We walked down a rocky path toward a black plastic “house” in the distance. I was carrying a bright yellow medical kit as I stumbled down the uneven path. Three doctors from Enumclaw and Tanya Amador, the director of the Corner of Love foundation, a Maple Valley foundation working in remote areas of Nicaragua, were with me in the group. We were going to see three children that Tanya had come across the week before. But I saw more than that. I saw the kingdom of God revealed.
We walked through a banana and native plant forest with houses scattered about. All had dirt floors and, because of the rain, the fire pit for cooking was inside the houses. The house we were walking toward was made of black plastic with sticks pounded into the ground. A rusty corrugated tin roof was tied to the sticks.
There was a two-foot gap between the plastic and the roof to let air blow through the 10-foot by 10-foot house, but the smell of smoke told us that it must get pretty smoky inside. And when the rains came, well, it couldn’t stay dry.
Inside, on the dirt floor, was a makeshift working/cooking table. There was a fire pit built up in the corner for cooking. There were no beds and we wondered if the children slept on plastic or simply on the dirt floor or a dirty blanket. There were no water or toilet facilities to be seen.
In front of the house stood a 9-year-old girl holding her baby brother. The mother was away picking coffee during the soon-to-end coffee season. Two other boys were sitting on the dirt. The boys all wore T-shirts, but no other clothes. One was 6 but looked about 3. The other was 3 but looked younger. The chickens running about looked healthier than the kids.
Tanya had come across the family while arranging for a volunteer medical-dental team from Corner of Love to hold a clinic in the area. The kids were listless and their stomachs distended. Parasites and poor nutrition had stunted their growth and affected their health.
A piece of clear plastic was pulled from a backpack. The plastic became the examination table on the dirt outside the shack. And there I saw the kingdom of God revealed.
Two of the doctors, volunteering their time and medical skill, sat down on the plastic and began examining the kids, caring for them with the most amazing care and touch. Sitting on a piece of plastic outside a hovel, examining and caring for three dirty, parasite-infected, malnourished kids. It wasn’t just a corner of love; it was love itself.
The kids were given medicine and food and toys and we packed up and walked back up the path. And I left a different person than I had come just a few minutes before.
Twenty-three people from the Plateau were on the medical-dental service trip in January and many were so moved by the experience, we are going back next year.
Interested in making a difference in the lives of very needy people? Contact Corner of Love in Maple Valley for an experience that will change your life.