KRB Update #2207 – Stani Junior
Keith R. Brinkman with Mercy Ships 09 May 2015
Salama from Madagascar – thank you for your messages about Sambany – he continues to recover and I see him regularly. In this update, I would love to introduce you to one of my patients – at first I called him Junior and later learned his real name is Stani. His last name is only three letters but is abnormal here as many have last names have over 20 letters. I normally do not even try to attempt to say their last names.
I met Stani during our surgical patient screening in Mahajanga in late January. In the midst of thousands of people, there are ones you meet who you can’t wait till they arrive on the ship for their surgery. Following Stani receiving his appointment for surgeon screening at the ship, my friend Josh and I asked Stani some questions. Josh is our talented videographer in our Communications department. Stani came with his mom and older brother and in the beginning the mom wanted to answer the questions but Stani desired to respond himself. I later learned from Stani it is his grandmother as his mom died when he was only 2 years old. He was raised by his grandmother and uncle.
Stani’s health was horribly affected when he was only 1 year old – he had an infection but received no care and Noma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noma_%28disease%29) destroyed part of his young face – though he survived and only 10% survive this horrible but preventable disease. Though, the disease left a gap in his face under his eye and part of his nose. He went to school and endured the cruelty of the other children and people in his village. He learned French and that is how we talk, but most of the time I need a translator. He shared since he was 10 years old, he has been following Jesus. After about five years, some of his siblings have also decided to follow Jesus but not his grandmother and uncle. He has been praying for his healing for as long as he can remember, he is 22 years old now. He shared, “Thank God for Mercy Ships and for each of you who care for us.” He knows Jesus has healed him and provided this miracle for his life.
The maxillofacial surgical team provided two surgeries for Stani to restore his face and they have done an outstanding work. He is so pleased and all of us have seen the change. When I asked Stani what are your plans when you return home to your village. He shared, “I am going to tell everyone Jesus has healed me.” He also added he will sit for his ‘high school’ exams in July. We had sat together for the Sunday service and one of the Malagasy day crew shared the story of the blind man who Jesus healed and how he went and told everyone what Jesus had done. I asked Stani if he remembered the story from the gospel and how that sounds like your life now today in 2015 – you are testifying to what Jesus has done. Once it was translated, I could see his head shake in agreement and a smile. Please pray for this young man, his complete healing and his transition home.