International Ministries

Stopping By The Side Of The Road

July 6, 2010 Journal
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Usually she is up at 4 in the morning

to grind the corn to make tortillas,

to start the fire to cook the beans and rice,

to go to the river to fetch water,

to feed her children, and

to bear the blows of her husband

whenever he is unhappy with her.

But now he has left her

With their three children,

And how will they get food

now that she is alone.


     Alone is how Catalino found Ana on the side of the road. He is on his way to his farm, and asks her if she is okay because at this time of the morning she was usually on her way home with a bucket of water on her head.

    She doesn´t answer and just keeps looking on the ground. So he tells her to cheer up and says he will see her later. But when he returns from the farm and passes by the same spot later that day, he said, “She had gramoxol (a herbicide) in a bottle next to her, and she drank it shortly after I left. She died a terrible death, and I wonder to this day if I could have done something….”

     Catalino is one of the health promoters that we trained from the rural community of Cumaica Norte in Boaco. He recently shared this experience during a training we had on suicide prevention.


     Since 2009, 6 people in municipality of San Jose de los Remates where we work have committed suicide because of domestic violence. The majority were young women, and many of the suicides could have been prevented had the risk been recognized earlier.  AMOS trained the health promoters from 23 communities in suicide prevention with the help of Dr. Suzanne Lake, a psychologist from Pasadena, California, and Vali Maduro, a psychologist from Panama sponsored by the Strachan Foundation.


    After the trainings, Catalino said: "If I had known then, what I know now…I would have suspected something and stopped to listen to Ana´s pain. And just maybe, I think that she might still be here.”


   Another health promoter, Arellys, said:  "Before, I didn´t know we could prevent suicide, but now I have the tools to be able to tell someone I am here for you, I can listen so I can help them cope with their emotional pain.”


     How many times have we passed someone in pain and walked right on by? Jesus encourages us and reminds us of who we strive to be -- someone who cares and knows to stop on the side of the road for someone in need. So we thank you for caring and taking the time to "stop at the side of the road" - listening to the stories of people in need we convey to you – and offering your support through prayers, financially and by simply being there, allowing us to also be there for those we serve.  Thank you!    Drs. David and Laura

Luke 10:37 (NASB) And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."