I know I am not the only one asking "How long, O Lord?" It only takes a quick glance at the news to see massive suffering all around. There are wars, floods, earthquakes and wildfires snuffing out and drastically altering tens of thousands of lives, sometimes in the span of just a few minutes. Beyond the headline news is still more suffering occurring in countless lives and countries that simply does not reach our eyes and ears. In Ukraine, we continue to be hit daily with news that is just devastating. God is in control - I do know and believe that - and yet my heart cries out for Him to shower this nation and people with mercy and an end to this war and all the death and devastation it brings.
At the Agape Rehabilitation Complex, we continue rehabilitation, the construction of the Resource Center, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the de-occupied areas around Kherson. We seek to be faithful in the continuation of these tasks and we each have our role to play.
First, I would like to share feedback that we received from a recent patient. Receiving her comments was unexpected for us and also a great encouragement, particularly for her therapists. Tetyana is a 52-year-old female who acquired a spinal cord injury two years ago and arrived at Agape in a depressed state. While we all witnessed her progress during rehab, none of us understood the full impact on her life until she wrote back upon returning home. Here are her words:
"A MIRACLE happened to me! I was depressed for two years. And now I feel happy every day! My trip to Agape inspired this. Two months ago, I sabotaged my first trip with a broken leg. As soon as the cast was removed, my daughter asked me if I really wanted to go to rehab. She always said, "I'm ready to help, but if you don't take responsibility for your life, I'm powerless to do it for you." I decided to go.
It was three wonderful weeks. Above all, I wanted to learn how to transfer to a wheelchair without help. Weak muscles did not allow me to do it skillfully. But when my therapists gave me a special board for transfers, I felt like a hero. I even learned how to get into a car.
I also learned to self-catheterize. In my condition, this is a vital procedure. You can't imagine how happy I was that I didn't have to call someone for help all the time. And the Agape employees rejoiced with me.
I returned home with the feeling that I will be able to overcome my fears and insecurities. And on the first day after my arrival, I already began making adjustments for my independence. I bought a light fixture that I can turn on from bed with a remote. We rearranged the furniture so that it would be more convenient for me to move around the apartment in a wheelchair.
The next day, for the first time since my injury, I completed my morning routine on my own, transferred to the wheelchair, made tea, set the table and invited my daughter to breakfast. I even washed the dishes.
Recently, the roles have shifted in our family. My daughter took care of me for a long time. And now everything has fallen into its rightful place. I am a real, loving mother! I cook her favorite dishes, which she missed so much. I support her and make her happy with her achievements.
I believe that my good mood, which I ignited in Agape, will stay with me forever!
I thank God that he did not leave me and again gave me a thirst for life!"
|Please pray for the safety of the volunteers who deliver humanitarian aid. It is not without risk that they make these trips.|
|In the flooding that followed the dam explosion, rescuers were welcomed by all.|
In more personal news, I spent a week this summer in the village helping with a children's camp. I ended up hanging out all week with the smallest kiddos, ranging from 3-6 years old. As you can see, they were super cute and we had lot of fun together!