Monday, February 27, 2006

Life And Death

A large number of people from a slum* area attend our church. They are basically squatters with no permanent place to live. As you can imagine they face many hardships.

Several years ago one woman from the community came to know the Lord. Since then several families have come to Christ and are active in church. A daughter of the women who first became a Christian attended a year of Bible College and is active in our Ladies Ministry. Vinita and I are mentoring her to be used more in leadership. We sang a duet in church yesterday. But that's all just a side point.

The Christian families in the slums minister to the other families who are Hindu. I got the news on Friday morning that there is a teenage boy named Sangart who is very sick. Both his kidneys have failed. He is from a Hindu family but he's been to church occasionally. His father left the family at some point and the mother was left to raise 4 children. She came to church for the first time yesterday with Sangart and we prayed for him as a body.

This is a pretty jumbled post. I'm not real certain where to start or what to tell. But I can tell you that since I heard about Sangart on Friday he hasn't been off my mind. I went with Christy and Vinita on Friday afternoon to visit several families in the slums and we visited Sangart's home.

It consists of a piece of plastic held up by some pieces of wood and a cot inside. It was so low I couldn't even duck, I had to squat to come in and eventually just kneeled which was fine since we were praying.

As soon as I saw Sangart I was filled with emotion. There is a picture of him on this post. He is in the left corner with a red shirt in his lap. It's a picture from October when we gave some rations and clothing that was donated for the poor. Sangart today is unrecognizable as the Sangart in that picture. His head and neck are swollen. He can barely speak or swallow. The the thing that tore out my heart was the look in his eyes. He knows he's dying.

His mother sat next to him and fanned the flies off his face with a piece of thin cardboard. She knows it too.

In church yesterday I could think of nothing else but sharing the gospel with this boy. I talked to my pastor today and he'll be there this morning. I think I'll be heading over in a little while too.

In case you are wondering. He was taken to the hospital on Friday. The doctor picked up his stack of test results, took a glance at them and, from what I was told, threw them across the table and said, "We can't help him." He's that bad. There are only 2 hospitals in our state that could perform the dialysis he needs. They're far and it's all very complicated and expensive. We took an offering in church yesterday to help the family during this time and we're praying for a miraculous healing. God CAN heal those kidneys and clean all that garbage out of Sangart's blood. But God may choose not to. We're just praying for his salvation.

*Slums are what they're actually called over here.

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