Fingerprints: “Be strong and courageous”

This post was written by Mary Diane Deysher, the wife of Mark Deysher. Mark is the Executive Director at CURE Malawi. 

At CURE, our staff work with excellence to heal the sick and share the gospel (Luke 9:2).

It’s a busy place, the hospital, where children and their families are admitted for treatment of various orthopedic disabilities from clubfoot and bowed leg to burn contractures and improperly healed fractures.

Teams of doctors and nurses treat children physically through casting, surgery, and application of external fixators. Pastors and spiritual staff treat children spiritually through teaching, counseling and prayer so that God can do the physical and spiritual healing needed to restore these children and families to wholeness. It is the integral mission of CURE that acknowledges that each staff member, regardless of their role, is part of the message of the gospel.

Part of Mark’s morning routine is to get out to the ward to connect with patients and staff. One day, Mark met a young man named Freedom who is 15 and broke his leg last fall in a football game. The fracture did not heal properly, so he came to CURE where his leg was surgically repaired and fitted with an external fixator (think of braces for your bones instead of your teeth). The external fixator fits around the leg and is attached to the bone with screws that are progressively tightened to straighten the affected bone. This same procedure is used to treat children with severe bowed leg, which is a crippling condition caused by rickets, a vitamin D deficiency. Freedom shared about the pain and discouragement of being unable to play his sport and the hope and determination he has since coming to CURE. I have seen him when he comes back for his follow-ups and adjustments to his brace. His smile is a powerful reminder of the incredible work being done here.

Mark and I are humbled to be a part of serving these kids through CURE, even when it’s hard and everything is new and we miss the familiar. We continue trying to settle into some rhythm of life here, slowly but surely.

The days are beginning to get a bit cooler and shorter, which is a welcome change and also strange to experience in March now that we are living in the southern hemisphere. Mark’s days are incredibly demanding as he seeks to lead well in this culture and under the circumstances into which he has been placed. Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” We try to lean into that promise. Some days it’s harder than other, but God is faithful and we have experienced encouragement, growth, and even joy as we press on through the hard days.

We know that He is working out His purpose for His glory. It’s not glamourous. Power outages are common. We have been without water. We are pointed at and called “azunga” (white person).  Everything we do is on display and we try to love well in the everyday. We are also noticed for things we would not have anticipated, like how we interact as a couple and how we care for each other (pointed out by some “young marrieds” who work with Mark). Although it’s just who we are together, as it points to the love of God, we are humbled and grateful to be used by Him.

Thanks for continuing to pray for and with us. The journey has been heavy and hard lately. We continue to be so blessed by the prayers of faithful friends and are strengthened and filled with hope and encouragement because of that. We are proceeding with a permanent housing situation for which we are so grateful, and we are thrilled that there is plenty of room for guests!

Please continue to pray for wisdom and strength for Mark, for the staff at the hospital, and for the continued impact of CURE Malawi.

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