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.
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!
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.
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.
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.