Friday, October 15, 2010

Medical Update: Ben

Thanks for praying for Baraba Paul. I want to update you on him and another patient named Ben.

Baraba Paul is doing well. He has started chemo and is slowly responding. We are hoping to visit him next week. He is having trouble stomaching food, as anyone on chemo understands. So, his family here scrounged up some money, brought it to us and asked if we could send it to Kampala so Paul could have a soda each day. That is love.

The new patient we would like you to pray for is Ben. Four men carried this 16 years old boy to our katubi two weeks ago, begging us to help his terrible “leg pain.” I was moved because my favorite Bible story is when the four men cut the whole in the roof to gain access to Jesus for their dear friend whose legs did not work. Now, I am not Jesus, and thankfully they did not cut a whole in our roof. Sadly, he did not leave leaping and jumping. But he does need care and we can lift him up in prayer to Jesus.

As his brothers helped to our katubi, it appeared that under his trousers his knee was bulkily wrapped and supported. He grimaced as they moved him to the ground. As this introduction to Ben was at 6pm on Friday evening, Amy graciously postponed dinner and as a family we sat down to care for this young man. His pain began one year ago and his knee has continued to “grow” since that time. He also said he had something growing on his chest and his head. They went to someone for healing 6 months ago. They injected something into his left hip to heal the leg. Instead, his left leg “died” and now he cannot use that one either. He had no other symptoms and the story somewhat mystified me.

Two of the men that brought him were his brothers. They were very tender with their younger brother, but did not have the means to seek medical care. When I asked about their family, I learned that both parents died about 8 years ago. Ben was the youngest of three boys and they had helped take care of each other since that time.

I then asked Ben to remove his trousers so I could examine his leg. I was taken back when I saw that it was not a knee that was wrapped for support, but a knee that was more than 3 times normal size and filled with some sort of tumor. His left leg had no muscle mass. He also had golf ball size tumors on other parts of his body.

I was able to send photos and the story to contacts here in Uganda. It may be a dangerous Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) or horrible case of extra-pulmonary TB. Either way, he needs to be seen. Our friend Andrew Hodges graciously accepted to take him in his hospital, which specializes in orthopedic care. Yesterday, one of our Christ School teachers, who was going home on mid-term break, brought him to Kampala and helped him get settled in the hospital. With your help, we have been able to fund his trip and stay.

So, please continue to pray and we will keep you updated.


  1. Hi Travis and Amy - finally getting caught up on all your recent posts. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share Ben's story with us and giving us the opportunity to pray for him. My heart absolutely breaks to read of Ben's plight and of the tender, loving care his brothers are providing for him. I love the connection of four men, thousands of years apart, all interceding for a friend and loved one, hoping for the power of God to heal. Please know that I will be in daily prayer that Ben will receive the treatment he needs, and quickly. Please feel free to let me know if more funds are needed for his care. Praise God Baraba Paul is getting the treatment he needs, and praise God for the love of a father and mother who seek out a way to give their son sodas as a way to cope with chemo. Your posts continue to shed such perspective on what we in America consider trials and tribulations, and for that I am very grateful. God bless - Cindy

  2. ...what a sweet story of brotherly love. his name is ben - of course we will pray and with heavy hearts :(. we love you guys!