Today I went out to teach the ladies but because it was a holiday only a couple of ladies showed up so we just chatted for a while as Hannah taught around 60 kids who came to Bible Study. After a few min. of talking I asked Esther how her patients were doing. She quickly said, "I need to go visit a little girl, would you like to go with me." Since Hannah was busy I decided to go. Esther grabbed a baby doll that someone had given their palliative care group and we started off. She told me this little 9 year old girl had cancer and she had promised to bring her a baby doll. So who wouldn't want to be a part of that?? We walked through the dirty compound a distance until we reached her small home. I'm not sure I was truly prepared for what I was to see. As soon as we walked in the home this sweet little girl broke into a huge smile even though her cheeks were shallow and her eyes dark. Her small frame was wrapped in a blanket except for the thin little arms which set motionless on top of the blanket. She was also paralyzed in both arms and legs. Esther asked me to give this doll to the little girl so I showed it to her and then took it out of the package and layed it on her stomach propped up against her little arm. She kept grinning. She said, "I love you!" The woman taking care of Alice is her aunt. Alice's mother and father died and so now the aunt was caring for her along with the rest of her own family. More than likely, since both her parents died they probably were HIV positive so Alice probably was too. As the aunt shared about Alice's blood cancer and her chemo treatments Alice just sat there limp staring down at her new doll. She had not always been paralyzed it happened after they had done something involving bone marrow the best I could understand. I imagine something went wrong and she became paralyzed. The aunt said that the doctor wanted Alice to go for physical therapy but it would cost her 150,000 kwacha/month. That really isn't a lot of money to me but for a Zambian it is a lot of money. So I began thinking that I would just go back to my truck and get the money and give it to her so this little girl could get her physical therapy. To my surprise, Esther reached into her purse and pulled out 150,000 kwacha and gave it to this woman. She said, "Someone gave me this money and it really isn't mine to keep so I'm giving it to her so she can take Alice for physical therapy." Wow!! I was overwhelmed and so was this aunt!
The bible says in 2 Cor. 9:6-8 " Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest, but the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest. Each one should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not be sad when you give, and you should not give becasue you feel forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily. And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything-enough to give to every good work."
I prayed for Alice and her family and we left. When we reached back to the school I thanked Esther for allowing me to go with her. She said, "no need to thank me Suzie, it was all part of God's plan." Esther is one woman along with a few other palliative care givers who are trying to reach out to their community and help those who are sick. She is making a difference one by one! She is influencing her part of the world!
The bible says in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. They put it on the lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven." Sometimes I get so overwhelmed when I go into the homes of these patients and see how they live, how little they have, and the health care they are provided with but still manage to have a smile on their face. I get overwhelmed because I feel so helpless sometimes. I can't possibly help everyone I come into contact with. But I like what Esther said to me, that what we had done was all part of God's plan. I had no idea this morning what my afternoon would look like but God certainly did! I pray that God would let Me be His Light where ever I go and that I would influence the world around me one day at a time. Please pray for Esther and the other palliative care givers in Ng'ombe compound. It is a huge area with a lot of hurting people. Pray that these men and women would be the Light of Jesus to their community. Pray that as we study God's Word together they will be challenged to share the Word and pray for each of their patients each time they visit them. Where ever you are right now I pray that you are influencing the world around you and that your light is not hidden but shining bright for the world to see!