Nov 9, 2022
Type I Diabetes. As a type 1 diabetic, I can tell you firsthand of the fear and anxiety surrounding
this diagnosis. Imagine the additional anxiety when receiving this diagnosis while living in a
country with fewer healthcare resources. Then imagine that it’s not your diagnosis but that of
your 11-year-old son. Nate and Cori Mortenson, missionaries to Honduras, found themselves
wrestling through this situation with their son, Blake.
Cori shares that during the initial diagnosis it felt like her family was being thrown into someone
else’s life. They were in information overload yet also felt desperate for even more resources
and information. While they gave injections, pricked fingers, and learned to count carbs, they
also took comfort in Psalm 147:5. “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is
infinite.” Over the next few months, God used physicians and friends near and far to encourage
the Mortensons in their diabetes journey. Supporting churches prayed and even helped them
procure a continuous glucose monitor, making it easier for Blake to check blood sugar levels.
While the Mortenson family continued to work through their new lives with diabetes, Christine
Madsen heard a presentation from Bradley Edmondson while visiting her son in Michigan. She
wouldn’t think much about that presentation until months later.
The Mortensons and Team Honduras hosted MMO’s summer interns and me at the Rearick
Surgical Center in Honduras. The Mortensons brought a meal to us one night, and I shared my
own personal diabetes journey with Blake. I recounted how God used the disease to lead me
into nursing. We talked blood sugar numbers and equipment. Blake and I even had
hypoglycemic episodes at the same time (talk about bonding). Cori, Nate, and I talked through
the woes of carb counting, and we all thanked God for the way that He allowed our paths to
cross. Blake tried on my insulin pump, and we compared our continuous glucose monitors
(pictured below). I felt guilty showing off my insulin pump knowing that supplies in Honduras
were limited. Cori shared that after our time together the pump was all that Blake could talk
about. Even in the U.S. an insulin pump typically costs thousands of dollars. But God wasn’t
finished encouraging the Mortenson family!
One morning, the home offices of MMO received a call from Christine Madsen. Mrs. Madsen’s
husband, Russ, passed away in 2021. Russ had been a diabetic for thirty-four years and used an
insulin pump to help manage his diabetes. While his diagnosis was not new, his latest insulin
pump had only been used for six months before he passed in 2021.
Christine shares that in July the Lord reminded her of our ministry and prompted her to reach
out and see if we may use an insulin pump. Normally, MMO does not use durable medical
equipment like insulin pumps; however, Blake was fresh on my mind having just returned from
Honduras. I immediately reached out to Cori, and she and Nate were thrilled and shocked to
hear of this donation. Christine was equally excited to hear of the potential of using her
husband’s pump to meet the need for a young missionary family. Mrs. Madsen describes Russ
as “a wonderful follower of Christ, husband, father, and grandfather, [who will be] deeply
missed.” She was delighted that something that helped her husband so greatly in his disease
management could now be used by a young boy on the mission field in Honduras miles away.
We are so thankful for her generosity and love in using her resources to bless others.
The Mortenson family, Christine Madsen, and I give glory to God for the way that He uses His
servants, resources, and perfect timing to encourage His people. Amid a scary diagnosis, God
used Christine to give Blake access to thousands of dollars of medical equipment to make his
management just a little bit easier.
When sharing this story, Cori echoes Psalm 9:1:
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.”