of provision is better saved for separate blog... but i can tell you that it is one of deep meaning and sacrifice.
after getting a glimpse of dr. carlos' story, it probably won't surprise you to know that his home and clinic share the same roof. yep, thats right... while a bleeding patient is being treated, his kids sit on their beds watching.
by the time this project is completed, their current home will be a newly renovated clinic (with reception area, patient rooms, and office), and the property behind the clinic will have a new home on it for carlos and his family.
i'll keep you posted along the way.