This day in 2018 was one of my favorites, truly encouraging and exciting to see total transformation in a family. Just a year before, I had visited their home because two of their younger children were sponsored. All of the sons and their male cousins have muscular dystrophy, and two of the boys had passed away. Depression and extreme sorrow darkened their home as they lived under the belief that they must be cursed.
During that first visit, we prayed with their oldest son, whose body was ravaged by the disease to the point of him wishing he was no longer alive. Later that day, the father came home and the son could hardly contain his joy for he had given his life to Christ! In that moment, the darkness in that home was lifted as the father realized how he too had given up on life and God. Seeing the transformation in his son’s demeanor changed everything for him.
Not long after, the government decided to widen the road in front of their home, so they received payment since it cut into their land. This allowed them to build a bigger home with a concrete floor. Then, a doctor visiting from UC Davis who specialized in Muscular Dystrophy requested to see all of the boys. He prescribed a new regimen which slows the progression of the disease, helping to prevent heart failure and to improve mobility. This doctor assured the mother that the disease was a genetic disease and was not her fault, causing her to weep with relief.
The day I was supposed to visit again in 2018, I received a phone call from a physiotherapist who was distributing wheelchairs. She just happened to have an extra wheelchair which would fit Ivan, the eldest living son in this family. For the first time in years, Ivan was given the gift of mobility and he could hardly wait to go visit his friends! This day reminded a family that God sees their suffering and cares about their circumstances.
Then, tragedy struck again, when the father had a terrible asthma attack and passed away before they could reach a hospital, just a few months ago. He left his wife to care and provide for the ailing children on her own, but yet she is not truly alone. She has the Hope Africa family to walk through these days with her, and she has hope in God, who, “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”–Psalm 147:3