Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A special need for a special boy!

In a break from our normal blogging style, I would like to take a few consecutive days to profile some of our special friends, the “Starfish”, and how you might contribute to the Due Unto Others support of each of them.

As I prepare to tell you about the first one of these, I would like to call your attention to Matthew 8:5-13.  In this passage, Jesus encounters a centurion who has overwhelming faith and compassion.  The centurion gets his “chance”.  He is standing right in front of Jesus and has Jesus’ attention.  I can think of many questions or requests that I might bring up to God in the flesh.  But what does this centurion do?  He makes a request on the behalf of his servant.  How humble and compassionate is that?  He burns his one chance in front of Jesus by asking for healing of someone that is considered “lower” than him in this life.  I heard a pastor, here in Uganda, say recently that compassion seeks to understand someone else and their situation.  Compassion seeks out others to help, without waiting until they ask for help.  Compassion speaks out for or gives a voice to others!  Try putting yourself in the shoes of some of the kids that I am going to mention over the next few days, or even the shoes of their parents.  I have been told that when we walk in someone else’s shoes, they are always uncomfortable! 

Today, I would like to remind you of my buddy Joseph.  We were made aware of Joseph and his medical problems by a team of short term missionaries from New York.  We were staying at a hotel in Mytiana, when we were out working in Namatumba.  This New York team was staying at the same hotel, while putting on a medical clinic in Mytiana.  They had come across Joseph the day before, but were unsure of what to do for him.  They heard that I was a doctor and wondered if I might look at Joseph and give them a recommendation.  We had worked two long clinic days on Monday and Tuesday, but really did not have much planned for Wednesday, the day that they told me about Joseph.  We had even wondered why we had spent an extra night, just to go to Namatumba and do a little health education with the parents of the kids that we had seen the two days before.  Before we left to come back to Kampala, we knew why God had us stay the extra night.  We made a deal with the New York team.  We would go do our health education talks in Namatumba, and they would find Joseph and bring him to the clinic that they were hosting.  Our team would stop there on our way back through Mytiana, heading to Kampala.  With one look at Joseph, I could tell the he had a tumor on both sides of his face, under his chin and around his eyes.  We had one seat left in our van, so we made arrangements to take Joseph, and his father Ellya, back with us to Kampala.  When we arrived in Kampala, we went straight to an imaging center and had a CT of his head and face done.  Their senior radiologist came to talk to me about the results.  It is never good when a late 50’s year old radiologist says that he has never seen anything like this before!  We got Joseph seen by an ENT doctor and subsequently admitted for a biopsy.  The procedure showed that he had a rhabdomyosarcoma.  We had hoped that it would be a Burkitt’s lymphoma, because these are more responsive to chemo therapy.  If it had been Burkitt’s, we were told that his chance of cure was 20%.  With it being rhabdomyosarcoma, we could not get a straight answer on his chances for cure, but it must be somewhat less than 20%.  I think that I mentioned on the blog before, that one day, I was trying to explain everything to Joseph’s father, but I was getting nowhere because I speak little Luganda and he speaks little English.  Out of nowhere, a man (possibly angel) showed up and spoke perfect English, helping me to tell him everything that needed to be said.  When we went to see Joseph last week (while getting his second round of chemo), Peter mysteriously showed up again.  We did not think of it until later, but we wished that we had tried to touch him and see if he was for sure human.

As I had mentioned, Joseph has started on his chemo therapy.  He is to have 6 rounds of therapy, where he receives IV chemo for 4 consecutive days, then is allowed to go home for 3 weeks to “recover”.  I don’t know if you believe in miracles, but I would like for you to look at these three pictures. 
Joseph the first day that we took him to Mulago.

Joseph on the second day of his first round of chemo.

Joseph 3 weeks later before starting his second round of chemo!

We need your help to pay for his travel and medications.  Each trip to Kampala is costing about 100,000 ($40USD) shillings.  He has at least 4 more trips to make.  We have already spent about 800,000 shillings on his CT, procedures and medications.  So this leaves his total expenses at 1,200,000 shillings or right around $500.  We feel that much of our help with Joseph has been to show God’s love to his father, Ellya.  We are not sure that he knows Jesus.  We’d like to help Ellya pay for his other 3 children’s school fees.  This will add another $100 to get them to next January.  At that time, they should be able to attend a school that is associated with Pastor Robert, that lead the team from New York.  So we need about $600 and loads of prayer to finish the care for Joseph.

If you have been looking for a specific way to help the Due Unto Others team, this is a good one.  Please email me dueunto@gmail.com if you would like more information on how to send the money.

I challenge you to investigate to find someone’s problems.  Seek to understand them.  Seek to help and speak out for others.  Look at that person and think that this could be Jesus in disguise!
Matthew 25:35-40 says:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Thanks for your prayers and support.


1 comment:

  1. The pictures are amazing! I'm glad we got to meet him in person...even if we did get thrown out! lol love Mom