The toll of the pandemic in the other countries Buckner serves is overwhelming. For many desperate children and families, Buckner is their only safety net, especially during a crisis like COVID-19. The struggles families and staff are experiencing due to the virus is multiplying. Even still, hope presides. Claudia Leon, executive director of Buckner Peru shares how staff continue to be a beacon of hope even during personal struggles of their own.
The pandemic in Peru has been especially hard. It is considered to be the most affected country in the world. Our beneficiaries have suffered a lot. They have lost what little they had, remaining in absolute precariousness.
In this time, the Buckner Peru team has not stopped. Even if we were physically far away, we have found a way to be close to serve them, to attend them and to bring medicine that was urgent. For some, that was the difference between life and death because in Peru, for months there was no way to find medical attention in hospitals.
I could write many stories of the families we serve and of what we have seen happened during these months, but today, I would like to talk about someone from our team. Our team has also lost family, friends and loved ones. Ana Patricia Navarro, is the coordinator of the three Family Hope Centers in Peru. She is a true professional, always dedicated to the service of those most in need. Ana has been in charge of the teams throughout the pandemic. Not once, have we ever heard a complaint from her, despite the hard situtation she has had to face with her family. She is proving to be strong for her team and her family at home.
It seems COVID-19 has been especially hard on her family. Three of her first cousins, who work in the health sector, became infected and needed to be in intensive care with mechanical ventilation, in one case for three months. Her father has cancer that has gotten much worse during this time as services were closed. Her 29-year-old nephew has been diagnosed with colon cancer and last week he had to undergo emergency surgery because one of his kidneys stopped working. Her brother-in-law was infected with COVID-19 and suffered a stroke that has rendered him unconscious. As I write these lines, they are doing a biopsy on the brain to determine if what he has is cancer.
However, at no time have we seen Ana defeated. She is there with a high spirit ready to give the best to hers and ours. When I think of her, it makes me remember what Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”