By Francesca Carnuccio
FROM HOPELESS TO HEALED
Imagine living in a place where there are -no hospitals -no doctors -no medicine.
Imagine every time you or someone else gets sick or injured it is potentially life threatening. This is the reality of the Taposa people, the remote tribe that I had the honor of living with for 6 weeks of my outreach. I knew their situation was desperate when I was greeted and referred to as “Dr.” when they found out about my medical background.
I tried to explain to them that I’m by no means a doctor, but with my limited nursing experience and training I was the most qualified medical person in the area. Nurse or doctor, it’s the same to them.
I was excited to finally be able to use my skills and knowledge to help people the best I could even with limited resources. (You can imagine how creative I had to be!) This was a moment I had dreamed of since I was 6 years old. However, many times I found myself in situations where the only thing I could do was pray that Jesus would heal. While we were staying with our friend, Lochino, who was hosting our team, his 8 month old son, Felix, had become very sick. You could hear the congestion build up in his chest as he breathed. One morning, while our team was doing worship and prayer, I was asked if I could take a look at little Felix. My heart sank as his tiny body was going into seizures then passing out. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified. There is nowhere to go to bring him. If he were in the US he would have been hospitalized, but there was no hospital, no supplies, and no doctor. I felt the hopelessness of the reality that the Taposa people live in constantly. Immediately I gathered our team to start praying as I grabbed a wet cloth to place over his head. I remembered learning in nursing school that babies can get seizures from fevers so I started doing what I could to cool him down. Minutes of praying that Jesus would come heal him, he became more conscious. I went into our teams supply of medicine and grabbed antibiotics that we had in case someone on the team got sick with an infection. I dosed out the amount that would be safe for his little body, cutting the pill into 9 different pieces to get it small enough. I taught his parents how to dissolve it in a little bit of water and we gave it to him. I couldn’t believe I was actually playing the role of a full on doctor. I was terrified but knew I couldn’t sit back and possibly watch my friend’s son die.
Our team had to leave the next day and I did one last check on Felix. He seemed to be doing a lot better but I was still worried. We fortunately got an update 2 weeks later that little Felix had totally recovered! I was so grateful to have gone through the years of training in nursing for these exact moments, and I know that God will continue to use my skills.
That same week a women came to our village who had been bleeding for almost a month, after suffering from a miscarriage. We sat with her as we encouraged her and prayed over her body. I could feel the significance of just being with her in her grief and desperation. She eventually left, encouraged but still not healed.
A couple weeks later, this women came back to where we were staying and with joy explained that as soon as she had stepped foot into her village the day we had prayed for her, she had been healed!
What is even greater was she admitted to us that she was a witch doctor and knew that Jesus had the power to heal her when she couldn’t heal herself. She decided that Jesus is worth giving her life to and renounced being a witch doctor! She experienced the healing power of Jesus but even deeper, His love for her as a daughter.
Thank you for joining me the past couple days as I reflected on this past season. I hope these stories of what God did in South Sudan were able to bring hope, faith, and a deeper revelation of God’s love for you. Please feel free to stay in touch or share this series with others. Thank you for being apart of my journey!