Our missionaries on the field are involved in a variety of ministries. Some teach, some preach, some mentor, some meet physical needs at a medical clinic. Sometimes they get the privilege of being an encouragement to someone in one way or another. This is…
…as shared by Tim Meier, GMI missionary in Zambia
Ronnie is an epileptic, deaf young man who was badly burned after he had a seizure that rolled him into a fire some years ago, and the wound behind his knee has remained open and often infected since then.
The story began recently when eight deaf young people traveled to get their hearing aids checked in Lusaka, Zambia. Ronnie was traveling with them and also wanted to see if he could get plastic surgery done to fix his leg.
They made contact with Dr. Uta who supplied hearing aids and has been providing follow-up care for these deaf young people at no cost ever since he met Tim Meier (Tim and Dr. Uta first met when Tim was seeking help for his shoulder injury a few months ago). Tim wanted to make arrangements for Dr. Uta to check the hearing aids on the eight young people on Friday, as well as see Ronnie and hopefully do surgery on his leg while the group was in Lusaka on this trip. Ronnie could stay in Lusaka with Sarah, the mom for the deaf and vulnerable kids ministry in Zambia. She would be able to use sign language to help Ronnie communicate with the doctors.
The group received permission to go to Lusaka for Dr. Uta to check the hearing aids, which he did, and then they waited to hear if the surgery would take place on Ronnie’s leg….there would be several doctors involved and everything had to be coordinated.
Finally, Ronnie was approved for surgery the following Wednesday evening!
On Tuesday of the following week Ronnie was given a bed and Wednesday morning he suited up and was ready for surgery. Dr. Lastroni, who is in charge of Beit Cure Hospital in Lusaka, became an advocate for Ronnie making sure he was admitted because the fear was if he didn’t have the surgery he would lose his leg at the knee.
His operation was quite specialized and six surgeons took part in the procedure. The doctors were shocked at the condition of Ronnie’s leg. The case was much more serious than we ever imagined! The Lord is good! The operation was successful. The doctors removed the dead skin to stretch the leg. All the tissue was deep cleaned and they removed all the infection. They got the skin to cover the sores, so Ronnie was in extreme pain because of the flesh sore. He had to go back for dressing changes early the next week. This is indeed a testimony of God’s greatness, love, mercies, and grace!
Please pray for Ronnie as he goes through the recovery process.
Below are Sarah (mom to the deaf), Ronnie (after surgery), and Dr. Lastroni