Dr Jose Amezquita needed Pedialyte.
He needed Petzl helmets. Stethoscopes. Hartmann solution, backpacks, baby shampoo, hydrocolloid dressings, snap links, syringes, infant formula, Enalapril, static line, and lots of gauze.
None of it was for him, of course. And he used to have a small supply of most of it, in a little room at his house in Totonicapan. When the Fuego volcano exploded last Sunday, Dr Jose and his team of volunteers drove to the mountain and went to work.
Dr Jose has a paying job as a physician. The little room in his house where he kept that small supply of medicine is actually a clinic he opens up on Saturdays for any neighbor who needs medical care and can’t pay for it. Ever since he started the clinic, you - the people who give to Vine - have been keeping him more or less stocked with medicine, equipment, and supplies. In addition to whatever he can fill his car with, the Vine staff adds bear hugs and prayers when we see him, and Jose always leaves us with an order to thank you for all of it.
When a rescue worker on the volcano needed climbing gear, the most natural thing for Jose to was to give his away. It didn’t take long for him to run out of medicine, and there was a time when the rescue crews were short on food. Tennis shoes didn’t last the day with ground temperatures close to 200 degrees. As naturally as it came for Jose to give away his equipment, and to administer all of his medicine, it was just as natural for him to get in touch with Vine to see if we had anything he could use. Your regular gifts make it possible for him to serve his neighbors in need, which means together, you and he are working in disaster situations all the time. The difference after the eruption is the scale and the horrible urgency.
We had given away most of our burn and wound care (read that great story here) and we’ve never kept rescue equipment in stock. But you - friends of Vine and now friends of Dr Jose - you have been sending money. We've been turning it into Pedialyte. Helmets. Stethoscopes, Hartmann solution, backpacks, shampoo, proper rescue gear, baby formula, 15 different kinds of essential medicines, and 20 other things I don’t want to bore you with. Plus a night in the McCutcheon’s guest bed and $30 worth of Taco Bell. All for the tired and hungry doctor, for his team of rescue pros, and for their patients.
The reason Dr Jose does this, and the reason Vine exists, is that we hope we can express God’s love for people this way. If you give to Vine regularly, you put a lot of lifesaving supplies in the right peoples' hands in the first days of this disaster. If you are giving to Vine now, your money is there on the mountain today. It's being used to heal people, to find family members, to protect rescue workers, and to feed families whose communities were destroyed in an instant. Thank you!