*Warning* This post contains graphic medical photographs. Please view at your own discretion. For a photo free version, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday, April 18th, while assessing homes for cement floors, my team and I met this man. A haunting melody escaped his lips as he hobbled out of his front door to greet us. A stick in each hand, these make-shift crutches kept his left leg from touching the ground. Bending down I noticed both foot and calf were severely swollen, and that his pinky toe appeared to be gangrenous. It was likely full of infection and in that moment I understood his song. It was sung to occupy his mind from the pain.
His family said he had been suffering in this way for nearly a year. It was evident there was no proper amount of money for medical attention. “Lord, what am I supposed to do with this? ” I left that day offering nothing but a prayer, and over the days that followed, Jocelyn Joseph did not leave my mind and heart.
Exactly one week later we found ourselves in JJ’s yard again, checking out the sick toe which had in the meantime split; the suspected infection revealing itself. Action was needed. We made arrangements for him to be taken to the local hospital, where two days later his left foot and part of his calf were amputated. The surgery went well and he began his recovery process.
Then, just four days after surgery, the Many Hands resident Chaplain, Pastor Lumanès, felt prompted to make an afternoon visit to Mr. Joseph. That afternoon, JJ made a decision to give his life to Christ! Praise the Lord! We brought him a Bible and continued to visit frequently. His sister and a close cousin took turns staying with him everyday, making sure he was clean and full of mangoes! 😉 It was incredible to watch this family unit give the one thing they had; themselves. While they didn’t have the financial means to cover JJ’s needs, both his sister and cousin basically lived at the hospital for the three weeks he was there, offering a familial comfort and physical support that was both a beautiful reflection of true love and an absolute necessity for a good recovery!
In the weeks that followed, Doctor Jo wasn’t satisfied with JJ’s level of healing. With diabetes ruled out, the doc ordered a sonogram scan on the artery in JJ’s leg. If the artery wasn’t strong enough to handle carrying the proper supply of blood to the wound, another amputation (above the knee) would be considered.
JJ was sent to Port-au-Prince for the exam and three days later returned to Pignon with a clean report! His artery is fine and he will heal. Doctor Jo thinks 3-5 weeks. In that time, JJ is scheduled to go to the hospital every 3 days for a bandage change and checkup!
In order to help ease this time of healing, we found a room to rent in town. JJ’s house is pretty far out and with the rainy season in full swing, the dirt road into his community (both ways) is virtually impassable. For exactly $32.38 we were able to rent a small one-room for one month! O.o Pretty incredible! Also, the team that was here last week helped to buy a bed and brought it over to furnish the new room. Thanks Team Hope/Pella!
One of our good friends, Richelin (pictured below with JJ and I), also just happens to be a neighbor to JJ’s new place! Due to the convenience of his proximity, Richelin has taken on some duties of cooking, cleaning, laundry, and getting JJ to his appointments and back. We are so grateful for his willingness to help. He is a caring young man and JJ has really developed a soft spot for him.
This past Sunday we invited JJ to attend church with us. He readily agreed so I got to work digging through our stockpile of clothing for appropriate “church-wear”. I think we did pretty good!
JJ loved church and had fun going out for lunch with us after. While at church he decided to make a proper declaration of his faith. This guy is serious in understanding his need for Christ. And although he has already endured much suffering in this life, he also knows that his choice for Christ will not come without difficulty.
He is also very aware that he won’t be able to do it alone and has asked for our help. Of all the things happening in this situation, I am certain it is for this very reason God brought us together.
Please be in prayer for JJ during this time of physical healing and spiritual growth. He is experiencing a LOT of pain as he heals, and due to the nature of his medical issue, pain management is a serious concern. Please pray for good communication with the Doctor and for supernatural physical healing!
Please also pray for his spiritual healing! JJ has stated outright that he used to serve Satan. I am not yet sure of the details surrounding this but regardless, his decision for Christ is sincere. Pray that he continues to grow in a true knowledge of who God is and of the Spiritual Authority he now has in Christ!
Currently, I am fully responsible for all of JJ’s financials. This is not a very sustainable arrangement for JJ or myself, so I’m asking for your assistance. A donation of just $20, will go a long way in giving JJ the support he needs! If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in making a contribution as the walk continues, please make a donation at tinyurl.com/j4o86wo or contact me directly. (For online donations, please specify “For JJ” in the additional comments section.)
Thanks for your consideration in helping this transformation happen!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Pi Bon Ansanm! Better Together!