The Indomitable Human Spirit

 Reflecting on my time so far in Cobán, Guatemala, I have been blessed to feel the soft beating heart of this community. This beating heart that pulsed with each step and echoed throughout the walls of the clinic—I could feel the warmth and gentle rhythm of this community beating steadily. This community that I encountered was very much alive and thriving. 

With each patient I came across, I was reminded about the fragility of life. For example, how important the delicate passage of oxygen throughout the body is during the development of a human—and all the ramifications it has on a person’s life. Too little oxygen and a person could develop Cerebral Palsy and the way they can move becomes limited, while too much exposure to oxygen could lead a person to develop Retinopathy of Prematurity and lose their sight. It seemed that the body was constantly fighting against the entropy of the world. 

Yet, in this battle for life, the resiliency of the human spirit is revealed. I have no words to truly describe how powerful this spirit becomes against such an uncompromising universe. The lives that I have encountered thus far, have shown me how compelling the human spirit becomes in the light of community. Alone we can do nothing, but with those around us, we are able transform the very world around us. It was through this community that Romero is able to raise his arms and hands again. It was through this community that Etty is able to walk again. It is through this community that Genesis will able to grow up with a strong system of support. 

It is still incomprehensible to me how the world works. Sebastian, a boy who is blind, was able to sense me quietly leave the room while he was getting ready for his tooth extraction. He called for me to be there with him in that moment. It was a small instance that made me realize how God was guiding each moment. We are all here for a reason, and the lives we come across are always calling for us. It is up to us to come up to the occasion and give it all we got.

-Thomas Nguyen


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