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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The blind and the lame

Let me cling to the categories of people whom Jesus said would usher in the Kingdom.

Basiime Godfrey, the orphan student of ours whom God opened doors to get into Uganda Christian University, had an eye exam today. A visiting American ophthalmologist had graciously contacted us by email and we took the opportunity to set up a check-up for Godfrey, who had a history of some chronic eye complaints. When Scott filled out Godfrey's pre-admission University forms, he did a physical exam and noted that Godfrey's vision was significantly impaired in one of his eyes . . . Today he finally got to see this ophthamologist and we got the news that Basiime Godfrey suffers from severe glaucoma. He is nearly blind in one eye already, and will be completely blind in both in less than five years if nothing is done. I just want to cry. First, that this boy who has struggled to get where he is now has this crushing prognosis. Second, that like Jack's heels, we did not take his occasional mention of eye pain or redness as signs of serious disease. He was boarding at Christ School when this started, we did not see him often, and his issues were one of the dozens that get put before us daily. He did not perceive it to be a major problem, and neither did we. Now much irreversible damage has been done. The doctor's schedule for surgery next week is full, but we are praying he'll be able to squeeze Godfrey in. Then later he'll need surgery on the other eye, plus daily medication. He's far from home and just starting school and worried about missing classes. After we talked to the doctor on the phone we talked to Godfrey again, and he was planning to refuse the surgery under the mistaken impression that his eye would be removed. We assured him it would remain, and that surgery was his best chance in delaying blindness.

We had just gotten off the phone with Luke when we called Godfrey's doctor. Luke is still having pain, and his MRI is scheduled for Monday at 2:30. Ashley told us an encouraging testimony of her own knee injuries in soccer, she had been diagnosed provisionally as a meniscal tear but the MRI cleared her inexplicably, and she improved without surgery. We would love to see a similar outcome for Luke! He's hanging in there pretty well, considering. He moves about campus but can not do much.

I did not expect to find the blind and the lame among the kids on my heart, nor to be so helplessly far away as they face their diagnosis and treatment. I suppose that puts me in a category in the beginning of the same passage in Luke 4: in need of healing for the brokenhearted.


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Cindy Nore said...

Praying for Basiime, for Luke, for all the physical needs that you have to try to evaluate and absorb and treat and bear every day. Your strength and faith are amazing.Praying fervently for good news of Luke's MRI. With love - Cindy