A Character Brought to Life: Pemphero’s Story
“CURE Malawi hospital is not only healing Pemphero physically but also bringing his true character to life,” explained Pemphero’s brother-in-law. Pemphero came to CURE Malawi with a bowed right leg he had since birth. Growing up in the villages with a disability was not easy. He became an outcast and suffered tremendous loneliness. In an attempt to protect and shelter Pemphero, his sister, Stella, and brother-in-law, Blessings, brought him to live with them after they married. The transition to a new village was difficult, but he was delighted his siblings were there to care for him.
Blessings, the chief of the village, realized Pemphero’s potential shortly after meeting him. He knew that Pemphero’s parents did not know how to support a disabled child. “I saw the need to educate him and find him treatment because nothing was being done,” Blessing said.
Blessings heard a large truck passing through the village blasting a radio commercial for CURE out of a megaphone. “God spoke to us in a loud way!” Blessings told us. He was confident that God was revealing himself purposefully to assist Pemphero.
After meeting with doctors at the CURE clinic, Pemphero was admitted to our hospital and told that they would place a frame on his right leg to correct it. He was understandably nervous but found comfort in the other children he saw in the ward with disabilities just like him. His family knew him as a timid and serious boy. Never did they imagine him to be the funniest kid in the hospital! He has really opened up around the other patients and tells the best and loudest jokes! It truly is a joy to see him come to life as his confidence grows.
Pemphero is well-loved by the other kids in the hospital and the staff members. “My favorite friends are security guards,” Pemphero shares with excitement. He usually spends his tea time with them discussing different stories from the Bible, his favorite being the beheading of John the Baptist (Mark 6: 14-29). John the Baptist isn’t the only superhero Pemphero claims to love. He also says he is a superhero. He pretends to be Spiderman in the kid’s ward and Batman in the X-ray room.
As much as Pemphero loves the hospital, he does not enjoy frame turns. He says, “It’s painful, but I know tomorrow will be better.” Pemphero is full of hope and usually finds a way to joke through the difficult times. Instead of calling physical therapy “maphysio,” he calls it “mademo,” meaning demonstrations. This is a common term used in Malawi when talking about government-related protests or riots. Even though physical therapy has nothing to do with protests or any sort of violence, Pemphero uses it to express that it will be hard, but it will not last long and will get better soon.
Pemphero was in our hospital for four months and then went home with his leg frame. He will return in early 2020 for it to be removed. Both he and his guardian Blessings hold the memories of their time at CURE close to their hearts as they continue to witness Pemphero’s healing. Pemphero’s favorite time at the hospital was when we were all praising God in the playroom and at devotions. Those are the good times with everyone together, many with disabilities, no outcasts, no one is forgotten – simply together, praising God! Please keep Pemphero in your prayers as he continues to experience both physical and spiritual healing, and shares his newfound identity as a child of God to the world!