March 10, 2011
It’s been an eventful couple of weeks here in the Hagerman family.
Let’s start with transportation. You know that our Mission Mobile has been in the shop for the past three months now, with an end in sight, but who really knows, right? The mechanic told us he’d located the problem, we got him the money for the parts, and now we’re waiting for the “finished product”. In the meantime, we decided to try to find an economical small car that would be a dependable stand-by for those times when we don’t really need a four-wheel drive gas guzzler. It’s not hard to find cars for sale here, but we learned quickly that finding cars LEGALLY for sale is another story. Most Paraguayans don’t go to the trouble (expense) to have a car put into their names when they buy, and choose instead to just ride on the bill of sale and carry the original title. We found so many good cars in our price range, but each time we’d get to the end, we’d find that the person really DIDN’T have the legal papers. For the typical guy off the street here, that’s fine. For those of us who are foreigners, we don’t need to give the police any further reasons to write us a ticket. Over the weekend, we were SO CLOSE to buying a great little auto, right up until a couple of hours before the scheduled transaction. Then the current owner found out that the original owner, who would need to be present to sign the title, was dead. No sale. After a whole lot of other fun searching, Ken and the girls found a little VW Golf with all the right papers, and we made a purchase. YIPPEE!
In other news, I have been moving along in my leg recovery. The surgery stitches came out a few days ago, and the surgeon was nice enough to stand back and let me take them out when he saw how nervous I was about him touching the area with the burns. The doctors are fairly happy with my wound care. The open area was a real pain for me (ha, ha) and I was a bit worried that I wasn’t really cleaning it aggressively enough because of the pain. But the doctors said it looked like I’d gotten rid of all the infected areas and that it would probably heal within the next few weeks, with some extra meds and TLC. The bad news is that the surgeon doesn’t want me to begin physical therapy until the wound closes. He told me to keep doing the exercises at home that I’d demonstrated to him. I guess that’s fine, because we’ve been busy with other things. (Keep reading.)
Obviously, once the PT starts, it would be fairly difficult to make the 4-hr round trip between Asuncion and Carapegua daily. The ride from where we’re currently staying (Shaun and Sara’s house) to the doctor’s appointments was much shorter than that, and it took every bit of energy and strength I had to get through that. So we knew we’d have to do something different for the next several months, at least.
We’d already been praying about the direction of our ministry here and feeling like it was time to move from Carapegua. Many of the things we’d set up were at the point that locals could take them over, and, in fact, some have already done so. This is the goal, to be able to empower and teach Paraguayans how to carry out relevant ministry themselves, rather than depend on foreigners and think we are the only ones qualified to minister. We were looking at wrapping up some of these areas of ministry over the next few months, then seeing where the next place within Paraguay was that God wants us.
Then came the accident. This kinda put a dent in our plans. In recognizing that our plans aren’t always on the same time scale as God’s, we’re trying to be open to His timing. One of the places we’d been praying about moving to is, in fact, here in Itaugua near where we’ve been staying with the Mortons. This time staying with them to be closer to the hospital has given us the opportunity to look into that further and pray more specifically about it. The children’s home they direct (Hogar Ganar) has three houses with ten children in each. Some of these children are now youth age, and several of the workers there are also the age we’d consider part of our ministry range. They have just opened a private Christian school to serve the neighborhood surrounding them. They have cows, horses, bees, pigs, fruit trees, and fish as part of what they hope will be a self-sustaining farm. There are lots of things happening there, but they have plans for even more, and our ministry vision seems to mesh right into that. They invited us a little while ago to come be a part of what’s happening.
After praying and talking and talking and praying, we began this week the process of moving from Carapegua to Itaugua. We will move into one of the homes that is vacant in the property of the children’s home complex. Camille and Caroline are very, very excited about this move, as they have already made friends both at the Hogar Ganar and at the local church that Sara and Shaun have been taking them to while Ken was here for his heart rehab, and now while we’re here for mine. Did I mention we’ll also have a couple of things we’ve been missing? A yard with grass and windows with screens. That’s pretty exciting to me, as is the fact that there are no stairs and I’ll have much more accessibility in the wheelchair/walker.
I won’t be able to help much in this move, either with getting the house packed up, or with the cleaning, painting, and repairs that will need to be done in the house we’re moving into in Itaugua. That’s making me a little stir-crazy, but I can at least sit in the wheelchair and “supervise” the progress.
And still other news, we met with a lawyer last week about the wreck, as one must do that in order to get insurance to pay for the expenses here. It really is a miracle that the man who hit us fell into the very small percentage of Paraguayans who actually HAVE the optional automobile insurance, so we’re thankful for that. But the lawyer said the normal way is that you present all your receipts, including what you expect in expenses until the recovery (no way to wait and turn in all once it’s done—they want it now). Then insurance usually pays somewhere between 50-70% of those expenses. I’d love it if y’all could help us pray that our case will be different and they’ll cover all the expenses. They’re adding up quickly, and we didn’t exactly budget for a major injury and rehab in our yearly expected happenings. This picture is one someone passed along to me, of the truck that hit us and the house he destroyed when he rolled over. You can see that his truck is pretty well destroyed, too. Glad I wasn't! :)
Thanks for the prayers, support, and encouragement you’ve already been sending. I may not respond to every message or email, but each one gets read by or read to me, and they all make a difference. God bless y’all.