“Kuata ku mundundu” is a Tshiluba expression which essentially means, ‘'be strong, take heart.” Literally, it means “grab onto something sturdy and strong.” The Psalmists in the Bible constantly cry out for help and assistance. King David cries out to his rock and salvation, his fortress and his refuge. His hope comes from God alone (Ps. 62: 5-6).
Listening to little seven year old Andre cry out “Nzambi!” (God!), as he was transferred from his bed was heart wrenching. Seeing all of the blood soaked into the gauze of the bandaged leg of Espoir was more than some of us could take. Listening to Dominique, whose body received the most trauma from surgery, cry out and ask for water pierced our hearts. The surgeries for all three Ditekemena* children this week were a success and we are hopeful for good things. Now, however, begins the long period of recovery. Dominique was fitted with a support jacket yesterday to keep his spine and the inserted rods and wires straight and in place. Andre’s left leg is fitted with a cast that extends from thigh to foot and his right leg is very tender after the operation. Espoir still has rods jutting out of his right knee. There is a good possibility that all three will return to the BICE Center next week where their care givers will care for them during this period of convalescence.
Dr. Theuri and Ms. Mirriam have given a real lift to all of us this week at the Good Shepherd Hospital in Tshikaji which is part of the Christian Medical Institute of Kasai (IMCK). Dr. Theuri operated a mountain of cases, conducted trainings on ponsetti (club foot), and allowed medical students and doctors observe his craft. Ms. Mirriam has made the rounds in the hospital instructing nurses regarding physical therapy; we also took her out into the community where she was able to help families who have children with cerebral palsy and other physical handicaps. It has been an inspiring week and a joy to watch these two servants in action, taking time for “the least of these” and using their skills and gifts to bring forth healing. Both are using vacation time to be here, “unpaid.”
Just this evening we learned that Dominique, whose spine was straightened with a bone implant and rods and wires, sat up, stood and walked for the first time since Tuesday. According to Pastor Manyayi, the Director of the Ditekemena Program, a crowd gathered outside his hospital room and cheered. People were saying that something like this hasn’t happened since the days of Jesus – a genuine miracle! Dominique’s face was transformed into something radiant; his height raised, he made gentle steps towards a new tomorrow. Truly, the crowd declared, this doctor is skilled and gifted.
We want to again express heartfelt thanks to the Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) for arranging this visit. God willing, both Mirriam and Dr. Theuri will be able to visit us again in central Congo. May the Name of the LORD be lifted up and praised for this good work!
*The Ditekemena program was initiated by the Congolese Presbyterian Church to reach out to street children, place them in a safe and loving environment, and to build bridges with their families so that they can return home or be received into a home which will care for them.