Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Tube Full of Heaven... Ok, it's Neosporin

A baby sits unattended, in the furthest corner of the yard, and cries. She’s had a fever for days, and her mother just cannot handle the sound anymore. She puts baby as far out of ear’s reach as her small plot would allow.

There’s a free clinic less than a mile away.

A child limps into the CarePoint with yesterday’s dirty clothes clinging to the infection of yesterday’s run-in with a rusty nail.

There’s clean, running water at the Children’s Cup CarePoint, as well as a free government clinic within walking distance.

Open wounds, broken bones, and senseless infections are accepted as just a part of life. It’s as though affliction is just another stage of development in the fray of South Africa’s rural villages. It almost looks like this just is just the way it is as you bump along the dirt road to Dayizenza.

But there is another way, and it is so accessible.
You pick up that baby, and you walk to the clinic.
You turn on the tap, and you wash that wound.

So why are babies still feverish and wounds still untreated? Why don't they see and use what's available?

The volunteer cooking mothers at the Children’s Cup CarePoint in Dayizenza battle disease and decay in their own bodies. They take children into their homes, and sick children are dropped off at CarePoints because no one knows what to do. Not even them.

But they are watching.

They see mission teams come and hold babies. They watch touch, prayer and affection saves little, endangered lives. (Read Benji’s story here.)

They see us come to wash wounds and administer first aid to sick and injured children. They watch health restored to better than before.

They take a look, ask a question, and dare to believe there’s more than what their eyes can see.

“Mama Kacy, we don’t know how to take care of our children.”
They poured out their most vulnerable longings. “We want to help them, but we don’t know how. Can you show us? Will you teach us?”


The sheer risk in looking for more than what’s there could turn those hole-ridden dirt roads into hope-filled streets of gold.

We practiced putting on Band-Aids, washing injuries, and basic hygiene. I taught them about our bodies being temples of the Living God. We discussed burn care and prevention. They stared in shock when I told them it was ok… and expected… to tell the children to stay away from the cooking fire and hot kettles. I showed them how to use the medication in their first aid kit, labeling everything with appropriate usage, dosage and age. They aced the quiz at the end and loved it!

The most dramatic first aid practice of all time. So good.

They felt so empowered, capable, and strong. Hips swung and laughter roared around the yard as they modeled their faux-sprains and pseudo-slatherings of Neosporin. They were like little kids playing doctor. We laughed and celebrated as we were all healed of our imaginary afflictions.

The mothers learned how to use their hands for helping others, and touched hope in the process. They saw suffering doesn’t have to be the standard, and they could do something about it.

The gold and sparkly hope of heaven squeezed out of them with a tube of Neosporin and the most basic first aid training.

That day began a beautiful and ongoing journey in Dayizenza.
Week by week, we are gathering around thankfulness, stockpiling on knowledge, and strengthening our arms so we can lift heavy.

Boot Camp at the CarePoint! It's a highlight of our week! 
We are bracing ourselves and bulking up.

That tube of Neosporin and that fateful first aid training was the day we saw that heaven is at hand… our hands. We aren’t just here to fill bellies and wait passively for heaven to come. We will be the ones to lay the bricks that pave the path of heaven on earth.

First Aid trained and ready.
The beautiful women of Dayizenza will wash their hands, wash wounds, and renovate the roads from dust to glory. With clean hands and ready hearts, they are building the highway to heaven right where they live.

I remember the way I felt the day the ladies in Dayizenza asked me for help. How much more would heaven hoop and holler with a sparkling and undignified, “YES! YES! YES!” if we asked for more too?

There’s more. It’s free, and you just might already be fully equipped for it. Wash your hands, wash your hearts, and bust open that tube of heaven. Don’t hold back.

Let’s use what we have, and ask for more. Squeeze out every last drop until we’ve replaced infection with affection, disease with delight, and until heaven’s promises are complete on this earth, starting right where you are.

1 comment:

  1. Your words have always touched my heart with hope and healing! I've watched you pick up that child with the sore, wash it out, and pull out that bandaid and Neosporin never once considering what you were exposing yourself to. I've watched the love of the Father gently cascade over that little one as you held their ringworm infested face to yours and rocked them until sleep finally arrived. I've watched in awe as you rejoiced and danced and wept with the love of Jesus crashing on those around you like the waves on the shore. I've watched and I've learned and I am proud to call you friend!