Changing Lives

Mihret's story is an emotionally charged one for us.  When we first learned about Mihret, we were awed and humbled that God is calling us to be involved in similar stories.  We are grateful that He has opportunities ahead for us to be able to do the same as those who cared for Mihret when there seemed be no other way for her.  To see her life transformed by the skills of Soddo's orthopedic surgeon and the love and care given by the hospital staff, just reminds us of why we are willing to say yes.  Medical missions can change people's lives.  

"Imagine being 27 years old and having never walked upright.  That was the plight of Mihret.  She had been born with a congenital knee dislocation in both legs that made it impossible for her to stand on her own two legs.  I saw her in the ER one day recently.  She came from Addis Ababa - the capital city five hours away.  And she had heard that our hospital was working miracles for people who had never walked.  Her entire life, Mihret had crawled on her hands and knees.  She wore flip-flops on her hands to protect them from the hot city pavement.

She was poor, and didn’t even have enough money to get x-rays taken of both knees.  We worked out a deal so she could at least get the x-rays and talk to our orthopedic surgeon about treatment options.  Since birth, her dislocated knees had only flexed in the wrong direction, making it impossible to stand.  But Dr. Anderson saw her in the clinic and felt like if her knees could be fused, she could stand, and even walk with assistance.

She didn’t have a penny to pay for such a surgery, but our Benevolent Fund covered her.

A week after admission, she underwent the first surgery on the left leg.  A complex procedure that lasted hours and involved putting a rod through her femur, bridging the distorted knee, and going into the tibia.  Mihret lost a lot of blood, an issue complicated by the fact that her blood type was O negative – the most rare type.  But she got transfused, and recovered for three weeks before having the right side done.  According to Dr. Anderson, “With the experience on the left side, we were able to do the right side without as much bleeding.”

Just a few days after that, for the first time in her life, Mihret stood upright on her own two legs.  

We have a weekly chapel service at the hospital on Wednesday morning that is attended by most of our hospital staff.  We gave Mihret the opportunity to attend chapel, but not just attend.  To walk down the center aisle.  Never before has our staff reacted to a patient's recover like they did with her.  There was exuberant cheering and applause, and some of our staff cried as Mihret gave thanks to them and to God.  A day of rejoicing at Soddo Christian Hospital that will not soon be forgotten."

Stories like these are the ones that cause us say yes to moving halfway around the world.  They are the ones that cause Brian to want to volunteer his skill to bring hope and healing to those who feel like they have none.  But is physical healing what changes the world?  God used physical healing in Mihret's life to show that He cares for her, despite her desperate position.  He put a team of people together at such a time as to provide medical care at no expense to her and to be able to share that she was not forgotten. She was not an outcast, as she had probably felt and been told her entire life.  She was worth all that was gone through to bring her off her hands and feet, to stand up tall and beautiful and know that all that God had for her was beautiful and good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Will you be part of our family's story as we move across the world to show love and hope through physical healing?  Will you be part of changing the world in this beautiful way?  Will you join us financially so that we may do the work God has asked us to do?  We cannot do it without you!  We are all the body of Christ working together to share His name and spread His glory throughout the southern region of Ethiopia.  We would be so honored to know that we are able to serve because of you!  

Praises and Prayer Requests:

{1} God has moved mountains in allowing Brian to be able to obtain his medical license now rather than waiting an extra year before we could go!  We are so thankful for God's perfect timing!  We are working toward setting a specific time, but we will be headed to Ethiopia in January or February of 2017.

{2} We also just found out that Brian will be able to become fully board certified while working overseas.  This seemed like an impossibility, but again, God has shown us that He is greater than our biggest obstacles!

{3} Please pray for our hearts and minds as we prepare for such a big move.  Although we are excited to serve the Lord in Ethiopia, leaving friends and family will be very hard.  Please pray that God will continue to show us the beauty in the hard parts of doing what He is asking us to do.  

{4} We are 1/3 of the way to being fully funded!  Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter.  By beginning your support now, you will also be contributing to our family's start up costs for such a big move. We are humbled that God is asking us to take part in stories like Mihret's.  By being a monthly supporter, you can be part of those stories too!


**The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Samaritan's Purse.**