Newsletter

May 2019

Dear Friends,
During a recent visit in the home of Petronila Baten, I watched her: peel a banana, rise from a chair, pick up a rag and wipe the table, grab a broom and sweep a portion of the cement patio floor where we sat. We do these simple acts without thinking twice. But, two weeks ago, Petronila wasn’t able to do any of them.  Only twenty-seven years old, Petronila suffers with crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis.
 
“It began three years ago,” she told me, “when my right arm went stiff, and I couldn’t bend it! A week later, the left arm stiffened!”  A local nurse injected her with anti-inflammatories, but even so, the stiffness and pain continued and then traveled to both of her legs!  “I moved like a ‘puro roboto.’ (pure robot.)  Yo lloraba, ‘Qué es, por qué estoy así’?” (“I cried, ‘What is this, why am I like this?’”)
 
Her family frantically searched for answers.  They went to the free local health post here, then the state hospital and private doctors in Playa Grande.  She received injections, popped pills, took vitamins and most of all, prayed. After a year, she was surviving on anti-inflammatories and just barely functioning.  Her husband’s mother and sister lived next door.  They helped Petronila with the basic care of her house and family.

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May 2019

Dear Friends,
During a recent visit in the home of Petronila Baten, I watched her: peel a banana, rise from a chair, pick up a rag and wipe the table, grab a broom and sweep a portion of the cement patio floor where we sat. We do these simple acts without thinking twice. But, two weeks ago, Petronila wasn’t able to do any of them. Only twenty-seven years old, Petronila suffers with crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis.

March 2019

It is Lent, the season in the liturgical church year when Catholics and other Christian traditions reflect on the gut-wrenching passion of Jesus to his glorious resurrection.

January 2019

The festivities of Christmas and the New Year have quieted, and I ponder now on what word or message will be given to guide me in 2019? And what comes to mind is a little girl named Miriam.