Sometimes living in a culture outside of your own can be difficult. There are lots of challenges, but the challenge I find the most difficult is deciphering if people are telling me the truth or not. We live in a 3rd world Country & just because we are from America, everybody assumes we are rich . . . . and compared to most people here, we are. We are not considered rich by American standards, but just the fact that we live in a house, we drive a car, our kids wear different outfits each day, our daughter goes to a private school, all these things classify us as rich here.
This morning a lady came and knocked on our gate. Our guard answered our door & he came and asked me if I knew a neighbor lady named Esther. I don't know a neighbor named that, but I went on out to the gate anyway to see what she needed. She then told me this story about how her child was really sick during the wee hours of the morning and he was throwing up so much that they took him to the hospital. The Doctor at the hospital told them that he had appendicitis and needed emergency surgery. Now hospitals here work a little differently than hospitals in the States. You have to pay in full before you receive any services. You may die before your family can gather enough money together for an emergency surgery, but that's just the way it works around here. This lady said that the surgery was going to cost $50.00 USD and that she had to hurry and get back so he could get the surgery.
So, what would you do? I didn't know this lady. My guard didn't know her & he knows most of our neighbors. It's hard for me to make decisions like this. Am I being scammed or is this the truth? I surely don't want a child to loose his life because the family can't come up with $50.
Andy and I talked about it for a minute and then we decided we would send our guard with her to the hospital. If he found that she really had a child that was sick and needed emergency surgery he could pay the bill, but we felt like it gave us a layer of protection just in case it was a scam.
The lady thanked us profusely and as she and our Guard were walking down the street she got a phone call from her brother saying that another neighbor of ours, who is a doctor, came in and did the emergency surgery. The lady started crying as she was talking on the phone and then she told our Guard that her son was going to be OK. She came back to our gate and thanked us for helping, our guard gave us the money back and she went on her way.
I never know what to think about these kind of situations & it seems like we have them quite often. It's so hard to tell what's true & what's not. I guess it's not really up to me to find out the truth as much as it is up to me to list to God's guidance and see what he wants me to do in each individual situation.