We remember when little Mario's mom, Sandri, said to us -
I don't care what we have to eat.
I don't care where we live.
I just want my boy home.
I want him to play out here in the dirt like he used to.
I want my husband back.
I need God to send someone to help him.
There's so much to share with you since that time!
A sweet friend, Christen, returned to the states after her time here and started advocating for this sweet boy and his family. WOW... God has done SO many things through this little boy.
Not only did the company end up donating the synthetic skin for Mario ($20,000 worth), but they also donated for his little buddy, Yermin, who has been in the hospital and entire YEAR! Can you imagine?!?!?!?
I don't have photos of Yermin since his surgery, but he is at home for 10 days and then will head back to the hospital for skin grafting (2-4 months). Mario had his first round of surgery and is going back into the OR TODAY to have the sponges removed. He will also go home for about a week and then return for skin grafting as well.
We also met 2 other children in critical care when we went to the hospital to meet Mario. The other 2 kiddos have a great possibility of being flown to Shriner's Cincinnati to receive treatment. Please pray for their parents. We are going on Saturday to talk with them about this possibility!
Just feast your eyes on this sweet boy... oh he melts my heart! THIS is little Mario (Mario Jr or Marito, as we like to call him) -
The lady in the first photo is Riechelle Buchanan – she's also a missionary here in Guatemala and is involved in many things within medical care. Riechelle and I have yet to meet, but basically 'met' online because of Mario's situation and she's been spending some time with him at the hospital. It's been amazing to see how many people the Lord brought together to help this family!
We had the opportunity to deliver food to the family today along with the team that is here and Mario Sr. was home because his wife, Sandri, was at the hospital. He went on to tell us that before this situation happened, he put his trust in his family, he thought that if they stuck together, they could get through anything. After the accident with Mario Jr, he was very mad at God and just couldn't understand why this would happen to his child. Two missionaries visited him in the hospital and explained to him that He needed to put his faith and trust in Jesus alone… he wrestled with this for a while and when he finally decided to accept Jesus, 2 days later the Lord put this family in our lives. I believe we had been talking with his wife and sharing Christ with her prior to that time, but hadn't yet met the dad.
Because of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of Christen and her husband that came here to serve a couple months ago and because of their obedience, they started advocating for this sweet boy! We also now have a relationship with the doctor who we believe does not yet know the Lord. In addition, I've come to know (briefly) April and Riechelle, also missionaries here. Riechelle has been able to spend time with the family at the hospital and share Jesus with them. Now, April and her husband (a doctor) are going with us on Saturday to discuss with the other 2 families the opportunity for them to be treated at Shriner's in Cincinnati.
Not only has the Lord brought all these people together for 1 little boy in the middle of Guatemala, but HE has also opened the doors for the doctor to have additional training, us to have a relationship with the Integra company, and a relationship with the folks at Shriner's. Who knows how the Lord will continue to build and develop these relationships... we are just so thankful for the many miracles the Lord has performed through this one little boy… I truly believe that God has great things in store for little Mario's life!
Please continue to pray for this family... they still have a long road ahead of them of healing, physical therapy, preparing their home, moving back home TOGETHER (praise God!), and Mario Sr. finding work to start paying back everyone that has helped them, and provide for his family.
We are SO thankful and amazed, again, at how the Lord can work!