The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus. Again the wonderful monthly gift for the poorer ones of God’s children arrived safely, and meant so much to us here and to the many for whom it was sent and again we thank God for it, and for you all. Thank you so very much. Salini’s wedding went very happily last Tuesday. She and her new husband were very happy and Valsala was also very, very happy. Shini and Siva Prasad were there, with their children, so that was great. There were at least 1500 there. Over 300 (I counted) sat down at a time to the wedding breakfast (in this case lunch) - we were in the 4th sitting and there were a couple of sittings still waiting. All the ladies from Thanal [our home for destitute women] came in a bus, all in new clothes and looking very smart, and there were at least 5 photographers and a video working non-stop so you’ll be seeing plenty of photos when you come. A formidable posse of pastors conducted the proceedings. It would all have done our dear Sam Pastor proud.
A few stories from the Medical College Hospital.
1. Arun Hal from Neyathinkara (age 28) was a construction worker who fell from the second floor of a building and broke his back. He has been in the hospital for 9 months, and Shibu [our bystander, a sort of nursing auxiliary] has been doing everything for him. Arun Hal was recently married, his wife was pregnant when he fell, and now they have a baby boy, but Arun has never seen him. His wife came once but somehow couldn’t cope with it all. Both of Arun’s legs are in plaster and Shibu has to do everything. At first a couple of relatives came to see him but now no one comes. HHI has provided expenses for all medicines, surgical dressings, lab tests etc. This week there some rather expensive tests - he may have one of the nastier forms of hepatitis. We help with breakfast as the prison provides his midday meal. He is very eager for prayer, and especially asks that you remember him before God.
2. Parashu, 47 years old, from Kaddakal. Earlier he was a heavy drinker and was hit by a hit-and-run driver. He came as an ‘unknown’ in the ambulance and Shibu cared for him for 9 months and 20 days. He was completely bed-ridden and Shibu had to do everything. It had all affected him mentally - he could be very difficult and even violent, and he would sing at all hours. He’s the one, perhaps you’ll remember, who would complain to the doctors and nurses about the cats and mice that were getting under and into his plaster and I can feel for him. At nights he would pull off his plaster. Two days before being discharged his wife came and the sisters scolded her but she said she had no money for a bus fare and for food at the hospital and I suspect he’d given her a hard time. HHI paid R.1300 [£13] for ambulance to take them home. Now he has come back for skin transplants. He has put on a lot of weight and is now clear in his mind. Nearby patients all exhort him not to drink and smoke again. HHI will be meeting surgery expenses and perhaps later on expenses for some small business - perhaps vegetables. Now his wife is with him, with Shibu helping out.
3. Agi aged 32. Construction worker fell from 4th floor, and his back was broken, leaving him paraplegic. That was 8 years ago. Earlier neighbours and relatives helped but not now. The day before yesterday he had yet another operation – a hip transplant. R.11,000/- [£110]. There are just himself and his wife (who needs Shibu’s continued help) and both are brave and bright, and ask for your prayers. They have three young girls - we’ll try and get them into a church hostel and school. Agi will need a wheelchair when discharged.
4. Sibilon, 16 years from Kallikavilla (Tamil Nadu) is another victim of a hit-run driver. Paraplegic. He has already had 3 operations. As they are from Tamil Nadu they don’t get any government aid and have run up a big debt. Naturally he’s depressed. Do remember him especially. Perhaps we can get him studying again by correspondence, perhaps even computer.
5. The other day Shibu asked me to give him a hand cleaning up an ‘unknown’ who had just come in in a bad way. Shibu got him talking. He had a piece of land at a town junction worth Rs 1,000,000 [£10,000, a huge amount of money in India] and his relatives were feeding him etc. They got him to sign it over into their names and then he was out of the streets with no more meals. I know we don’t know the full story. Surely human greed and callousness is perhaps the basic cause of poverty and not any insufficiency.
6. Suchitra, a 19 year old nursing student, was very badly injured by a hit and run vehicle - many fractures to her legs, pelvis and back. She’s had seven operations with implants etc. I think pretty continual pain. Like Sibilon she is down about things. We prayed with her and I said you all in UK will be praying. The doctor says she is to rest for 7 months and then come back. I spoke to her about the possibility of her studying - perhaps computer and she seemed happy at that. If there was an obsolete laptop going unused in the office, as you mentioned there sometimes is, perhaps you could bring it out. I think you’d like to visit her (not far from Kovalam) when you come. HHI has bought her a wheelchair - she was discharged yesterday. I think you’ll feel for her as you did for the daughter of the paraplegic man in Neyyar Dam when HHI helped with his bedside business.
I’m afraid it’s been a heavy month for implants.
Sudheesan - no bystander. Accident.
Lijo 4 years - granddaughter of the lady at Kullatappura who Pelvi and Sue and James visited some years ago up in the mountains: living in a very poor colony.
Goban - no bystander. Accident 11 months ago. Twice his operation date has been postponed as he had no money for implants and other equipment.
Extras for November
Sheeha – breast cancer operation – could we ask R.3,000 [£30] as a contribution?
Aji’s daughter – tribal family. Cancer of the brain – transport, medicines, accommodation for the family etc. – R.2,000 [£20]
Arun Lal (above) – expensive lab tests – R.3,500 [£35]
Agi (not the one above) age 32 – implant R.4,000 [£40]
Goban – implants – R.12,000 [£120]
Sundheesan – implants – R.11,000 [£110]
With all our thanks and prayers and every good wish