A few posts ago we said that we had some exciting news... well here it is:
After years of praying, and praying, and praying for more medical staff to join Sheba ... we have not one doctor joining us at Jeevan Sahara Kendra... but two! And they are married to each other! And the most lovely folks too!
And after years of praying for more nurses to join our faithful Agnes... we are getting a nurse next week with Natasha Chopra due to join on Monday, and then Jerusha - the soon to be bride of our dear Daniel - is expected to join us in early May. And in addition we have had Lydia - an amazing volunteer nurse who comes 4 days a week with a 1.5 hour bus ride each way!
So... after almost two years of renovation at the Lok Hospital building we have a sparkling 10 bedded hospital ready to care for people with HIV who are very sick... but over the past 2 months we had the painful process of having to tell people who were really ill that we could not admit them - because we did not have the nursing staff to care for them.
But this month we hope to have turned the corner. With the team in place we have the opportunities not only to care for multiple sick people and their families at once at our JSK Centre... but to even think of expanding and reaching out to other parts of the city (tomorrow morning Sheba and I will be going over to Virar to see whether we should start a weekly clinic there)....
And the spark to all of this has been the amazing meeting up with Dr. Emmanuel Isukuru and his lovely wife Dr. Mokshaa Mohan and their lively son 'Wo-way!'
Three weeks ago we got a call from a 'Dr. Emmanuel' saying that a local pastor had told him and his wife about us. Could they meet us? Sure we said. The next day they spent the day with us at JSK.
Things clicked beautifully ever since.
Emmanuel is from Nigeria. Mokshaa is from Chennai. They met as medical students at St. Petersburg in Russia. They have been married for two years now and had moved to Nigeria after their marriage. But then their local church in Nigeria challenged them to come to India. And so they did.
When we met them we were just bowled over by their sincerity and joy in the Lord.
We had been able to introduce them to Dr. Stephen Alfred, and two days later an SMS came from him - telling that a flat was available for rent and would our friends be interested in it? Would they ever!
In what seemed like a dream - just over under two weeks later they had moved into their new digs. Emmanuel and Mokshaa have been on the bad end of a number of ugly racialist behaviour by members of our so-called cosmopolitan city of Mumbai - especially when they tried to rent a place. But here they are - within walking distance of us and the Jeevan Sahara Kendra.
Emmanuel had told me that he secretly hoped he could move out of the difficult place that they were in before Mokshaa's birthday. Well, her birthday was today (we celebrated at JSK as a trio by the JSK staff this afternoon as my birthday was yesterday and Sheba's is tomorrow). They moved their things in on Saturday night - and after staying the night with us - and having a posse of angels from our church clean up the place after the land-lord had done a quick and blessed paint job too - they moved into their home on Sunday night.
God is good.
These are exciting days for us - we need to pinch ourselves a bit and ask is it actually happening...
And now the joy of moving forward together.
Emmanuel and Mokshaa are already part of our family. They have committed themselves to working with us for the next two years. Sheba has started teaching them and getting them into the harness for caring for people with HIV the way we do it here. We are hoping to enroll them in the Masters in Family Medicine course from Vellore. Emmanuel is jumping into Hindi studies. They have a lovely jumpy baby - and great expectations for another bundle of joy too...
Big gulp of air. Be brave. Trust and don't doubt. Change has come - let's move forward and embrace the amazing possibilities all around us!