Lordjina is two years old and first came to our clinic in October. This child is super sassy, and I fell in love with her instantly. Lordjina could not flex her feet and could not stand. Not knowing how to best help her, we kept her information and she left our clinic.
I showed her photo to Autumn, an occupational therapist who works alongside the mission, and she encouraged me to bring her to STAND in Port-de-Paix. However, I would have to wait until January!
January finally came. I worked with Autumn to set up the appointment and made all the travel arrangements before presenting the idea to Lordjina’s mother. I did not want to get her hopes up in case we could not work it out or find funding. So many people came together to make the trip possible – Autumn made the appointment, Jody helped arrange a truck, Caitlin helped me plan finances, and Fresnel gave us a place to sleep! When I finally sat down with Lordjina and her mother again to present my idea one week before planned departure, her mother cried. She was so overwhelmed that so many people who do not even know her came together for her child. She has gone to many clinics, asked many people for help, and said that she ran out of people to ask. Of course she agreed to the travel and we planned to go together the next week.
When we finally were ready to leave and sat waiting for the truck, both of us were pretty anxious. We hardly knew each other, were about to travel together, and there were no promises of how STAND would be able to help. We made small talk and loved on Lordjina together to pass the time.
Did I mention Tom Snivley was here? He was, and not really knowing what he was getting into, he was about to travel with us!
We made the four hour tap-tap ride to Port-de-Paix, with Tom and Lordjina in the front and me and her mother in the back. By the time we got there, I made a new friend and so did Tom! Lordjina absolutely LOVES him.
That night while Lordjina’s mother and I talked before bed, she made a comment. She looked at me and said, “You love people a lot. You love all people.” I was caught off guard. I told her that I love all people because that is what Jesus did. She just shook her head and said that not everyone is like that. She explained that after Lordjina was born, her father left them because the child was not normal. Lordjina’s mother has been left raising 3 girls alone.
My prayer for this trip then changed. I was no longer praying for Lordjina to get help to be able to stand, but for God’s love to be shown to this family.
The next day we went to STAND. We were all shocked when within the first 20 minutes after arrival we were told Lordjina’s feet could be fixed with a simple surgery that next morning at the mission. We spent the rest of the day making equipment and fitting braces to her legs to be used after surgery. (Not to brag, but it turns out I have some duct tape skills.) The family was educated and given so many resources!
The next morning at the mission, the family met the visiting surgery team. They were cared for and prayed over as they got ready for surgery. Autumn performed a Achilies tendon release, and they received excellent loving care. Tom and I stayed with them every step of the way!
When we were getting ready for them to leave, Tom was playing with Lordjina, a nurse was double checking they had what they needed, and Lordjina’s mom looked at me and said, “You are not the only one who loves like Jesus.” SCORE – Prayer answered!!
Saying goodbye to this family, not knowing when I will see them again was very hard. Pretty sure Tom would have kept this little girl if he could have! Hopefully when they come back to St. Louis for therapy I will be able to visit. I cannot wait to see this girl walk!!!
This trip could not have been possible without God. He got so many people working together. Each staff member, the STAND employees, the surgery team at NWHCM, and the generous ones who donated to make this trip possible. What are the chances that the day we plan to go to STAND, Tom is here to make Lordjina laugh and take away her fear, and there is currently a team in St. Louis allowing us to do surgery the very next day? Only with God!