The Compassion and Love of Esther and Phoebe

An author once asked if you were asked to choose ten words to describe yourself, would one of them be compassionate? Then you must ask, what is compassion? Is it merely a feeling? How do we react when a neighbor asks us for help? Do we say, “I will pray for you,” and walk away? How are we to respond when someone asks for help in the middle of the night or when we are busy? Do we find an excuse? Karen and I always say it is easy to be compassionate when it’s convenient, but would you still be compassionate when it’s not convenient?

Christ showed us genuine compassion and the love of a neighbor with the story of Esther and Phoebe. This story was shared by Augustine, our brother in Kenya.

Luke 10:25-37 The Good Samaritan – Jesus told the story of a man who showed mercy and the love of Christ to a stranger. Esther and Phoebe had a divine appointment. Would you have done the same?

Esther and Phoebe were trained by Teach To Transform in August 2014. The impact of our teaching is told with stories of compassion and transforming lives with the love of Christ. This is the story of two Christian women who used their training by walking from village to village, sharing the love of Christ. They used our training to teach minor burn care, wound cleaning, take vital signs, treat dehydration with oral rehydration solution and newborn care. They said their passion and energy were motivated by their love for Christ.

A few months later they used our newborn care training when confronted by a situation that very few would dare face given the nature of prevailing circumstances. Esther had hardly rested after her day in the market where she sold tomatoes when she received a distress call from an expectant mother. She was in labor and needed Esther’s assistance. She immediately called Phoebe who had trained with her and gladly agreed to be her assistant. It was already dark, and Esther requested her sons to accompany her to the home of the expectant mother. It took them an hour to arrive since they walked and two hours later Phoebe arrived on a motorbike. She came from a different village far from Esther’s, and too far away to walk in the dark, so she paid 150 Kenya shillings ($1.64) as transport charges. Phoebe said she had to make it whatever the cost as nothing is as painful as losing a child. (She has lost four children in their early years of life.)

In our training, we have made it mandatory to pray with all the patients they attend, so they prayed in preparation for the birth.

As they were preparing, they followed our TTT teaching to take a brief history. The patient’s husband had died of HIV/ AIDS, and she later was found to be HIV/AIDS positive.  It was her sixth pregnancy and she had already lost one child to HIV/AIDS. All this was explained before conducting delivery, but “Nothing could stop them since they had been taught how to care for mothers with HIV as well as protect themselves. So we put our gloves on,” Esther said.

A few minutes past 11 pm, a baby who later was named Esther-Phoebe was born (named after the TTT volunteers who conducted the delivery). This was a great joy to the mother who only had boys and had never given birth to a baby girl. They took time to counsel the mother on the feeding options and convinced her to enroll to get treatment for HIV. The baby was also put on medication. Since then they have been visiting the family, praying for them and ensuring that they were taking medication as prescribed.

I again ask, what is compassion?

Would you have the compassion to walk two hours after a long day at work, in the dark fearful of being attacked, spend your money to ride a motorcycle in the dark to help a stranger because she knew the pain of losing a child?

Esther and Phoebe are the kinds of passionate, loving people TTT trains in the hardest places in the world to share the love of Christ. Step out of your comfort zone when it’s not convenient and join us through Prayer, Serve with us or Support our work.

For His Glory,

Tom

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