A few weeks ago, one of our boys, Awiley, broke one of his toes while playing. Normally, a broken toe is not a big deal, but in Awiley’s case, his foot was feverish and infected. And his toe swelled up twice the normal size with something protruding out…our doctors were divided in thinking it was his toe bone exposed or a really thick and weird nail bed. So after praying for him, we headed for the local hospital…I was not looking forward to the long lines, lack of supplies/staff, poor sanitation, and overall suffering in the faces of the people. Unless we are praying for people, I avoid the hospital at all costs! Anyways, we were able to get an X-ray and see a doctor on our first night. Due to it being a Friday night, they scheduled him for an out patient surgery for Monday morning.
Awiley needed to stay completely off his foot, so Jean and I decided that Awiley would stay at our home till he was better. Normally our boys stay at their own house at the Children’s center under the care of our two Mozambican aunties (Tia’s). We want all our kids to be raised within Mozambican culture as much as possible☺
We had the best time with Awiley! We watched movies, colored, read books, and ate lots of yummy food. Monday morning came and we set off for the hospital again. We found the operation building ad we were asked to wait in a large room. Many people were wheeled into our room to recover after their surgeries which was not very pleasant, but we were happy to pray for their healings. Awiley was so brave as the doctors came and poked and pulled at his toe. One doctor who had bloody gloves tried to touch his toe, but I slapped his hand and told him not to touch him…the doctor sheepishly took off his bloodied gloves and replaced them with new ones. The doctor then told us to come back the next day because the person who could operate on children was not in on Mondays. This was quite frustrating because we had been waiting for hours….
We returned to the clinic at our base to seek advice. At this point, I lost it and started crying inconsolably….this was probably my first real “Mom” moment related to the health of our boys. I felt like if we did not fight for Awiley, who would? Jean was a rock and stated the obvious, “Jesus is fighting for Awiley, Teisa.” Just then, our doctor at our center reexamined Awiley’s toe…and found it healing quite well! The protruding object was definitely nail bed and would fall off soon. Best of all, she told us we did not need to return to the hospital (glory!!!) and that we just needed to keep it clean!
Awiley spent one more night at our house before returning to the boys’ dorm. He had a hard time leaving (he had faked a stomach ache) which made us both cry. But the other boys welcomed him back and he remembered how fun life is with his bothers.
But the best part of this story is this: A few days later, Jean and I were sitting in church when we spotted our boys coming in. Suddenly, Awiley saw us from across the room, his face burst into the biggest smile and he came running into our arms with such unashamed love, it melted our hearts. It was then that we knew that love healed Awiley’s toe and maybe a little of his precious heart!