Jim & Kathy Kelly, Carolinita and Iris

The Main Street UMC group from Greenwood SC are here along with 3 “scouts” from a church in Kansas (including oldie but goodie Karen DeArmey!)  At Kathy the team leader’s request, I invited a Honduran family to have dinner with us.  Iris Carolina, her daughter Carolinita, and her parents, a lovely, gracious family came with home made flan in hand.  After dinner, Iris Carolina shared her story with us.

When Carolinita was about 8 months old, Iris noticed her daughter wasn’t developing according to schedule.  She took the baby to the doctor who said she had dengue fever which must have damaged her brain.  With a mother’s finely tuned instinct, Iris did not accept this diagnosis.  She began to take the baby to doctor after doctor.  And, she began scouring the internet.  She took the baby to a neurologist here who had no idea what was wrong.  “You need to find Dr. Ken Holden.  He lives in South Carolina,” said the neurologist.  All Iris needed was Dr. Ken’s name.  Back to the internet she went and discovered that Dr. Ken brings a brigade to Tegucigalpa!  She, then shifted her investigation to Teguc, finally discovering that Dr. Ken and his brigade stay at Mision Caribe.  After weeks of calls to Mision Caribe she learned the brigade would be in Flor del Campo (at our school) on January 26.  On the appointed day, she went to Flor with her young daughter, asking everyone along the way, “Where are the gringos?”  She laughed and said, “Everyone knows where you are!  Those vans filled with gringos!”  A little boy led her to the gate of our school.  She rushed in with the piece of paper her doctor had given her with Ken’s name on it.  “I need to see Dr. Ken Holden!”  As directed, she returned the next morning to see him.  He spent 3 hours with Carolinita.  Finally he said to Iris, “You know what she has, don’t you?”  Rett Syndrome – a devastating, extremely rare genetic neurological condition, damaging most of Carolinita’s systems.  There is virtually no support here in Honduras.  Then Dr. Ken asked, “Did you know that one of the world’s best experts on Rett Syndrome is in the next room?”

Imagine that.  In God’s Littlest Lambs school in Flor del Campo, Honduras sat the one doctor in the world that Iris needed for her daughter!  How does that happen?  Friends, this is not a coincidence or luck.  This is nothing less that the miraculous, merciful hand of God.

Main Street UMC raised the money to bring Iris and Carolinita to Greenwood to be seen at the genetic center. They took them to a Rett Syndrome conference in Alabama so she could learn more and meet other families dealing with the same thing.  The team brought a year’s supply of important vitamins and medications for Carolinita.  “I no longer feel alone.  Finally, I have hope!” beamed Iris.

As her story came to a close, she looked us in the eye and said, “The Lord assures me Carolinita will be OK.  I am very grateful for how the Lord is transforming my life, my family’s lives and the lives of so many through Carolinita.  We are much closer to God now.  I  am most thankful for that. My girl will be OK.”

As many of these wonderful stories and experiences I have had in Honduras, I worried that I might become inured of God’s marvelous works.  In fact, I cannot get enough of how wonderful God is.  I am constantly surprised at the depth and breadth of His grace.  I hope you feel the same.

Praying for Carolinita and Iris