Kpely, continued

May 30, 2010

Monday, May 24 was an important day. I was already back home in Austin, at least in body–I am certain that the rest of me was in Togo. Monday was screening day for VVF patients. Kpely would travel to Lome on Sunday and be examined by the surgeon the following morning. Only he could answer the tough questions: Is her leaking truly due to a fistula? Can she be cured with surgery? And, most significantly, Is there room for her in the VVF program? 120 women would come to the ship, hoping for one of 68 surgery slots. Nearly half these women must be told that Mercy Ships cannot help them.

I churned out prayers, tracked her travels in my mind, and then…held my breath. Two days later, on Wednesday, Maggie emailed me with the news I had been waiting to hear: Kpely will have surgery! How my heart sings!

I am grateful that God chose to use Pierre and me, and then Maggie, and now the surgeon and nurses, to show our very special woman just how much He loves her. This impoverished soul, suffering so great a deformation, will be given back her femininity. Her humanity. Her life.

From this point on, Kpely will stay with the other VVF women. Each will be surprised to learn that she is not alone in her condition–that there are other women who suffer the same disgrace. They will begin to talk with each other, and through complex chains they will translate from one tribal language to the next. Friendships will sprout. Hope will rise. The healing will begin. And then, on June 9, Kpely will be wheeled into the OR, and the surgeon will close her fistula.


Once again, I ask you to pray for our beloved Kpely. And, while you’re at it, thank our God for orchestrating infinitely more than we can imagine.


There is a poignant documentary about fistula patients in Ethiopia called A Walk to Beautiful. You can watch it online (for free). It is just under an hour long, and worth every minute.


4 Responses to “Kpely, continued”

  1. tati said

    yay!!! 🙂

  2. Shanthi Jayakumar said

    WELCOME back!! I am anxious to meet you when you get a few minutes.
    The news about the surgery is truly a miracle. God works in ways that we cannot fathom……I hope that everything goes well and that more women will continue to get this much needed surgery.
    Thanks for the update.

  3. Claire said

    What wonderful news. I cant wait to meet her, and I will give you details and updates (along with Maggie) on her progress.
    Thanks for sharing this story.

  4. Whistler said

    thanks for sharing the word, & thanks for sharing the Word

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