This sweet woman is the mother to 2 of our sponsored children. She went to Mulago 2 years ago to give birth and the baby died inside her as she awaited a bed. If you'd ever been in Mulago, you would understand how that could even happen. They had to cut her open to get the baby out and she passed away while on the operating table. But God was NOT done with her. Her story here in this broken world was NOT complete. She regained consciousness but not until AFTER they had stitched her up with staples that were just meant to hold her together until she could be buried. And because she had died on the table, they didn't fully complete the surgery.
For 2 years she's lived in pain. For 2 years she didn't have the means to get the treatment she needed. For 2 years she remained hopeless in her situation. For 2 years she didn't think anyone cared. 2 years. Can you imagine?
That 2 years of agony came to an end this past weekend when she showed up on our doorstep. She explained her situation to George and he told her that our free clinic (to the 1500 people we serve in our village) would be open the next morning and urged her to come see the doctor. She did and was told there was nothing he could do because the infection was too widespread, the organs were beginning to fail, and we just didn't have the means in our little make-shift clinic to handle such a case. He told her she would need to have another surgery and urged her to go into Kampala to seek treatment. I can't imagine what ran through her mind as she walked back home that day. She'd struggled so long. There were finally people that would help her but they lacked the resources needed to do so.
George was away from the village that day so he didn't really know the outcome of her doctor's visit. This morning he got up early because he had a meeting several hours away. As he began to leave, he once again found her on our doorstep. This time, she was in worse condition than she was before. I can't imagine this scene - she's there and is pretty much clinging to life and he is being hurried out the door so he can get on the road for what turned out to be a 13 hour journey. His pockets were empty. We live off of donation to donation, sale to sale. He didn't have the money to send her into Kampala, but he knew with all his heart that he might find her dead when he returned. With a heavy heart, he told her that he had to go but would seek help for her when he returned. I can't imagine what he must have felt pulling out of the village.
He had a long, exhausting day but however much it was draining, he never forgot about her. On his way home he received a phone call from the hospital that we have been taking some of the children to that need specialized tests and treatment. He couldn't imagine why they would be calling. He was tired and had another 100+ miles to go before he reached home. He picked the phone and was upset at what he heard on the other end of the line. It was the doctor that is in charge of the hospital. This mother had somehow gotten herself to them. She had gone in for treatment because she had heard of this place that has us on speed dial. She was fighting for her life and she knew that while George didn't have time to help at that very moment, that he would take care of her. She walked right into that hospital, told them she was from Bugabo Village, and they rushed her into what turned out to be a 4 hour surgery.
The doctor was calling to let George know that she had been in, the surgery was complete, she had been discharged, and they were needing payment. George was tired and given his schedule lately and the fact that we have zero funds available for emergencies, I can't imagine the wear and tear on him mentally. He was upset. Mad if he's completely honest. But as I sat on the phone with him, I heard his voice crack as these words came across his lips: "I felt defeated. I was mad. We have no money. But God didn't allow me to stay mad for long. We are all this woman has. If she looks to me for salvation, knowing that God is using me to get the care she needs, how can I be mad about that? I would have found her dead had she delayed in seeking treatment. Baby, God is using us and people are counting on us to help them. They know that's why we're here. The doctor called on his way from the clinic, so I don't know what the bill is, but I know He will provide. Baby, God is using us."
Tears rolled down my face and my throat closed up like it always does when we find ourselves sitting smack dab in the middle of His will. It was 11pm before he reached the village, so he couldn't check on her. He will do that first thing in the morning. He will also contact the doctor so that we can start asking for help from the body of Christ in paying her bill. Please be in prayer for this family as she heals. While we can't obviously know His story for her, I am amazed at what He's written so far. We have some amazing people among the ones we live with and serve, and it humbles me to the core that we get to share life with them. And I also praise Him that we can play a small role in each one's story. How He places us in the right place at the right time and intertwines our stories together is something we don't take lightly. We're just broken vessels ready to be filled by Him. She's just a mother who trusted Him enough to ask for help from the ones she knows He put there to help her.
It is my prayer that if you have $5, $10, or $20, that God would move your heart to be part of His story for her as well. This is His passion. May we all strive to show this broken world what the body of Christ was created for.
This morning George went to check on who I now know is Jane. She is doing well and here are a few more pictures:
He also contacted the hospital to find that Jane's bill was $200. In addition to her surgery bill, we stepped out in faith and asked God to provide $100 that we can leave with her so that she can get the care she needs while he travels back here to the US. Wanna guess what God's response was to our request? That's right: PAID IN FULL! To the EXACT amount and not a penny more. Praise His name. PRAISE HIS NAME!!!