Sister Under Siege
“Lord God, thank you for Margi going to hospital, for healing, for getting better…” This was how Carmel prayed for dinner last night. I sat there with bubbling emotions as she finished, thanking the Lord for play dates, food and her little sister. She did not know what she had done. She had prayed in faith, a child’s faith, and it was beautiful.
Meet Margi. Her faithful attendance at our church far precedes our time on the field. She is an educated middle-aged woman, fluent in both English and Karimojong. She has three children, two sons in higher education and a daughter finishing up middle school. She loves to sing and has an almost inexhaustible repertoire of songs. She was diagnosed with bipolar many years ago, but can go years without an episode, without medication. Unfortunately, this was not that kind of year. About a month ago she came to the compound obviously in the midst of an episode. We were able to get her to the nearest hospital where they injected her with medicine. She was then taken home and monitored by her family. She’s a large woman, made stronger by uncontrollable emotions. Although we hear she was taking her medication, which included medication for malaria as it seems to go hand in hand for her, it did not seem to be calming her down. She ended up leaving home under unhappy circumstances and somehow ended up in Matany, a town about three hours north of us. I’m not clear on all the details. The hospital there was able to give her additional medication and take the edge off. She returned to Nakaale, eager to be with church members, convinced that was what would cure her. She was still on the edge. My heart broke for her. I created an excuse for work, ensured she had enough medication, read the scriptures with her, and prayed dearly for the Lord’s hand to move. It was not long before she descended off the edge again. She refused to go home to be with her family, and no one nearby was willing to take her because of her history. She slept the night on the mission compound in a room by herself. The Lord was gracious, He restrained her in her room until we could figure out how to get her help. Others on the mission brought her food, blankets, tea, company. Finally, after contacting sisters, sons, uncles, friends, Christopher drove her to Moroto Hospital, about two and a half hours north where the hospital has a psychiatric ward. Her son met her there and has agreed to care for her during the time of treatment. The Lord’s grace carried her to Moroto without incident, she acquiesced to entering the hospital and even agreed that she was sick. Now, we deeply pray for the healing Carmel so easily claimed in faith.
Mental illness is real, it is powerful, it is life changing, and it is a spiritual battle. Margi does cling to the truth. May the Lord shed light upon her soul during this dark time. Please join us in interceding for this sister in Christ.