“I was like a baby, crawling and limping around on the ground, looking for my children, cooking…. But now, I will be running, I will be able to go to the market to buy and sell things, I can care for my children because of your healing…..God Bless You.”
It’s funny how God operates….the things He orchestrates! We met Queen one Saturday morning. A few members from one of our summer teams and I had gone to a nearby village to invite people to our children’s outreach that afternoon. After talking with a young lady, Yvonne, I felt an overwhelming sense to pray with her. After praying, Yvonne told us that she wanted us to come look at her friend, “She has a sore on her foot. Can you please come and see it?” Walking next door, we had no idea what to expect.
We met Queen, bent over and hobbling around, nursing a baby and preparing food for her family. She greeted us with a pain-filled grimace of a smile. Her eyes said it all, hurting, afraid, and practically lifeless. As she unwrapped the filthy rag from around her foot, she sighed as the pain became even more intense. I now understood the hopeless look in her eyes as we all looked on with turned stomachs at this horrific sight. Compassion overwhelmed us as we started speculating where to begin. She explained that it had started very small, the size of a pimple. She had gone to the clinic, and was given instruction to wash it with salt water, which she had been doing. After some time, it continued to get worse and worse. It had been three months, and now she was at major risk for infection, if left unattended, she was threatened with death.
God knew exactly what He was doing. It just so happened that with us was a registered nurse, a medical student, two EMT’s, and myself, a former Nurse Assistant. Of all the people that could have come across her path, what better team at her service! Over the next few days, we were with Queen, washing her wound, applying medicine, and bandaging her foot. We were amazed and awe-struck two days later, at the improvement! After only two days of proper care, it looked as though we had been working on her for weeks!
Over the next few weeks, we visited Queen every other day. Our time there, we soon realized, had much more purpose than tending to her wound. We have developed a close friendship with her and her family. We learned that her husband was not around, and she cares for about seven children, most under the age of 6 including her own newborn baby. We found out just the other day that her mother had a sore just like that, and on the same foot. Her mother refused to go to the clinic until it was too late. Sadly her mother died soon after, probably due to a bad infection. Knowing all of this, we realized just how significant our responsibility was. To imagine the pain, the fear, the depression, it is heart-wrenching.
But praise God, Queen’s foot is now almost completely healed! She told us, “Soon, I will be running!”. She has even walked to church and has been slowly opening up to the fellowship there! We have taught her how to clean her foot and bandage it properly. She now has the knowledge of wound care and understands the importance of sanitation to be passed along to all the children who crowd around to watch! And just yesterday as a celebration, we washed her feet, painted her nails and gave toys and candy to all of the children there!
Queen no longer looks afraid or lifeless, but radiant and hopeful! All she needed was someone to care, someone to take the time to show her how to care for a wound, someone to see her! This is what ministering 360 is about. Tending to all parts of the person, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. This is just one of the many needs that Project Samuel has had the opportunity to reach and I thank God that I had the chance to experience it!
-Katie Pieper, RFC Missionary