We are still plowing forward through a storm-filled winter this year! The mountains are frequently covered in a thick fog during the winter months, often accompanied with sleet or snow higher up in elevation. Even today we had snow and freezing temps up in the mountain areas, with many asking for heating fuel to weather this latest cold front.
Thankfully we were able to provide over 1,000 liters of heating fuel just this month to many refugee families, thanks to some generous gifts from churches and individuals back home. This went towards helping not only “our” group of mountain refugees but a second group of refugees located several hours away being served by another local church we partner with. Everyone quickly went to the gas station to fill up their jugs with heating fuel before the stations ran out, which is not uncommon during cold fronts out here! We’ve had several times where the stations simply have no more fuel to give out, making for some cold nights for the refugees.
With the cold weather comes increased sickness. It’s kept us very busy with home visits and a large number of children with various respiratory infections showing up to our meetings! But, we are thankful the Lord has allowed us to still be here to help these refugees in their time of difficulty.
We have several updates on various medical cases out here to share, but first a general update on the refugee kids being sponsored for school through the EAP.
Finishing Out The School Year
We are thankful that all of our EAP (Education Assistance Program) kids are on well on their way to finishing another school year thanks to the many sponsors that stepped forward to help with their school costs. We’ve had 51 kids apply for the EAP and so far been able to sponsor 46 of them. We are hopeful that all 46 will pass their exams this year and be allowed to move on to the next grade! If anyone still wants to get involved in helping one of the remaining 5 refugee children through the EAP it isn’t too late this semester.
Because of volunteers who committed to come out here and help us this spring, we are also able to once again provide twice-weekly tutoring for the older refugee students. While it may not seem that relief & development work would involve having to tutor refugee kids in trigonometry and English sentence structure, it is essential knowledge for these kids to finish school and have a better future!
We are also thankful that most of these EAP kids continue to come to the weekly outreach meetings for them. They listen intently to the stories and engage actively with the questions. Many of them are also very adept at memorizing different Scriptures from the Bible that get shared with them each week!
Following Up With Ongoing Medical Cases
The young woman with stage 4 cancer is deteriorating rapidly. Her cancer has spread to multiple locations in her body and more recently to her skin. As a result, she has two open wounds on her chest and neck that will not heal. One of the wounds on her clavicle has left the bare white bone exposed. This requires her to go to have her wounds cleaned and re-bandaged every 3-5 days. When she is in our area, we are able to change her bandages for her. It is very sad to see her slow but steady decline. Multiple oncologists say there is no hope for treatment, and it is just a matter of time before she will pass away. Currently, she has gone to another city to be with family. We never know when the last time we see her will be. Please pray for this woman to know the supernatural peace and love of Christ in her last days on Earth.
We finally have a diagnosis of the elderly man with rapidly declining hemoglobin levels. After several tests he was found to have severe aplastic anemia. His condition is still very serious, and he had left our area for several weeks which meant we were unable to continue helping him, but he is now back. We are hoping to find sufficient treatment for his condition in this country. Pray for this man that he will not die but live and be able to proclaim God’s goodness to him.
The middle-aged father with deep vein thrombosis saw the vascular surgeon this week. The doctor was amazed and said they were the biggest veins he has ever seen in his career! The man’s leg veins measure 30mm wide, which is enormous, and subsequently very painful for him as well. We are finally able to move forward with his case. We hope to have his surgery completed this coming March if we can find an affordable hospital as current options are extremely costly.
New Medical Cases
We currently have a strange case of systemic allergic reaction in a middle-aged woman. She suddenly began to break out with hives and itching and also a burning sensation on her hands and eyes at night preventing her from sleeping. We do not know the cause of her sudden allergy. We were able to take her to the laboratory and the blood worked showed there is an allergic immune response happening. We gave her several anti-allergy medications prescribed by doctors but none have any lasting effect. Pray she would be able to find the source of her allergies or she may have to see an immunologist.
Thanks For Praying!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read these refugee relief updates. Thanks to those who commit to pray for these refugees or are moved to support as they are able to!
Thank you again for your prayers and support. This is a work bigger than any of us, but not bigger then God or His church! If you wish to be involved in any way, you can support TGI via our site, sign up for our relief updates e-mail newsletter to better know how to pray, or contact us if you are interested in knowing more about how to be personally involved.