A letter from Les Morgan in Bangladesh
June 20, 2012
An Answer to a Prayer
For a couple of years now Cindy and I have been writing a prayer each week to send to friends who support and follow our work as medical missionaries in Bangladesh. The prayers are usually about a person whom we have met and tried to help in some way. Praying for people in need connects us to the depths of human suffering and allows us to express our hope that God, in his goodness and mercy, will care for them—even if we do not get to see the results of his work in the course of our service.
There are times, however, when God shows us what he does through our ministry in Bangladesh, and it encourages us to persevere.
Last month I received such encouragement from an 8-year-old girl named Champa, who lives in a poor, remote village in northwest Bangladesh. The first time I met her, two months ago, she was lying, severely ill, in a bed at Christian Mission Hospital in Rajshahi, where I travel periodically to serve as a clinical advisor. She had terrible pain in her back and was unable to walk, and her doctors had not been able to determine why. She and her parents were worried that she would never walk again.
The process of bedside diagnosis allows a doctor and a patient to get to know each other and begin to work together. So by the time I finished examining Champa and reviewing the details of her history, we were friends and knew better what we were facing. I determined that she was suffering from an inflammation of her spinal cord as a complication of recent chicken pox.
Although I advised her doctors how to treat her, I could not assure Champa or her parents that she would walk again, since two-thirds of patients with this disease do not fully recover. Barely able to move, Champa was so afraid; but I had to leave her then and return to my work in Dhaka. I wrote a prayer for her and sent it to all our friends who pray with us for people in need of God’s help.
Then last month the hospital in Rajshahi invited me to help run a clinic in a school in a remote village of an adjacent district. It took us two hours to drive there, and when we arrived I remember feeling weak from the heat and wondering how we were going to see all of the 175 children waiting for us.
As I was setting up my medical equipment on a table, suddenly Champa came running up to me, and with the biggest smile! She was full of life, a glowing, effervescent youth. She spoke to me like a close ally, freely and with confidence. We were connected by a deep, mysterious bond of a shared pain that once was and the joy of God’s eternal blessing that is now.
I believe God works through the community of faith that surrounds and supports me in my service as a missionary, and I thank all of you who prayed with me for Champa. It is with great joy that I report to you God’s works of goodness and mercy, revealed in the shared ministry to which he has called us.
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 181
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