Friday, September 11, 2009

The Blind Man Can See

Half my time here in Mexico is already gone. It has been a busy week but full of excitement and blessing as you will see. James picked me up at the airport in Puerto Vallarta. We were very blessed to be able to stay in a nice condo in which the owner allowed us to stay for free. It was such a nice place and we spent one day they before returning to Santiago Saturday afternoon.

This pool seemed like it was half a km long it was the biggest one we had ever seen.

James has a water proof camera so we had some fun with it.

This is the pool that never ends.

Andrew, Levi and Simon

Natalia looking cute she doesn't even have to try.
The whole crew.
We arrived in Santiago to a very warm/hot welcome. I was expecting it to be warmer at least I had remembered it being warmer the last time I was here in September but we didn't have air conditioners then so maybe that is why. Thankfully we have a couple air conditioners in the house to make in a little more comfortable.It is nice to be back here with James, Nelly and the kids. Levi, Simon and Andrew were happy to see me but Natalia is still not too sure if she likes me or not, I am still trying to convince her.

Sunday we were together with the Christians a couple of times. It was good to see so many familiar faces as I have gotten to know some of the Christians a little during my previous visits. Monday James and I decided that we would set out for Hermosillo. There were one hundred chairs up there that he has wanted to pick up for quite sometime. We set out Monday morning at 11am. We stopped into Obregon which is about 3 hours south of Hermosillo. We had supper there and picked up Nathan he lives in Hermosillo but was down there helping with gospel meeting. We finally arrived in Hermosillo at about 1:30 Tuesday morning. Some of you may remember that just over a year ago I drove to Hermosillo with my brother and his wife and kids. They are missionaries here but right now are back in Canada for two months. While I was here last time I was helping with some work on a new building for the church. While we were here and since James has a lot of experience in painting parking lot lines we brought the painter and he painted the lines on the new church parking lot Tuesday morning. We had hoped to have the painting all done and have the chairs all packed up and leave by 10am and be back in Santiago Tuesday evening. Little did we know what all God had in store for us over the next few days.

We didn't leave Hermosillo till about 1:30pm because the painting took longer then was expected and then they made lunch for us. We had hoped to stop in to see Duncan in Obregon by 1pm but obviously that didn't happen. Driving from Hermosillo to Obregon usually takes about 3 hours but it took us almost five, because they had a hurricane come through about two weeks ago and it washed out large sections of road and washed out a couple of bridges so we had to take a detour and got held up for a long time.

We finally met up with Duncan for supper. We had planned to just eat supper and keep driving and hopefully be back sometime Wednesday morning, but once again the Lord changed our plans. We were reminded how true Proverbs 16:9 is "A man’s heart devises his way: but the LORD directs his steps." We met Duncan (He is a missionary from Canada that has been working in Obregon for about a year) at Subway and while we were eating our subs he mentioned that he had just come from visiting one of the Christian men and that this man was almost totally blind. This man who's name in Mario was a brick layer and about 15 years ago while mixing up some mortar had gotten some lime in his eye and didn't get it washed out so he lost complete sight in his left eye. His right eye was still ok, but about a year and a half ago he fell backwards down some stairs and hit the back of his head which made his retina come loss from his eye. This man didn't have the money to go to the doctor so nothing was ever done and he had pretty much lost all sight in that eye except for if he was out in bright light he could see very little. Duncan and another missionary had take Mario to the hospital a couple of months ago but the doctor there said nothing could be done. Mario had no hope that he would ever see again, try to imagine what that must have been like.

