Yesterday afternoon I wearily set off to visit Yow, a friend of mine who has cancer and has been diagnosed as terminal. She has been in hospital for over a month, she is in a fair amount of pain and she is unable to sit up anymore. Thailand does not have palliative care facilities, so she will probably be in hospital until either her family can’t afford for her to stay any longer or she loses her battle with cancer. At the moment she is in a private room, relatively comfortable and her pain is being kept under control.
I try to visit her at least twice a week, but visiting someone who is terminal is very draining and yesterday I really did not feel that motivated to go. Most days when I visit the TV is blaring and she wavers between being engrossed in her TV show and chatting to me. She also is quite resistant to the Gospel message at the moment, but is happy for me to pray for her. Making small talk with someone who is fearful of what the future holds and is unwilling to deal with it can be very draining. My hearts desire is to talk with her about what will happen when she dies, but this is not culturally appropriate and I am having to learn to be sensitive to the spirit’s leading and trust God to guide me as to what to say when.
I arrived to the usual blaring TV and was warmly greeted. She chatted to me for a short while and then returned to watching the TV. As I sat there watching with her I wondered how soon I could go home, as I really did have better things to be doing than watching TV with her. I prayed a short prayer along the lines of what am I doing here, what is the purpose of me being here?
About 5 minutes later her husband arrived and he and I got chatting about what work he used to do and the different people he has worked with from different countries. Then, quite unexpectedly, the conversation switched and he was asking me about what Christians believe in. To my amazement he listened intently, asked questions and by the end of the conversation I had told him the Gospel story in a nutshell, from Creation to Christ.
On my way home I was thanking God for the work he is doing in Yow’s family regardless of me and my weariness. I was reminded of the verse in Galatians 6:9 which reminds us “ not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Please continue to pray for Yow and her family, that we will see the harvest of souls in her family in God’s perfect timing