A letter from Catherine Day in Malawi
April 23, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Just one month ago, I entered the hospital for hip surgery and God has been so faithful to bring about great healing and strength. I am walking short distances without a crutch and longer distances with just one crutch. In two weeks I go to the doctor for a final check and hopefully to be released from “house arrest.” The greatest blessing is that I am moving PAIN FREE! For that I praise God and I thank you all for your prayers.
Last month I shared with you the wonderful work of the doctors and staff of CURE International on my hip, but there is a much bigger story about CURE. It is a truly amazing place. A sign at the entrance to the hospital states, “Adults pay a fee so that children can walk free.” Children are the real focus of the hospital. Its priority is the surgical treatment of physically disabled children, for whom there are no financial charges. My surgery (at significantly below the cost to have had it done in the U.S.), will enable several children to be treated and cured of bone or muscle disorders so they can live independent lives. All of this is done in the name of Christ and his love. The hospital has eight private rooms for the adults and a 50 bed ward for the children. The children’s area is brightly decorated and well furnished to make the children feel comfortable as they are treated. The staff proudly tells stories of great successes, like the young girl who had been scalded on the right side of her face and neck. The burn scars had contracted the muscles until her head was drawn down to her shoulder and appeared to be attached. She could not lift her head from that position. In a lengthy and delicate surgery, the doctor cut the scar tissue, working most carefully around the jugular vein, until her head was released and she could once again hold it upright. After herapy, she could move her head freely and resume normal activities. She has a new lease on life, at no cost to her family.
The staff does not wait for patients to come to them. They conduct clinics at the district hospitals, assessing the children in the most remote areas of Malawi and treating them locally when possible or bringing them to Blantyre if necessary for surgery. One of the most amazing aspects of this assessment team is who is involved — a medial clinical officer and a member of the chaplain’s staff. In many cases parents of children with bone or muscle disorders believe that they have either sinned to cause this problem to come upon their child or they have been bewitched. The spiritual team addresses these spiritual issues first so the medical team can then address the bone or muscle problems. Then the spiritual team does follow-up with the families in the course of the child’s recovery. One of the most common problems seen in Malawi is that of clubfoot. CURE has established clubfoot clubs, which provide the physical and spiritual treatment and support to correct the problem nonsurgically. What they do is change lives and give futures to children who might otherwise be hidden away from view by families who are afraid of what has caused the physical problem for the child. Their ministry is life saving at a number of levels. CURE is an amazing place. So this month, as you praise God with me for the recovery God is giving me, please pray for the staff at CURE and the amazing work they are doing in Jesus’ name.
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 59