God Uses Our Experiences

As I read the following article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website, I thought about how often God will use our experiences, both good and bad, to help others.  It seems like usually we can trust that when something difficult occurs in our lives, sometime in the future that experience when combined with a wisdom gained from knowing God will be used to encourage and help someone else.  I thank God that he has a plan and that he works things out for his purposes.  What a comfort that is for us as we continually put our trust in him while we walk through this life.

Fate of a Child: The Femoral Head Dies


But that doesn’t need to be the end

Little boys usually are running around constantly.  However, 6 year-old Henry has been limping for 6 months, so his parents were justifiably concerned.  Pediatrician Dr. Martina John examined the little one with great care.  The mobility of his right hip was indeed limited.  The x-ray image (see above) revealed the reason.  The right femoral head (from viewer’s left) is partially dead and collapsed.  The disease is called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

Diospi Suyana’s gynecologist Dr. Hassfeld is an expert in this field, which actually is an orthopedic issue, because one of his sons has been affected by the same disease.  It encouraged Henry’s parents immensely to hear that Dr. Hassfeld’s son again can run and play sports normally.  And as a rare opportunity, Henry received the crutches of Dr. Hassfeld’s son.

Explanation: Normally, the femoral head can regenerate with this condition.

Henry with the crutches of Dr. Hassfeld’s son.

Henry with the crutches of Dr. Hassfeld’s son.

The Story of the Kid’s Clubs

This is a very important ministry of Diospi Suyana.  Hopefully it will help change a generation for the sake of the gospel.  From the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

The Diospi Suyana Kids Clubs

Kids Clubs

Kids Clubs

In November 2005, Lyndal Maxwell, from Australia, and Dr. Martina John founded the first Diospi Suyana kids club. The program is similar to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Under supervision, children learned different skills and crafts, and they sang enthusiastically and heard stories from the Bible. They quickly understood God’s love in their own lives, which gave them value and dignity.

Even if their parents fought at home and they witnessed domestic violence or alcohol abuse, these poor living conditions would no longer dictate their future for the rest of their lives. With God, there was a hope and love specifically for them.

What began as a small group quickly expanded to 40-50 children on the street, because Lyndal´s living room could no longer fit the growing group.

Now, in 2014, there are 11 children’s clubs under the roof of Diospi Suyana. 400 children are educated, encouraged, and supported. The volunteers from abroad as well as many Peruvian colleagues contribute their time and energy in the preparation and implementation of these meetings for the children. In this way, during the last eight years, thousands of boys and girls have been well cared for.

In April 2012, a building housing the Kids Clubs was opened with an inaugural ceremony. Under the design and implementation of Udo Klemenz, a modern infrastructure was built with group rooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, a large green space for games, and a small amphitheater for 100 children.

Inauguration of the house for the Kids Clubs in April of 2012

Inauguration of the house for the Kids Clubs in April of 2012

A Follow Up on the President’s Visit

A follow up on the presidents visit.  It is good for our hospital to have a chance to meet the president.  It really is the work of God.  In one week we have gone from being completely blocked in our ability to get our CT scanner through customs with little help from the government, to now having the unofficial backing of the president.  We are thankful for his help, as we try and serve God and serve the people of Peru.  Who would have thought things could change so quickly.  We have been working long and hard through all the appropriate venues, and then through the help of God (through the president of Peru) it is all better.  It reminds me of Matthew 26:19  “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  God help us to remember to turn to you when we need help.  Here is the update from the hospital website.

Presidential Couple Hosts Medical Missionaries in Government Palace

From left to right – Dr. Jens Hassfeld, the First Lady Sra. Nadine Heredia, President of Peru Ollanta Humala Tasso and the medical missionary couple  Dres. Klaus and Martina John.

From left to right – Dr. Jens Hassfeld, the First Lady Sra. Nadine Heredia, President of Peru Ollanta Humala Tasso and the medical missionary couple Dres. Klaus and Martina John.

A PowerPoint presentation held for the President and First Lady of Peru

Only six days after the President’s visit to Diospi Suyana Hospital, Drs. Klaus and Martina John together with Dr. Jens Hassfeld were granted permission to meet with the President and First Lady at the Government Palace.  The three medical doctors travelled to Lima the night before, having learned of their approved visit only a day earlier.  According to the report given by Dr. Klaus John, the President congratulated the three missionaries on the success of their work, adding that the many hurdles they had to overcome were  a testimony to the character of the mission doctors.

The President’s office wants to assist Diospi Suyana with the bureaucratic difficulties often faced when running a hospital. Almost simultaneously, the OTAN authority released the computer tomography machine that had been stuck in customs for many weeks.

Last Friday, the Peruvian President took a quick tour of the hospital. That visit opened up the door for this meeting at the Palace and provided the President with an opportunity to learn more about how the hospital was originally started and how it helps the community.  Before and during the meeting, many missionaries and Peruvian employees in Curahuasi were praying for God’s blessing.  Our prayers have been answered.

The Government Palace, the venue of the meeting

The Government Palace, the venue of the meeting

There Are Lots of Stories Like This

There are many interesting things that happen in the hospital.  Some stories are tragic and others miraculous.  The following story from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website is in the category of miraculous.

A Team of Doctors and Nurses fighting the inevitable

Curahuasi:  It’s Sunday evening.  The missionary Simon Giesbrecht pulls out his phone and takes a picture.  The scene shows Dr. Martina John talking to some relatives; to the right you can recognize a patient on the intensive care bed.

