The Medical Camp is a free service offered in a village providing free services of a doctor, pharmacist and dentist. Each person receives a short consult with the doctor and then some medication if needed. The dentist provides the same and while he only does superficial pain relief he told me he would recommend to a local service if more dramatic treatment was required. We were there to offer prayer and healing ministry to whomever wanted it. I’m convinced that the only way we will grow and see more of what God’s Spirit will do – on earh as in heaven – is to keep stepping out to make opportunities… and to risk – for the love and sake of others.
Our drive there is a forty five minute winding bumpy road through gorgeous green rice fields and countless villages packed with bicycles, sleeping dogs. lumbering water buffalo, and people conversing at every turn. Women must do washing on Mondays as they hunched over in colorful saris slapping clothing and chatting in ditches and small lakes. Another feature I love are the old English style haystacks everywhere…. looks like 18th century scenes and the subject of a Constable painting.
The clinic was held in the large open air basement of a new Baptist Church (I mistook it for Catholic) and attracted I was told about 400 people over the course of four hours. Many came to us for prayer with the majority being sore joints, necks; a few with eye problems, one deaf mute, HIV, and mental conditions. The challenge is communicating and understanding as well as conversing during the course of prayer. Many are shy and say “thank you” after about one minute and walk away. So it’s hard to know what’s accomplished other than declaring the love of God over them and believing for what we did not yet see. Brad, Jan and Ken were tireless in their ministry to the lines of people who sought them out.
It was sad that most of the pastors present sat around on the sidelines and were reluctant to enter in and stand alongside us. I wonder whether that may be a factor inhibiting a more powerful sense of God’s healing presence. Hopefully during the Pastor’s conference we can encourage greater boldness and teach about what is possible and why it’s important. This is the same village in which we’ll be conducting the Crusade on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – so who knows what is till to come? Jan prayed for many of the women and asked for refreshing for the older ones who seemed weary after long lives of serving and hard labor in these challenging conditions.
Here’s Ken trying to blend in with statues…..
At the end we were asked to visit the house of a very sick women. We’d just been looking at the site for the crusade wen Rau asked me to go to the house at the request of a member of her family. This is common and normal here and the Biblical similarity is not lost. Jesus being on his way somewhere and interrupted…. When we arrived at the palm-frond-thatched home a woman was lying on a bed under the front porch in the open air. She had a withered left hand and I was told she hadn’t moved from that bed in over a year. I think she needed people to sit at her bedside for a few hours and pray but we only had a few minutes. I felt so inadequate as I declared God’s love and presence over her and spoke his healing presence into her for renewed life and an end to this situation. I prayed that God would perform a miracle so she could attend the Crusade – and asked permission to take a photograph so that I could encourage you to join us in prayer…. her name is Sheshamma.
We’ve come home today overwhelmed in some measure, challenged, frustrated because we hoped for more… but in the end we’ve done what we could and continue to believe that God is faithful as he works in us and through us. Outside as darkness falls I look over the fence and bright flames cradle large silver pots with smoke rising as dinner cooks. Dogs bark, children play, the rhythm of a water pump in action accompanies an evangelist broadcasting his message a few blocks away. People come a go in our compound and it’s another ordinary day in Kotipalli coming to a communal end.
Tomorrow we’re taking the family to the beach about two hours drive away and hopefully a chance to swim in the Bay of Bengal. Most of them have only been there once or twice – or never; it should be fun.