Today was Christie’s day, the day she got to face what has haunted her since her trip in June. Christie is a speech language pathologist, specializing in pediatrics. Christie saw multiple children on her trip last June with difficulty eating and swallowing their food safely. Many of the children would cough during feeding, showing a risk for aspiration and subsequent aspiration pneumonia. After seeing this, God put it on Christie’s heart to return to Nicaragua and provide training to the families, medical staff, and teachers to keep these precious children safe while eating. In the morning, Christie met with the medical staff and 1 teacher representative from each school to give a small training on feeding and different food consistencies that would be appropriate; puree vs. ground, thin vs. thick, etc. In the afternoon, Christie met with the families of 8-10 of the children with the most significant feeding difficulties. The families participated in the session using food grinders and magic bullets to puree food for their children and asked many questions. From the back of the room, parents appeared very engaged and in the end, Christie was happy with the information she could impart to these families.
Christie worked long and hard on preparing the information, but her success came because God went before her to prepare the hearts of the families and professionals she was going to present to. We are constantly reminded of this truth in Nicaragua. In the United States, we are specialists in our fields. But in Nicaragua, it doesn’t matter what we know, until the families know we care. We might know the “right” way to prepare food, the “right” way to position the child, or the right way to “teach”, but if a family’s first concern is that their child gets food for the day, where do we start? Christie did a great job preparing materials that were relevant for the families to use right here and now and the equipment they needed to be successful.
The trip is going great so far and God continues to impart to us how great He is! God is good!