Review:  The Quecha man no longer wants to deal with life.  He is a slave to alcohol and his wife and children have been suffering since his addiction began.  The disputes with his wife and the agonizing self-reproach have been going on for weeks.  When he looks in the mirror, his conscience accuses him screaming, “You loser!”

A neighbor noticed that it was unusually quiet in the house.  He went to investigate and finally found a son that poked his head through the window.  The father is sitting upright at the table, but he does not respond to verbal stimulus.  The whole place smells of insecticides and the empty bottle on the table explains why.  They get the unconscious man to the local health center.

Sunday, 10:30 AM.  The worship is in full progress as the phone rings; it’s the doctor at the health station asking for help.  A little later, the ambulance brings the patient to Diospi Suyana.  Dr. Luz Pena is the doctor in charge today.  She assesses the situation and begins the normal protocol: oxygen, atropine in high doses, and evacuating his stomach.  But Juan does not respond, he’s already in a deep coma.  Meanwhile, Dr. Martina John and Dr. Reinhard Kühn have arrived.  The following is an emergency intubation.  Now the Quecha man depends on the artificial respiration machine.  The analysis of blood gases dashes their hopes and the doctors prepare the family for the worst.  The chance of survival is slim and a normal neurological recovery unlikely.  What remains is prayer.

Hours later:  The respiration takes place with the steady beat of the machine.  The patient shows no reaction to pain stimuli and the pupils remain still.

Midnight: Juan slowly moves his legs.  Incredible!  By the following morning he recovers rapidly and is extubated.  He survives without neurological damage.

The hospital pastor prays with Juan and talks to him about faith in God.  How God alone is the only one who gives life and can also give comfort and support to the desperate.  The hole in the soul can really only be filled by Him.  Jesus once said: “Come to me, all who are troubled and weighted down, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28.


A Man on His Way to Rest

There is a reason why we are here, and it is not always to cure people in the hospital or to teach them in the school.  Here is a touching story from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

The uncurable patient


Tears at the End of a Long Day

After a long, hard day, Dr. Luz Pena  and Dr. Martina John are almost done,  only one more patient to see but this last case seems quite complicated. A young man shows them a large tumor that has been eating its way through the wall of his chest. “We can’t help you here,“  Doctor John tells him, “You need to get to the big cancer hospital in Lima as soon as possible“. The patient shakes his head. “I´ve been there. The doctors there sent me to you at Diospi Suyana!“ Martina John suddenly realises that there is a reason the man  took the 17 hour bus trip to Curahuasi and asks him to wait  while she gets something.

A few minutes later, the  dying patient is holding a tract about faith and the book containing the story of Diospi Suyana in his hands. There they stand in the  empty waiting room,  the two doctors, a young man who has already reached the end of his life, his wife and brother.

The missionary doctor comes straight to the point: “You know,  when I cross the Panamericana out there, a car could knock me down and kill me and then where would I be going?“ Until then the waiting room had seemed  completely deserted but then there is a shift in the atmosphere. “I know where, “she continues, “because Jesus died on the cross for my sins heaven would be waiting for me. Do you want to go there too?“

As the patient nods his head the doctor bends down to him and slowly formulates a prayer, which he repeats sentence by sentence, placing his life in the hands of the God of Love he has never met. Tears run down every face.. the man, his wife and brother weep… and the two doctors. But these are not tears of despair or self-pity. It is what happens when five people sense the holy presence of God in the midst of a waiting room, surrounded by 120 empty chairs.

Tuesday Night Call or La Guardia

A week ago Tuesday I was on call at the hospital.  I had a few interesting patients, but the one that was possibly the hardest was a young girl that came in with a fractured femur.  The deformation of her leg was obvious at a glance, and the x-rays confirmed the fracture.  There was some confusion on the cause of her fracture, because in general a femur fracture is rare without major trauma. The bone is big and strong.  However the story was that she had been walking, fell, and ended up with the fracture.  A lot of things come to mind when you work with kids and hear a story like this, and high on the suspicion list is physical abuse.  There is a lot of abuse of the kids here.  However this child came with a diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfect which is a rare, and terrible bone disease in which the bones are brittle.  One year previously she had suffered a fracture of her other femur.  We are not able to treat her at our hospital, and so we treated her pain overnight, and in the morning I was happy to see Dr. Martina John’s smiling face as she helped me arrange the transfer of this patient to the government health system so she could see an orthopedic surgeon.  We could really use an orthopedic surgeon in our hospital.  We see all kinds of trauma every week.  Below are some pictures our friend Ryan took as he happened to see the Diospi Suyana Hospital ambulance passing by, and chased it with his cameras to see what was going on.  You will notice that I am standing in the background letting Tina do the work.  She is an awesome doctor, and I am learning a lot from her.  God willing, this little girl will get the care she needs, and her fracture will be repaired by a surgeon in Abancay or Cuzco.

Endocarditis – From The Diospi Suyana Hospital Website

Dr. Martina John explained to the patient and his mother, the seriousness of the infection.

Dr. Martina John explained to the patient and his mother, the seriousness of the infection.

An infection of the heart


When the young man was admitted yesterday through emergency, the diagnosis was unclear. His fever rose to almost 40 degrees, and his general condition was weak. Initial investigations showed a pyelonephritis, suppurative disease of  the kidneys.  However, through God’s guidance, John Lentink held the transducer on the heart and diagnosed an acute endocarditis. In this disease, the heart and inner membranes are inflamed and the heart valves may be affected. If the IV antibiotics work, the patient will probably recover. If the inflammation of his aortic valve does not improve, heart surgery will be the definitive solution. The next few days will tell.