I bend to greet her, taking her withered hand in mine. Her cloudy eyes light up and a smile shows rotten teeth as she struggles to pull her thin sheet over her exposed body.
"The hard work has made her old before her time," the nurse tells me. He claims she is 60, but her cloudy eyes, white hair and rotten teeth suggest otherwise.
Two weeks ago she was raped. She was unable to walk...unable to escape...unable to defend herself.
Someone brought her to the health center where she has been lying, alone, since then.
"Her children live away...there is no one to cook for her, no one to care about her. If we
were not giving her porridge every day she would have died by now," the nurse tells Misty and I. "We just need someone to cook for her...we will provide the food if only they can cook it. But there is no one. No one will help her," he says.
I am overwhelmed with anger as I drive home. Raped...this old woman who has nothing and no one. This old woman who is helpless and alone...defenseless...crippled...raped...
I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't fathom the evil in this world. Once again I struggle to hold onto hope...the promises of God...
"For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever." Psalm 9:18
"For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight" Psalm 72:12-14
Precious is their blood...precious is their suffering. These are his lost sheep, those he left the 99 to find: the poor, the needy, the broken, the hungry, the lonely, the abandoned...they are HIS. His children...He created them for himself and loves them more than his own life. He died so that they could have hope.
THIS is the good news, the gospel.