There are some words you can never unhear:
The treatment isn’t working.
We did all we could.
It’s one thing to be on the receiving end of these words. It’s another to be the one sitting beside the recipient, trying to digest. Trying to listen and take notes. Trying not to think how easy it would be to just leave. Being a caregiver isn’t something everyone can handle, even in countries with good medical care and support.
This is something Pastor Anthony, one of our pastor partners in Kenya, learned when he shared the gospel and a copy of God’s Word from ShareWord Global with a man named Nadeem.*
Nadeem was paralyzed on one side of his body. His wife, not able to handle the stress of being a caregiver, abandoned him in his time of need. There was no one to care for him. No one to show him compassion. His community of fellow Muslims thought his disability was the result of a curse. They left him to die. Even the religious leaders wanted nothing to do with this man.
Pastor Anthony knew Nadeem needed to know the love of Jesus. Without hesitation, Pastor Anthony took Nadeem in, bathed him, and cleaned his clothes. Taken aback, Nadeem said, “I have never seen anyone, not even the other Christian pastors, do this.”
Since then, Pastor Anthony has made sure to visit his new friend regularly.
“I’m so glad you come to visit me. I’m afraid. When you don’t visit me, Satan does,” said Nadeem.
His history of being abandoned and unloved still created fear in his heart, but Pastor Anthony shared the true hope that can only be found in our Saviour. The healing that can only come from God.
And physical healing is happening. Nadeem can walk a few steps at a time and is on his way to recovery. Once fully recovered, he’s committed to coming to church on his own. But for now, Pastor Anthony faithfully hires a motorbike to bring him to church as many Sundays as he’s able. His goal is to have his own motorbike to serve his community even more.
This one man’s act of love and service has become the talk of the community. Pastor Anthony’s willingness to serve the people around him continues to show the love of God. And this demonstration of love has even opened the hearts of other Muslims in the community, creating an openness to now hear the Word. While we know marriages can suffer and break under the stress of illness, God’s relationship with us can only grow stronger if we are willing to answer His call to love those around us.