Last Wednesday God showed me a need. And, He expected me to act with compassion. Instead, I went home to plan what to do. But, if I am honest with myself God told me what to do…right then not later. Nick and Charles had told me for two days they had a new client. Charles – a young man of 29. Charles was bedridden from the disease of AIDS but he had something else wrong with him. Nick would describe he was bleeding from his leg..I asked medical assessment questions but couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Nick said people in Mathare slum were “afraid” of Charles because of the “bleeding” and were running away from him.
On Wednesday I was able to go to Mathare to see this young man. We were blessed to be taking with us Michael Agwanda from Life for Children Ministry and his wife Lola who is a doctor. We found Charles bedridden, in pain and unable to move. He had a large growth on his left knee. Searching for any information about his health condition we found a folded up piece of paper. It was a referral for follow-up for the cancer tumor on his left knee. He was to have radiation and chemotherapy. The referral was written in August. Obviously, Charles could not afford that kind of treatment. So, now he lay dying. Laying in a shack in a slum, on fifty sheets barely able to open his eyes. We prayed for him and went to plan what to do. We knew he would need a chest x-ray to see if the cancer had spread. Then we would know if treatment was still an option or if he needed palliative care. He had developed a bedsore on his hip. The CT volunteers were visiting him changing the dressing on the bedsore and offering what support they could.
I wanted to get him clean sheets, pain medicine that relieve his pain and arrange with someone to stay with him while he made his passage to heaven. I am a nurse. I know what the dying need. But, I didn’t act…and on Friday we received word that God relieved the suffering of this young man and called him home.
I made a pledge that the next time God allows me the opportunity to meet the needs of a dying person I will act with haste…and not plan. All Nick and Charles and their volunteers need is the medicines, the clean sheets, the food…they do the work. We can help them. I could have helped them this time but didn’t. Next time I will…
Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry