I often hear the words of the beautiful hymn, "Let your heart be broken for a world in need" in my head these days. The needs we have encountered in the past months have been many and varied. How best to help them all?

"Be the hands of Jesus serving in His stead".

How many mornings we've prayed in the cool african dawn, "Let us be your hands and feet today Lord. Use us to bless others".

When we walked into the church a few weeks ago, I didn't even notice her. My hands were full of baby Cao and Tammy's with Shiloh as both of our husbands preached. (Luke in english with Keith translating). The moment I looked away from my charge to take a picture, he seized the opportunity to taste the dirt and chicken feathers under our pew. No, I was not noticing the great need just an arm's length from me.

But Luke saw her as he preached. Hunched over in her chair with swollen foot and leg covered by dirty dressings. After church he investigated and found a dear lady who has been suffering with large open sores on her feet for months. This story could be long, but I will make it short for today. We took pictures (you who are medically minded or curious might want to see them) and promised to come again.

Two days later, we bumped along the road on the motor bike the 50 kilometers to the village. She was there, shivering in a dark hut. We stayed overnight and started her on a regimen of antibiotics, vitamins, hydrotherapy, charcoal poultices, and various natural supplements (such as papaya leaf tea). Providentially, a very capable nurse was visiting his father (the church planter) in the same village and was able to continue the treatments in our absence.

One week later upon our return, we found her in much improved spirits. The pain was nearly gone, allowing her to sleep and hobble around with the help of a cane. The secondary infections were under control and her foot was neatly wrapped in a good dressing. The fungal infection that remains is extremely difficult to treat, but we arranged for her to go to the hospital for further evaluation.

When we squeezed her hand goodbye, she broke down and cried out her gratitude. Said that God had sent us. What she did not realize is that we were the privileged ones.

"Blest to be a blessing. Privileged to care..."
Emily
12/22/2012 21:01:14

Incredible pictures! Can't wait to see you... :)

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