Courtney P., on mission in El Salvador, brings to us her friend Niña Narcisa, who just passed. Some lines to honor this dear friends’ memory.
“Shortly after I arrived here, my sisters of community Ana Laura and Fabiane invited me to help them bathe a woman, an elderly diabetic friend living in the house. When we entered the small room of their house, I could hear her crying from pain on the other side of the wall, which was a simple piece of wood dividing the room in two small separate rooms. Peering around the wall, I caught a glimpse of Niña Narcisa, lying naked on her bed, howling in pain. When asked why he had not taken his wife to the hospital, Don José Luis replied through tears, “I can´t afford it and a woman once went to the hospital and died”. We helped her into her clothes, put her in the wheelchair we have, and strolled her to the nearby clinic. The doctor gave her medicine for the parasites she had and we began to check on her every few days. For months, we girls bathed her in her bed and Thomas and Faby took her to her doctors’ visits. When it came time for the removal of her cast, which kept getting postponed because her foot wasn’t yet healed, we were all as full of joy as she was.
There were moments where I was scrubbing her soiled laundry and wanted to flee the hot enclosed backroom of her house that was filled with strong unpleasant smells (our friend could not leave her bed and refused to use depends). I prayed hard in these moments for strength and compassion. One day, I even thought to myself, “Okay. This is enough! Someone else can finish this project.” I looked over and saw Fabiane graciously tending to Niña Narcisa’s bedsores and reality hit. NO, we can’t leave. She has no children. We are her friends. We are her family. We are it! My own words I used to describe my mission before I left for El Salvador started to echo in my head. “We do everything a friend would do. We give people back the dignity that has been lost.” How easy it had been for me to say those things. To make promises. But, to live it, that is where faith, hope, and love truly come into play. Once I realized all of this it became so much easier. It is love. I see Jesus in this woman. Everything I do, I do for Him. And I know she sees Jesus when she sees each one of us. This is evident at the end of every visit, when she looks up at us, asks God to bless us, and gives us a big smile that shows off the gaps of her missing teeth.”