"Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other." 1 John 4:11
Unexpected news can be received in a variety of ways. Our response to the unexpected exposes the genuine state of our emotional and spiritual life, and informs the employ of our coping skills. How are we going to handle "x" ? Will we fight our battle in secret or reach out? Mission Lazarus has worked with many people over the years, and we have collected stories of men, women and children who inspire us by their faith during the most vulnerable times in their life.
Maria Martinez Ramirez is a Christian wife and mother of three who lives in Choluteca, Honduras. Last year she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and her family and church rallied to support her treatment. Though Maria's family and church have limited financial means, they were able to secure the financial resources to cover 32 sessions of radiation treatment as well as the costs of transportation to and from the capital, about three hours away. The resilience to adversity that Maria exudes makes Mission Lazarus proud to count itself as one component of her supportive community. We have committed to sponsor the entirety of her chemotherapy, and she is currently in her third round (of six.)
Community can provide a host of unexpected gifts from unexpected places. Anticipating the side effects of chemo treatments, we contacted Healing Hands International (Nashville, TN) to inquire about securing a hairpiece for Maria. In turn, HHI networked with its contacts to secure a beautiful hairpiece from a compassionate, private individual who previously owned a hair goods store (thank you, Nita!) A few weeks ago, we were honored to present Maria with this hairpiece. When her children said, "You look beautiful," they really meant, "We love you, this cancer doesn't stand a chance!"
Thank you to the great community of faith that has helped to support Maria through prayers, love, and financial support - it is making a difference to Maria and all those whom she touches.