Sara Quispe suffers from a rheumatic disease and every movement hurts her. So, when she goes to bed, she stirs as little as possible. Days and weeks pass, and the skin of her back ruptures and smelly ulcers develop. Finally, her family takes her to the mission hospital. After a six-week stay in hospital, she will eventually be allowed to go home. With the necessary instructions, her family can continue wound care.
Several days ago, social worker Debora Center led a few nurses in a visit to the Quispe home. They found that the domestic and family environment was terrible. The team found a completely polluted mud hut, reeking of alcohol and with dirty rags hung over the windows. Obviously, only hopelessness reigned there.
Debora had trouble getting answers to a few questions about the causes of their misery. The man and the children looked for excuses; each shifted the responsibility on the other. Debora knew that this family needed not only help, but also a radical change of perspective.
Saturday, the staff returned to the mountain village. They were armed with cleaning supplies, brooms and buckets. But, as it turned out, they did not need them. When the family had heard that they would come to clean, it had served as a wake-up call. They found that the home was cleaned properly.
The meeting began with a meal, while the situation was discussed. Again, mutual accusations dominated the conversation. Debora stepped in and spoke about forgiveness, love, and sacrifice. With conviction she said, “God can give us the strength to overcome the misery!” The message seemed to resonate with the family.
Debora Center writes: “Today, they can either come together as a united family, or they can turn away from each other. If they choose to continue in conflict, they will certainly regret it. Fortunately, they seem to be moving towards unity, because Sara’s healing has become most important to them.”
Debora believes that, in the long term, only God can bring about the necessary change of heart. After all, Jesus came to earth to help the broken and desperate. With his friendship, we have the power to break the vicious cycle of egoism and conflict.