A Family Tormented by Disease
Chun Hui (10) should be in elementary school, but due to an undiagnosed disease, he is confined to his home and crawling around the yard. However, relative to two of his older brothers, Chun Hui is considered lucky. His 20-year-old brother, Zhi Fei, and 12-year-old brother, Ma Chen, both suffer the same disease and are paralyzed. Only his 15-year-old brother remains healthy; he works with his parents to support his helpless family. After seeing her youngest son also fall sick, Chun Hui’s mother became desperate and ended her own life.
The mother's three brothers suffered the same disease. When the it first began they could not walk, then they could only stay in bed, then their bodies began to weaken and their organs failed. All three of her brothers passed away in their early 20's. Now, these three boys are being taken care of by their father. However, because the father has to farm and plant vegetables, he does not have the time to meet the basic needs of his family. There is often there no time to cook and some days they have a meal, other days they do not. His children are malnourished. The healthy brother works and sends money home, but because he is only 15-years-old and has no education or special skills, his income is low. Their relatives prefer not help or deal with them.
Both older brothers are getting increasingly weaker and their appetites are getting smaller and smaller everyday. At this point, simply holding a book to read has become difficult to do. They would need someone to sit beside them and read to them, but their father cannot read. Now, they have a computer at home that can access the Internet. A brother gave them this computer as a gift, and had hoped they could listen to some hymns online. However, because their world is confined to the bed they lay on, their views are only of the walls and ceiling, they become easily immersed in online fiction and tempted by online games.
When our co-workers first began preaching the gospel to the brothers, they would try to speak and teach more in depth. The oldest brother would sometimes listen and nod his head when he agreed with the teachings. However, the two younger brothers were always more picky. Starting from the first visits, the co-workers would bring students along with them to care for the brothers. Oftentimes, as soon as they entered the house, Chun Hui would start swearing at the students. Now our co-workers have changed their approach. Their main concern is to care for the brothers, cook for them, clean for them, have heart to hearts with them, read to them, and only then speak on a few simple passages from the scripture. Chun Hui has stopped cursing and has become more comfortable with the students.
A few years ago, our co-workers already started infrequently visiting this family. In September of last year, they began visiting this family more frequently, and in March of this year they began visiting them every weekend. Our co-workers brought students from their church’s youth fellowship to visit and care for these brothers. Currently, the students are divided into five groups and they take turns in rotation to conduct weekly visits. The students are very happy to serve and some say, “I feel very happy helping this family” and even, “this is more meaningful than being on the internet.”
A concern right now is that since the brothers cannot bathe themselves, their bodies are very dirty. When the co-workers come to visit, they can only help wash their hands and wipe their faces. Because they live in a rural area, there are no bathing facilities, so the co-workers would like to buy a large bucket to bathe them in. Also, they only have one wheelchair, so the co-workers would like to buy another two wheelchairs, and be able to take all three boys outside together. Their home is very close to their field, and when the weather is good they hope to bring the boys outside to the yard to enjoy the sun and scenery.
The following is our co-workers’ prayer and wishes:
Father God we ask you to renew their minds, to accept the gospel, "The gospel is the power of God and salvation for everyone who believes in Him." We also pray that by the grace of God, these three brothers can let go of and reject online games and novels. Lastly, may the Lord deal kindly with them, to prepare wheelchairs, so that they may go out and live under the sun created by God.
Dear brothers and sister, if you feel moved, please extend a helping hand to pray for this family. We hope to be like the four friends of the paralytic; they brought him before Jesus. (Mark 2:4-5, Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”)
We also hope that through this meaningful and loving ministry, the students who come together with us to visit will be able to develop a deeper understanding of Jesus and experience abundant life in Him. Also, ask the Lord the give our co-workers wisdom to lead the children to know Jesus and understand the bible more during their visits.
(Note: According to online inquiry, this family may be suffering from the genetic disease “muscular dystrophy”)
The three brothers (second brother is out working) are at home alone every day, using the computer to watch TV and play games.
Co-workers bring their own students to visit and care for this family.
Male students wash the brothers’ feet and cut their nails, the female students cook for them.
Three brothers happily eating the delicious food made by the students. Their attitudes have changed towards the co-workers and the students.
All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and revealing the injustice of the One-Child Policy. “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”
IMAGE: China Photos / Getty Images, from TIME Magazine
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