"We hold the Bible close now, and that allows us to be closer to God."
Camilla is six years old. She and her family are from a poor community in Chichigalpa, more than 100 kilometres from Nicaragua’s capital of Managua. The primary source of work is cutting sugar cane – a dangerous job. Workers are exposed to many pesticides and chemicals which threaten the health of their whole family. Water for drinking, cooking and bathing in is not safe.
Try to imagine the trauma experienced by families in Chichigalpa as they hope to survive everyday life. Camilla’s family has suffered many illnesses from the chemicals and, about six months ago, doctors diagnosed Camilla with leukemia.
At a hospital in Managua, Camilla has been through five months of treatment for leukemia, the most diagnosed type of childhood cancer in Nicaragua. During her stays in hospital, Camilla’s family learned about the work the Bible Society does with its Hope and Smiles for Children with Cancer program. Through the program, they have received their own Bibles as well as other items needed during their stays. Camilla’s family also decided to participate actively in the devotions which are taught by pastors and volunteers.
After sharing and times of prayer with volunteers, the family has decided to begin trusting in God. They are learning every day to trust God with their fear and heartache, even amid the suffering, pain and hardship they are going through. Camilla is now stable. She is responding very well to treatment, so she has recently been allowed to return home.
Camilla’s mother, Luz, shares: “When we arrived at the hospital we felt lonely. I had never been to the capital, let alone this hospital. We entered as an emergency and being transferred to the area of children with cancer I believed that I would not go home with my child alive.”
“After seeing the work of the Bible Society and participating in the prayers the pastors offer, it filled me with faith in God, a God I used to flee from. But now, in this situation I have learned to depend on him.
“I want to thank each donor and the Bible Society who help so that patients and families have support, the things they need, and a Bible of their own. We hold the Bible close now, and that allows us to be closer to God.”
Through trained pastors and volunteers, Bible Society Nicaragua provides regular and ongoing spiritual support to families through Bibles and devotional classes. Practical assistance is also provided to help struggling families with the cost of transport, medicine and nutrition, and sometimes – when cancer takes its toll – laying a child to rest.