We were in the village of Vijay Pur for the first medical camp of our time in Nepal. I was especially excited to be here because I knew of the great need from a visit there last spring. It is a very poor area where the Dalits, which is the lowest caste in Nepal live. Our partner, Nepal Evangelical Mission, has been working in the area distributing blankets in the cold winter months and working with a small church plant. Our medical camp was another opportunity to share Christ’s love with the people, who are mostly Hindu.
The sight of one of the first patients I saw shocked me like almost no patient I’ve cared for in my medical career. Baby Chandon was about a year old. He was well until four months of age when he contracted a fever. Now the child before me weight not much more than when he was born. His head was large and misshapen and the rest of his body was literally all skin and bone. He was lethargic and I literally wondered if he’d live through our time together that day. It is likely that he had contracted a case of meningitis which was untreated due to lack of available care. Now he had hydrocephalus (an accumulation of fluid on the brain). As a result his limbs were stiff and immobile, he was eating poorly, losing weight, and likely to die soon. There was little we could do for him. I explored the options for getting him to a hospital with enough facilities to possibly intervene, though it was likely already too late. His family could not afford to take him to the nearest large hospital. Even if we could help with that, they could not afford the care and were not willing to go. With the best of care, he still would have permanent disability. It was very difficult to realize that without a miracle, this child would die from something potentially preventable by vaccines or treatable if caught early. However, that was the way life works in this village. We prayed with them, gave some medicines for pain to bring comfort, gave advice on frequency and type of feedings to improve his nutrition if possible and they left.
Fortunately not every case during our time in Nepal was this dramatic. There were many we were able to help with medicines and eyeglasses. We ended up serving over 1800 people. The Bible School students did individual health teaching with each one and shared the gospel with those willing to listen. Several came to Christ, and many others had seeds planted which we pray bear fruit in the days ahead.
We are always looking for those willing to serve with us to bring comfort to the sick or financially give to provide medicines and supplies to help us minister in places like Vijay Pur to people like Chandon. Please consider helping us. You will be making a difference for God’s kingdom!