Each afternoon this week, half of the team have been to visit the Burns and Trauma wards of the local hospital. It has been both harrowing and rewarding, seeing the children, many of whom have come from the countryside and are not used to the bright lights and busy-ness of the hospital. There are no toys on the wards, and the one ‘day room’ is stark and joyless. Comparing it to some of the children’s wards I have seen in the UK, I wanted to cry (and that was before we met the children!).
So, it was amazing to meet Robyn, a wonderful
lady who, a few years ago, felt God call her to
bring some joy to these children during their hospital stays. Although initially the administration did not want her to be there, they have, over time, realised the amazing work she is doing, and now have given her a room to store toys and games, and fully support her work there. She goes in 4 afternoons each week, spending time with each child, colouring, doing craft or puzzles, playing Jenga or Connect 4. It was a privilege to accompany her on these visits this week. We sang, danced, juggled, played chess, Jenga, made bead bracelets and even learnt Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes in the Quechua language – which they all thought hilarious.
It was wonderful to see children’s faces turn from fear to happiness.
Poem for Robyn, by Ian O
Hard iron eyes lie on hard iron beds
The pain, too much to bare, has left faces drained of emotion.
Grubby whitewashed walls are unable to convey
That love and healing go hand in hand
Who knows these people?
Unknown faces in an unknown land
With foreign customs and a foreign tongue
Who can know their pain?
The torment of a broken body
Left abandoned in an obscure town.
Brokenness lies hidden.
Hidden beneath blankets and a wire frame
Hidden inside a concrete hospital
Hidden behind metal gates
Hidden in a world so far from home
No one need see, no one need know
Yet your eyes see it all
Your soft kind eyes running with heaven’s tears
Eyes that saw the suffering of your son
See suffering still
And yet there are some whose spirits are moved by yours
Who dare to expose what is hidden
Who dare to bring colour, toys and hope
Who dare to bring life and prayer and faith
And see vacant eyes returned to life
And health and joy and laughter.
Lord, melt my heart
That I might see those iron eyes
Now receive the gift of sight from you