Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dengue, death from a mosquito bite

I have decided to share this although I am still profoundly sad. It seems to highlight the post I did yesterday and I hope it will give a more human face to the life and death situation of the indian. I hope you will see them as they are, real people, not just a statistic, or something to be used in a political power play.Leaving them in their"pristine condition" and patting ourselves on the back for doing something lofty, means leaving them to die unnecessarily.

I have just received a call from an indian friend. She was calling from Ciudad Bolivar. Her uncle, my friend, Jorge Cortez, died in the hospital there last Saturday. They had tried to get him medical attention, but since there are no longer any mission planes in the area, the trip by canoe took too long. Jorge had lost too much blood and they could not help him as they were not able to do a transfusion at the hospital there in Ciudad Bolivar, at least not for an indian.

I am so sad and also a bit angry. We lost no one to dengue in all our years there, we fumigated, provided mosquito nets, IV fluids, and quick evacuations by plane when needed, and now they allow this to happen...

I know that all is in God's hands. God will give the family grace to handle the loss of their provider. Jorge was the best hunter in the village and one of the few who still hunted often with blow gun and bow and arrow. He was a very smart man. He spoke his language, Ye'kwana , as well as Sanema, Spanish and even picked up some English. He leaves behind 10 children and several grand children.

I trust we will see Jorge in heaven. He did make a profession of faith, but often struggled with the Christian life. Each time he faltered, he would show great remorse and regret. God alone looks upon the heart. I can not judge.

Jorge had a great sense of humor. He and I had a running game of trying to throw water on each other during Carneval season. He usually won, being much faster and nimbler, and would douse me with water each year. But one year, I tricked him. He was in charge of turning on the village generator. I managed to get a spare key and hid inside the generator shack with a bucket of water, waiting. I had allowed myself to be locked in as it was a pad lock. I knew he would be down at dusk to start up the generator and seeing the pad lock still on the door, would not expect anyone to be inside. Sure enough, he unlocked the door and I met him with a bucket full of water. . . he left running away saying he had seen a spirit.

He told that story over and over again! Always with a laugh. He loved to wear funny hats and strange clothing and especially enjoyed playing the part of "dumb" indian around people who did not realize he spoke Spanish.

Jorge ,wearing a wig and getting folks to laugh at his antics.

I hope and pray that our service in Chajurana made a difference in his life. I pray his children will walk in the steps of the Lord and grow in grace. I especially pray for his mother, Petra, as she faces yet again, the death of one of her children.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Upon a life I did not live,
upon a death I did not die;
anothers life, anothers death,
I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar


The Merry Widow said...

The sorrow of living in a fallen world, that doesn't have to be that way! He sounds like a wonderful man, and all of us struggle with the Christian walk, even though we are raised in church!
May he be at peace with his Savior, hope my late showed up to welcome him Home!
And may the Lord Jesus Christ embrace his family and friends in such a way that they KNOW HE is there with them!


groovyoldlady said...

A beautifully written tribute and a well expressed frustration.


WomanHonorThyself said...

So sorry for your loss hun..God rest his soul.

ElĂ­zabeth said...

Sorry Rita, un abrazo grande...

Sarah Joy said...

I'm so sorry Rita! I'll be in prayer for this precious family!

Amanda said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

Bar Kochba said...

I'm really sorry for you life. May G-d comfort you and his family.

P.S. I responded to your comment on Yehudi's site. I'd be happy to continue with any other "proof" texts that you may have.

Bob said...

Chavez is evil incarnate. Thank you for this wonderful tribute.

Jungle Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Happymama said...

I'm sure your ministry there did, ideed, make an impact on his life, as it did the many others you left behind. As I am sorry for the loss, I know you take comfort in his statement of faith and knowing he is in a MUCH better place. And to that we can say, To God Be The Glory.


Charles said...

It is a sad day I know. Our prayers go out on behalf of you, your family, his family, and all the people suffering under the Chavez rule.

Pam said...

Oh so sorry. So this was Petra's son?

I did enjoy hearing about his sense of humor. I'd love to have seen you closed up on the little shack with your water. I know how clostophobic you are!

Baptist Girl said...

Thank you for sharing about Jorge, I will keep his family in prayer


~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Such an incredible story of a special man. It's heart breaking that you received this news. We can be so thankful that you brought the good news of Jesus Christ to these people.

As far as the snag you requested...it's all yours :)

Rebecca said...

Sending you Hugs, and praise to the Lord, for sending you to him, and for loving Jorge.

Matt said...

Thanks for writing this post. May he rest in peace. I, too, share your frustration. What really got me is when I was in Ecuador, all the Ecuadorian guides (whether at Center of the World Monument or out in the Amazon) whom I came into contact with acted like any time the Quechua were given a hand in better medical treatment or whatever, that this was a loss of their culture and not the way things were supposed to be. I felt that these guides were just talking about them and using them, like pawns in a political powerplay.

Debbie said...

Truly sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Tina said...

Rita I am so sorry to read about this. I hope with all my heart he is with Jesus.

Mizz E said...

May Jorge's unnecessary passing contribute to raising awareness and correcting The Chavez Folly.

Gayle said...

How tragic! Especially since it could have been prevented!

Your post is a wonderful tribute to him, Rita. I'm pretty sure he is smiling.

God bless him, his family, and you for being such a good friend to them.

julie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Rita. I know their lives are better for you having been there. May God be with his family and with you, his friends, in these perilous times.

MacPerro said...

Incompetents cannot abide those that show them up simply by actually doing, creating. The
hard Leftists and anti-American bigots now running Venezuela had a macho show of power in harrassing you and making you unwelcome in the state they govern: I wish they would be held accountable for the void they created, a void that contributed to your friend's death.

But, if Venezuela was that kind of place that didn't shrug this kind of thing off, it wouldn't have been a torpid backwater for so much of the last five centuries. Criollismo at work.

I'm sorry your friend died so needlessly, because of the petty ego of thuggish little goons with power.

Jungle Mom said...

Thanks to everyone for your care and kind words.

American Crusader said...

I know you're doing great works. You must be extremely frustrated.
I hope you're able to continue your work. I believe it's God's work.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

Glenn Bartley said...


I heed not that my earthly lot hath little of earth in it,

That years of love have been forgot, in the hatred of a minute.

I mourn not that the desolate, are happier sweet than I,

But that you sorrow for my fate, who am a passer bye. (EAP)

He may be up in heaven thinking something like that right now because of the feelings of love you have expressed over losing him.

Sorry to hear about your loss, and my thoughts are with him.

All the best,
Glenn B