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Is Insulin a Christmas Gift?

Most of us wouldn’t think of insulin as a Christmas gift, but to Miguel it was the best gift of all.

The Monday after Christmas, Maria and I drove 3 hours to see Miguel, age 23, who had lived in the USA for a few years, and actually knew a good bit of English.

Miguel has severe diabetes and I had first met him a month earlier when I was with Maria, one of our ministry workers while we were with a few of our village patients at the Hermano Pedro Hospital in Antigua.

When we had first met him, he was so very sick because he hadn’t had money to buy sufficient insulin that he must take to stay alive. Maria and I had been horrified to see that he was so sickly and so emaciated that he looked like a skeleton.

He was not able to walk unassisted and could only speak in a soft whisper. His family was very poor, and he was slowly dying from lack of insulin. That day, I went home and returned to the hospital with some insulin we were storing in the fridge.

Now we were on our way to see him, to see if he was still alive, and possibly had become healthier. And, importantly, we were bringing some more of the insulin he needed but could not afford.

He was so happy to see us when we arrived at the door of the simple adobe house where he lives with his parents and several younger brothers. His small, dirt-floor room had only a bed and he had no table or any other furniture.

He stood up to greet us, smiled and in a surprisingly clear voice told us that he felt so much better.

He had finished the insulin we had given him last month, and he was so excited to see that we were now here, bringing some more. Someone had donated donated food and blankets for his family as a way to help them out because they have almost nothing.

Miguel is gaining strength and weight and can now walk again. I was able to connect him with a medical clinic run by an American man only thirty minutes away. His entire family thanked us and prayed for us before we left. With a continuing insulin supply now assured, he should be able to lead a productive life and help his family.

What a great day! As I drove the three hours back home, I thought of how thankful I am to all of you who give support to make it possible to do what we do in our ministry. Merry Christmas, Miguel!


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