Monthly Archives: June 2016

Who is responsible for them?

A few weeks ago, our head of Social Services/Pastoral care in the hospital posted this photo on his facebook page.

From the Kantipur News in Nepal

From the Kantipur News in Nepal

His post read, “This young man was treated worse than an animal – for six months he was chained to a post in a shed because of mental illness.  Who is responsible for him?”

Pun Narayan (the head of social services) has been passionate in his campaign to try to help people in Nepal suffering from mental illness.  There are no govt supports or structures to help people, and families either keep people hidden away, or send them out into the streets and abandon them.

A couple of years ago, our hospital helped to start the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center.  When local police find mentally ill people on the streets, they bring them to the mission hospital to get help for them.  After they have been treated, and are ready to be released, there is a problem.  With no family or friends to help most of these people, they just end up on the streets again.  This “half way” house was set up to try to help these people learn to function and take care of themselves even without a family to help.

For several years, we have been renting a place for the NLPRC, but finally they were able to purchase a nice piece of land and have started building a home there.  This land has its own water source (very important in Tansen!), fields which can be used to plant rice or graze animals, and space for the residents to do other crafts or work to help create income.  Les visited the site in April, and Debbie saw it just last week.  You can see the progress that has been made – and we would ask for your prayers as the first building is finished and the residents are able to move in and start taking care of the land around them.  Please pray also for Pun Narayan that his vision and dreams would come to fruition – so that one day in Nepal there will be no more people chained in cattle sheds or suffering due to mental illness.

Looking down on the building site - April

Looking down on the building site – April

 

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The empty rice fields in April

 

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Just getting started – April

 

The building in June!

The building in June!

 

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Rice fields – more ready for planting now that some rains have started

 

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The building is coming along nicely.

 

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Pun Narayan shares his joy in the progress of the new building.

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Memories, Miriam, and Mohan

Four years ago – Saturday, June 2.  I was on skype with my parents, and Les was out for his morning run (including racing up and down the stairs on Srinagar hill).  We had only been back in Tansen for 3 months, and were just feeling settled and back into the work and life here.

A few hours later, we were on a helicopter to Kathmandu – taking Les to the Neurologic hospital because he had suffered a bleed in his brain.  Hearing the CT technician say the words, “Bleed bhayo” (there’s been a bleed), was such a shock to me.  Why would God allow this just after He had asked us to return to Tansen?

The night Les spent in the ICU in the Neuro hospital was life changing for him – as he watched all the other patients around him who were in comas or dying, and realizing that could have been him.

Les in hospital roomLes in hospital room

God has given us 4 more years together – and we hope and pray for many more.  But we are much more aware of how quickly life can change… and how much we need to hold on to Jesus as He is the only unchanging one in life.

About 2 months ago, we were blessed with our first grandchild.  Miriam Rose was born to Luke and Laura, and Debbie was able to visit within the first few weeks of her life.  We are so proud and happy to welcome baby Miriam, and also to watch Luke and Laura being such loving, attentive parents.  Now, Nepal seems farther away than ever!

Such a joy to hold my baby's baby!It’s such a joy to hold my baby’s baby.

We are very thankful for life giving rains which we have been receiving over the past several weeks.  The hills went from brown dust to green in just a couple of days.  Unfortunately, the roads often don’t fare so well during monsoon, but we are in need of a good, long monsoon, so we’ll pray for lots of rain but no landslides.

Dry and burned areas on Srinagar in April

What a difference some rain makes.

Unfortunate side effects of those much needed rains...Top photo – burned and dusty Srinagar hillside in April.  Middle photo – what a difference some rain makes.

Bottom photo – unfortunate side effect of rains on roads.

In the face of many discouragements, there are bright spots to which we can look and remind ourselves that God is at work.  A young boy named Mohan from a nearby district came to the hospital about 6 months ago.  He initially presented with fever and hip pain.  Surgery was needed, but the father was at first unwilling because of lack of money.  After meeting with our social services staff, the father agreed to the surgery.  A hip arthrotomy and debridement were done, and that night Mohan was moved into the High Dependency Unit (HDU) due to sepsis and ARDS. He developed a progressive paralysis, probably Guillain-Barre syndrome, and could not move.  He was very sick and on a ventilator for 2 weeks, and then continued to get oxygen for several more weeks.  Doctors didn’t have much hope for Mohan, but he survived, and was moved into the pediatric ward.  He later got acute osteomyelitis in his femur and needed another operation for bone decompression and debridement.  Mohan finally recovered fully after much care and many prayers.  He spent almost 2 months in the hospital.  His bill was about $2400.  This was completely out of reach for this poor family in which the mom couldn’t work due to poor health, and the father only had a low paying blacksmith job, and not enough land to grow crops even to feed his family.  The family was able to pay about $250, and the hospital Medical Assistance Fund paid the remainder.

Mohan and parents

The family returned home to their village with a restored-to-life son, and hearts full of gratitude for the help and support from the doctors and staff at the mission hospital.  They also asked for a bible to take home – and invited the social services staff to come to their village to visit them.  We are thankful to so many of you for allowing us to be here to care for and pray for Mohan and patients like him – and for giving to the MAF so that charity care can be given to families such as this.

 

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