CONNECTIONS: A Story of Two Women
A remote village in a distant land, a strange tongue. One woman, seeking. Willing to do whatever it might take to find that which she seeks.
A compound for global workers, distant land, familiar tongue. One woman providing nursing care to more people in one day than she may have seen in a week in her “passport country”. She, too, is seeking. Also willing to do whatever it might take to find it.
Two women, separated by culture, language, and life experience, living only miles apart. But their stories will bring them much closer together…
The nurse seeks further training to be able to provide more service, but the experience in a primitive hospital setting inundates her with images of mistreatment, callous insensitivity, emotional and even physical abuse of those in most need of care. She witnesses violence and death. And later, still another traumatic experience: attempting to help the victims of a mass casualty, she searches through piles of the deceased to find if that one child is there. He is.
A woman in the village has obtained a single copy of the Bible in their language. Her friends ask her to read to them but she declines, “I have too much work to do”. The friends volunteer to do her housework and weed her garden so she can sit and read from the Book to them. But they are lacking the guidance to know how to study what they hear.
The nurse, now unable to sleep without nightmares, too traumatized to continue her work, searches for ways she might still serve. An opportunity to write Bible study guides for women arises, but her discomfort in being away from home, fearing that she would again be confronted with the horrors of trauma, limits her travel to villages. Anxious (she calls it “twitchy”) and demoralized, she feels that she is of no value to the mission work.
One of the GRC staff is given an opportunity to meet with the mission team as a group during a retreat; it was not until after that he heard from the nurse, via email: “I think I need to talk”. Video assessment followed, plans made to meet on the counselor’s next trip. Coordination with an intensive debriefing program on site was arranged. GRC counselor acts as individual therapist while other member care professionals provide group teaching and counseling. Another return trip several months later to the mission compound allows further time to focus on restoration. She is now sleeping well, no longer plagued by the nightmares and limiting fears. She is able to focus on writing the Bible study material, even able to travel to nearby villages.
The ladies in the village begin to receive the study guides; their numbers grow. They request a visit so members of their five “small groups” (each group 40-60 women) can recite the 17 verses required for each to receive their own bible.
We'll let our global worker (now restored, able to write the studies, able to travel to the remote village) describe the next event:
“We left at 5 a.m. to be there by 9:00 a.m., very rough road through the forest. We could hear the women singing before we pulled on to the church ground. They surrounded the van, singing and dancing and praising God that we had come. We got out, they surrounded us and escorted us the rest of the way. They stood in two lines for us to walk up the middle and into the church. But each woman grabbed me and hugged me as I went by. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. In my entire life. Ever.”
This is member care. God-directed connections: on field personal contact, coordinated with other resources, adapting to situation at hand, following up as needed, witnessing God’s restorative plan to allow His servants to thrive, that they may “… make disciples of all the nations…” Connections. Kingdom work. Soli Deo Gloria.
[The lady in the picture was part of a drama presented that morning in the village church, the presentation based on the bible studies they had received, and was then an active participant and obviously a careful listener of the ensuing Bible study that followed. The global worker took the picture; her story, and the picture, are used with her permission. Thank you, Julie Anne. Thank you, God.]