“You helped me… before it was too late.”


The 10/40 window.

By Melissa E., PA

“Can you help my brother?”

It was a question from a young boy who regularly comes to our house for breakfast as his family is extremely poor.

“His thumb is hurt.”

I agreed to look, assuming it would be a simple wound.  Needless to say, I was shocked when this young man, a teenager, took off the cloth covering his hand and revealed an open wound so large that most of his bone was exposed on one side of his thumb! I couldn’t believe he was walking around with this horrible infection eating away at his flesh and obviously into his bone as well.  He told me he had gone to the local hospital when it was smaller, and went back once or twice to have it cleaned and bandaged, but it just kept getting worse.  Now he couldn’t sleep at night because of the pain and was having fevers and pain going up his entire arm.  He didn’t have any more money to go back, and didn’t want to as it kept getting worse.

I knew he needed the wound cleaned, debrided, and to get IV antibiotics.  We brought him to a clinic to have it surgically debrided and started on IV antibiotics. That doctor told him he was close to losing his hand because of the infection.  Not surprisingly, he was sent home that evening and started on oral antibiotics.  We helped him get to this clinic everyday to have the dressing changed over the next several weeks.

During this recovery time, we had many conversations with him and his brothers.  He told us how surprised he was that we helped him so much with our time, our efforts, and especially that we paid so much money for him.  He told us that just a few months earlier his father died.  The father had gone to the hospital a couple times, but there was no money to buy medicines, and no one in the extended family would help.  But when his father died, everybody came for the funeral and gave a little money or rice.

“It was too late.” He said.  “But you helped me, a stranger, before it was too late.  People here don’t do that.”

We were able to share why we helped, and began talking with him about Jesus.  Since then, he has started to read the New Testament, and listening to it on his phone.  He has started coming to several our gatherings.  We are praying that he will keep seeking TRUTH and find his HOPE in Jesus.  We are thankful for this opportunity to minister to him and show him the love and care of Jesus.

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His mother has been coming by now as well.  She also comments how we help those around us, unlike their fellow Muslims who won’t help.  I always bring her back to who Jesus is and as his followers we want to share his great love with those around us.  We pray together and I have invited her to study the Bible with me as well.

Just recently this family lost everything in a fire. Within minutes, the fire had destroyed everything.  Again, we were able to reach to help his family (and many others in that community) with basic necessities, clothing, food, etc.

We know God is touching this family and are thankful that we can be a part of His work in their lives.  We pray that we will continue to be HIS light in their lives and they would come to know Jesus as their redeemer and their hope.

*Melissa E. (name withheld for security reasons) is a MedSend healthcare professional who is serving in the 10/40 window, in Western Africa. This story is taken from one of her reports from the field.


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