After hearing this James thought to call one of Mexico's best eye doctors in Guadalajara about a 12 hour drive from Obregon. James and Nelly had taken their son to this doctor back in April of last year and found he was very good at what he did. James called the doctor and he asked how long ago his retina had come off he said if it was with in fifteen days then it could be put back on and he should have complete vision. When he heard that it had been a year and a half he said he wasn't sure that they could give him more sight but they could keep what he still had and he said God still does miracles. This doctor was supposed to be in Culiacan the next day which is about five hours south of Obregon and he said that he wanted to see Mario. We were all very excited to see what God was going to do. We went and visited Mario and asked him if he would like to go and see the doctor to see if anything could be done. He was so happy he said he wasn't sure if he should cry, laugh or jump but he wanted to go. We stayed the night with Duncan and Wednesday we drove to Culiacan. We arrived at 12:30 and were able to see the doctor just before he went for lunch. He was able to look in the eye and see that the retina was seventy percent off and it was folded over so it no longer reflected light and that is why Mario couldn't see. We were referred to an eye specialist there in Culiacan and after several hours of sitting and waiting and going from this office to that office and going back to that one, the doctor told us he could operate on Mario the next day which was Thursday at 1pm. We were so thankful that it could be done so soon.
All of us out for supper Wednesday night.
Beto, Duncan, Mario, Me and James

Thursday we went a did some shopping in the morning before taking Mario to the clinic at 12 and then got him checked in and in his nice hospital dress and booties. They told us we could come back in about four hours to pick him up. We went and had lunch and visited for a while and then went and picked up Mario. They had a patch on his eye after the operation so we didn't know if he could see or not because the doctors were not sure if his sight would improve.

At the clinic Thursday afternoon just before the operation.

All suited up.
While Mario was in having his surgery Duncan had his stick and he said he had always wanted one.

Then we decided that he should make it look like he was blind and go and drive so that is what these next pictures are about.

Mario just after his surgery.

We went to the hotel and got Mario resting and then got supper, but we were all kind of in suspense to know just how this was all going to turn out for Mario. Friday morning at 10:30 we took him back to the doctor so that he could take a look at the eye. While we were sitting in the waiting room a nurse removed the patch and put some drops in his eye and he saw for the first time in a long time. There was a young boy Beto that came with Mario, Beto helps him and leads him around and Mario knew Beto before he lost his sight. After having the patch removed he pointed out Beto and said there he is and then he looked at James, Duncan and I and he saw us for the first time. It was such a cool moment. He was all smiles as he started pointing out what he could see and what color things were. We then went in and the doctor examined him and he said it all looks good and he wants to see him in two weeks. Mario's vision is not perfect things are still blurry but we trust the Lord that as his eye heals his sight will continue to improve. Mario has had to have someone to lead him around but it was so awesome to see him walk on his own for the firt time as he left the doctor's office by himself and he would point out the curbs that he would step up on instead of someone else having to tell him where they were. He continued to tell us what he could see and we were all so thankful for what the Lord has done.

Friday morning when the doc was examining his work.

The doc and Mario with his new glasses that he needs to wear for the next while.

Everyone happy for Mario's new sight.
We heard from Duncan and he said the trip back was very exciting as Mario was reading every sign he possibly could he was so happy that he could now read.

As James and I were driving home we were just thinking about this whole trip . James was saying how when we first started out on this trip he was thinking why am I driving 12 hours to pick up some chairs it isn't worth it. Then Tuesday had we left Hermosillo at 1pm when we wanted to we would have met up with Duncan before he had visited Mario and God only knows if he would have come up in the conversation. Then how over a year ago James had already make contact with and had a good friendship with the doctor in Guadalajara and how he was going to be in Culiacan the next day and then how soon Mario was able to have surgery. God was going before us and making all the arrangements and we just got to be there to see Him at work. Although we didn't get back as soon as we had first hoped we would, we got back Friday evening and Friday is James birthday. We had a birthday celebration for him tonight.

It is cute James leans his head over and Natalia leans on him but I caught her in mid yawn.

Celebrating James big day.

Levi took these last three pics.

Uncle Andrew
Little Andrew


Joia said...

Awesome pictures - the pool is GORGEOUS!!

I like your shirt in the last picture of you!

Bruce Woodford said...

Praise the Lord for working all the details and delays and situations of the last few days and even the last year together for Mario's good and the healing of his eye!

It's so great to hear of the goodness of God to him. Thanks for sharing, Andrew.

Love, Dad

Mom said...

Great post Andrew, really enjoyed the wonderful news and Mario's seeing and all the pictures!!!!