May 9, 2012

Meet Elias--and Pray for Him

Elias is a young man from this neighborhood.  Around the beginning of this year, he began training for 5k races with Milciades, our next-door neighbor, AKA Superman of Maintenance for Hogar Ganar.  Elias also began going to church and participating in youth activities, such as summer camp.  He is by far the most shy person I've ever met, even more shy than my little brother, who had my mom ordering his Happy Meals till he joined the Army.  Elias is the sort of guy who won't speak unless spoken to, and then he'll only respond if you repeat the question several times and stand by expectantly for his answer, which will come in one syllable.  He's extremely intelligent, though--a year ahead in school and with great grades.

Elias leading the pack
The more he came around to train, the more comfortable he became.  In short time, he was helping out here every day with projects around the grounds, and basically moved in with Milciades.  It didn't take long before he was an everyday part of our home, eating dinner with us, then having devotion, playing video games, or watching a movie.  I'd like to tell you that we've had some great conversations about the Lord, but the truth is that he was a silent listener to all the devotions, as well as a silent dinner guest, a silent movie viewer.  The only time I saw him open up was with Wii bowling and golf, or when he and the girls were having terere without "adults" around.  Really shy, but a good fella and eager to learn about the Lord.  He'd been studying a daily devotional on his own as well as participating with us.

Elias is always a gentleman.  No matter what weird American-style food we put on his plate, he ate every bit, even if it meant thirty minutes of picking through it and slowly swallowing.  It didn't matter if we said he could leave what he didn't like. Never wanting to offend, he was gonna eat every bite.  About a month ago, I wanted to go to a special church service being held in town, on a night when one of the girls didn't feel well.  Ken offered to stay home, but that meant I'd be taking the bus alone at night.  Camille mentioned it to Elias, who hurried to get dressed so I wouldn't go alone.  We got there and I was sure he'd go find the youth group, but he stayed by my side the whole night, helping me navigate the uneven sidewalks, the steps on and off the bus, and finding a place to sit that offered a spot for my crutches.

Happy 16th!  (Note the birthday brownies...)
A couple of weeks ago, we threw him a surprise birthday party, and we were thrilled that his mom, little brother and sisters, and some youth from the neighborhood came.  We took time to say a prayer for his life and to go around the circle telling about what we found special about Elias, or what we wished for his life.  Speaking the blessing.  Most of the kids said they hoped he was the fastest runner in Paraguay, or that he got all he ever wanted, but a few threw in things such as wisdom to follow God's plan and a Godly wife.  ;)  He was turning 16, after all!

Sunday night, we attended the quince party (Sweet 15) of a sweet little gal from church.  Camille and Caroline were members of the ladies-in-waiting (think bridesmaids) and performed a group waltz with the young lady and her daddy in the middle.  It was beautiful.  Elias stayed glued to his seat throughout the party, declining participation in the waltz, of course.  It provided great opportunities for a little joking and he actually talked more than I'd ever seen him do.  We goofed off a lot and I mentioned how nice it was to see him laugh.
Elias and Milciades at the 15 party

The next morning, he was starting a fire in a tiny little grill in Milciades's kitchen, when he bent down to add a bit of gas to the charcoal.  I guess I don't have to explain what happened next.  He is now in the intensive care unit at a specialized burn hospital in the capital city, with burns covering his trunk, neck, arms, hands, and upper legs.  I can't begin to imagine what he's going through in his mind, not to mention his body.  Please pray with us that the words of God he's begun to study recently will come back to him as he lies there alone, and that God will give him peace and comfort.

4 comments:

  1. I'll definitely pray for Elias. Poor guy :( I can't imagine how painful that is! I'm so glad you all have developed a relationship with him and can be there for him. Love y'all.

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  2. RAMONA TIA DE CASA 3.May 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    UNAMONOS TODOS EN ORACION POR NUESTRO QUERIDO ELIAS!!! PARA QUE EL SENOR LO RESTAURE Y LE DE TODAS LAS FUERZAS NECESARIAS PARA SEGUIR ADELANTE!! TE QUEREMOS MUCHO ELIAS TODO EL HOGAR GANAR ESTA CONTIGO!!! FUERZA!!!

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  3. Oh girl! My heart just goes out to this young man! Last Thursday night my big boss was burnt in a grease fire. He was a lot more fortunate than this young man. His arm is burnt maybe second degree burns and then scorched his face, ear and neck. Some of that is now peeling on the face, but the arm is throbbing and aching now, whenever he holds it down. I just can’t image! I will definitely be praying. xoxox Sarah

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  4. Oh no! This is heartbreaking. Please tell him we are praying for him. Maybe it will be a small comfort to know that he has Christian "family" around the world who are praying for their little brother to heal and get back to his old self as soon as possible. I know how painful a super small burn is, so I can't imagine. Prayers are always going up for you folks too! Have a nice day.

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