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$50: The price of life

Max Depree in his wonderful little book, Leadership is an Art, asks this provocative question: What makes you weep? This post yesterday from my son, Seth, in the Philippines, brought me to tears. We entered the room of many beds to see Marvin laying naked on his bed. He had been in the hospi…
By Seth Barnes

Max Depree in his wonderful little book, Leadership is an Art, asks this provocative question: What makes you weep? This post yesterday from my son, Seth, in the Philippines, brought me to tears.

We
entered the room of many beds to see Marvin laying naked on his bed. He had
been in the hospital for several days with a urinary tract infection –
unable to urinate the for longer than his stay. Pastor Cario spoke in
the foreign tongue with Marvin’s mom who began to cry and stumble over
her words. I watched as Marvin shook and writhed in pain, his mother
kept a popsicle stick in his mouth to hold his tongue down.

Marvin’s
father entered the room and more tears and conversation followed. “Who
will pray for this boy? Who will pray healing over Marvin?” the pastor
asked our team. Aaron’s voice spoke up behind me, “Seth you do it.” I
put my hand on his head, my teammates placed them on me and Marvin and
I prayed. Still the boy writhed.

praying for marvinLater
that day the pastor told us that his parents could not afford to pay
for further tests or any of the medicine needed to save their son’s
life. $50. That was the cost of Marvin’s life. We talked this morning
about it and quickly decided to pay the price.

I
was told just five minutes ago that Marvin had died. ‘We didn’t act
quick enough,’ I thought to myself. ‘He shouldn’t have died. What did
he do to deserve this? He was eight years old! His parents loved him
dearly.’ I don’t know why these things happen; why am I in a family
that has been able to keep me nourished and well all my life while
Marvin is in dying on a hospital bed?

This
morning I was talking to my dad about trusting in the Lord. “He’s like
a woman – God wants to be trusted,” he told me. “He needs courting. The
whole thing is a mystery to me.” I really have no choice here. I must
trust the Lord.

As
I sat writing this blog, someone entered the room and told my teammates
and I that Marvin is alive! Praise be to God, Marvin is alive!

The
doctors proclaimed him dead because there was nothing to be done. He is
in critical condition and his family can’t afford him the medicine. We
just rushed someone off to the hospital with the $50. Unfortunately,
there is only one doctor in the hospital and it takes him about six
hours to get back around to any patient on the cycle, even a child in
critical condition. The nurses are to administer the medicine to
Marvin, but we do not know anything more.

Praise the Lord that Marvin is alive. I was reading my dad’s blog yesterday titled He’s an 11th hour God. It begins: God
loves surprise endings. He delights in unexpected plot twists that
leave you saying, “I didn’t see that one coming.” He loves to swoop in
at the end of a scene that seems destined to finish badly and pull it
out of the fire.

Please pray for Marvin with us. I will keep you updated on his progress. Either way, we will trust the Lord.

A postscript: Seth continues to update here. And teammate Traci wrote this final blog. One of my blog readers, after reading this, called a fast today. If you haven’t fasted for anything in a while, and even if you’ve eaten breakfast, let me encourage you to join us in our fast. Let any hunger you feel remind you of Marvin and his family’s pain.

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