My dear sisters and brothers,
During the Christmas season, we naturally think of children. This year, little five year old Rigolito or Rigo is especially in my thoughts. We met him on a hot humid Guaymas day while we were visiting the sick and delivering food boxes. His sister came running to us; telling us that her brother was sick and her mother was crying.
We found Rigo in a small sweltering home in bed with a very high fever. His mother was trying to cool him with wet clothes and told us that he had a genetic condition called anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. This condition reduces the body’s ability to sweat which is its natural cooling system. Also, there is a limited growth of teeth among other symptoms. He only had three teeth which resulted in nutritional deficiencies. Sandra, our nurse worked to bring down his temperature and we were able to provide a small air conditioner for the house to prevent more fevers from his body’s inability to cool.
You cannot help but to fall in love with this sweet child. Despite his ongoing affliction, you will always find him smiling. Before I could say ten Our Fathers, Sandra had contacted one of our volunteer dentists who made him dentures. Our volunteer physician helped to ease his skin condition and Armando, our social worker, arranged for the family to be on our food box list and other services.
If the Holy Spirit had not brought us to this barrio on that day, Rigolito might have died. Instead, he is thriving and with our continued support, he can lead a normal life. His is just one of the stories of the many children whose lives we were able to improve.
You and God’s grace make it possible for us to go into the barrios and provide our ministry. We are blessed to have Christ’s love and to give it others. Please continue to help support all those, especially the children, served by the Casa Franciscana Mission. Christmas is love in action.
Wishing you joy and peace,
Fr. Martin, OFM