Prisha’s story is as unforgettable as her infectious smile. Her life began precariously. Prisha’s mother was severely abused by her father, even during her pregnancy. When Prisha was born with a cleft lip and palate, her father’s anger was so great, that her mother feared for Prisha’s safety and fled with her to her parents’ village.
When Prisha was two years old, her father asked her mother for forgiveness. With the promise of change and a new life, they returned home. Yet nothing had changed.
One day, Prisha’s mother returned home from work and her two-year-old was nowhere to be found. Searching frantically, her attempts to find her daughter enraged her husband. Terrified for her baby girl, yet unable to find Prisha, she was hopeless, and once again took refuge with her parents. She soon learned that Prisha’s father had sold the toddler to a gang in Delhi for $60, where she was put on the streets to beg. Her mother rushed to Delhi and through nothing short of a miracle, she found Prisha. She managed to purchase her sweet girl back from the gang for $30. With Prisha tucked safely in her arms, her mother took refuge in her parents’ home.
That same year, Prisha’s grandfather found a flyer for the CICM-LEAP cleft pallet camp in Damoh. In February 2009, after a long journey, the family finally found hope when they met the LEAP team. LEAP surgeons determined that her health was too poor for surgery. She was given a plan to improve her health, and the following year, was strong enough for the first of two procedures on her cleft. The second surgery was performed two years later.
Prisha returned to school and now lives with her mother and her grandparents. Her father is not allowed to visit her, or to travel to the region. Through the grace of God, Prisha is safe and her life is finally normal.
[For her protection, 'Prisha' is a pseudonym, meaning beloved, God's gift. For the same reason, she is not in the above photograph]
As we prepare for the season of lent, the LEAP Foundation has been blessed to have key partnerships with local churches that support us by their prayers, financial gifts and their services to help support our mission of enhancing and enriching the lives of people around the world by providing specialized medical and surgical services in the love of Christ.
For each week in the lenten season, we will have one of our church partners pray for the LEAP Foundation; specifically, we will be uplifted in prayer for those patients still in need, for those patients and families with whom we have already served, for all of our wonderful, tireless volunteers, our supporters within our host countries, those countries that have a need with whom we hope to serve in the future, our dedicated staff, and the heart and vision of Craig and Robin Hobar.
The first week of lent will be led by Pastor John McKinzie of Hope Fellowship, who offers the following prayer:
Lord, thank you for your continued guidance and direction as you lead this ministry. We pray for your strength for the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and all the support staff who give so much of their time, talent and resources. Thank you for their commitment and we pray that you continue to send others who are willing to give and serve alongside of them. We pray for the children and adults they are traveling to serve – those that need your grace as they struggle with the afflictions of this world. We pray for your financial provision to be beyond what the needs are so that these people can receive the help they need and deserve. May the impossible become possible through you. We thank you for the LEAP foundation and their love for those who are hurting. May they continue to be your hands, feet and heart to this world.
As this church family prays for us, we ask that our LEAP family also pray for Hope Fellowship Church.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis . . .
ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams missions are currently underway.
Since the beginning of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, millions of civilians have fled toward safety in neighboring and regional countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. As of February 16, 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that there are approximately 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.
In October 2013, we sent our first surgical team to Jordan for a week-long mission to work with the Treating the Wounded Syrian Program. Subsequent teams were sent in January and February 2014. Presently, the fourth volunteer team has embarked from Saudi Arabia. Over the next six months, we will send an additional nine plastic and reconstructive surgical teams from around the world to treat wounded Syrians.
Recently treated patients have required care across the full surgical spectrum including traumatic blast and gunshot wounds to upper and lower extremities, hands and face. During our last surgical mission trip (February 7-14, 2014), ISAPS member Dr. Gary Jacobs (USA), Mrs. Rosemary Jacobs, CST (USA), and Dr. Burt Faibisoff (USA) operated alongside their Syrian and Jordanian colleagues, completing more than 30 procedures on 22 patients. In total, the first three surgical teams have evaluated over 150 patients, selecting more than 45 for surgery.
To offset expenses related to leasing patient care and operating rooms in Jordan, the LEAP Foundation is donating $5,000 each month to theTreating the Wounded Syrian Program. This helps sustain the outpatient screening and rehabilitation program that is essential to identifying patients we are able to help, and also assists with caring for the patients discharged from the hospital as they recover.
To volunteer for a mission:
ISAPS members: http://www.leap-foundation.org/about/disaster-relief/
Non-ISAPS members: http://members.isaps.org/how-to-join-isaps.html
|For more information about the ISAPS-LEAP Surgical Relief Teams, you can reach Ryan Snyder Thompson by email at email@example.com|
Depak was an eight year-old boy from India that I met during the 2013 LEAP trip to Damoh. He had extensive burn scars from an accident, which left him without both of his hands. His right elbow had so much scarring; he was unable to fully extend his right arm. This was preventing him from progressing in school. Despite these extensive injuries, he delighted the LEAP team by showing us that he was able to write the entire English alphabet in capital letters.His penmanship was remarkable, better than most physicians can write! He is a very bright and engaging boy, and soon had a crowd gathered to watch him. Depak was always polite and respectful. He was a very serious fellow, focused on his task at hand. But when asked to smile, his whole face lit up. What a charmer. He just wanted to be able to go to school and learn.
Depak and his father had arrived at camp after the initial assessment day, so they did not have the opportunity to get on the surgical schedule. Depak’s father implored us daily, and waited for us outside of the surgical center. As I was frequently in the tents checking on post-op patients, I saw him many times. The hope in the eyes of these parents touches your heart; they are diligent in advocating for their children.
LEAP surgeons had done a contracture release for a burn scar in the prior year and word had begun to spread that there was hope for these children. Open fires and oil candles are common in this region, and many children suffer injury from accidental burns.There were several burn patients throughout the week, and the surgeons were able to work some of them at the end of long surgical days. You can imagine that it is very hard to turn these children away.
Finally, after several days of waiting, Dr. Matthew Trovato performed a contracture release on Depak. When I went to see him in the post-op ward, his father came to me, put his hands together as in prayer, and bowed to me in thanks, weeping. It humbles all of us, how thankful and grateful these families are that we are there. It is a privilege and an honor to serve them, and I am thankful that there are so many generous people who support this good work. As a nurse practitioner, I can’t think of any better way to give back; I feel like I have been so fortunate to be a part of LEAP.
Cheryl D. Shell, RN, CPNP
Damoh, India Mission Team Member 2012 & 2013
We are completing our final surgeries this morning, packing and praying for our patients’ quick recovery. By end of morning, we will have performed 114 surgeries – such a blessing. Our team has been so dedicated, working late every night, in order to help as many as possible, inspired by Dr. Hobar’s enthusiasm toward our mission. None of us will leave here the same as when we first arrived. Please pray for our safe travels over the next three days.
I was first introduced to LEAP while responding to such a request from a friend in my fellowship at church for this opportunity. The story of Li Ying, the girl in the interview, and beneficiary of LEAP’s Landmark Fund, and hearing about Dr. Hobar’s heart for missions ignited a passion I never knew existed. I started going on mission trips at nineteen simply because I was tired of sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone go and come back with life-changing stories. God was quick to teach me that missions are for His glory, and not my own. God has called each and every one of us to a life of missions. Mission work is not an interest, but a call to obedience from God. While God calls some to serve locally among our community, He also calls others out into the world to “go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) I had gone to several countries as a missionary, but never once considered using my nursing background. After some prayer and much encouragement, I took my first LEAP trip to Haiti in 2012.
Caring for the needs of so many children, we hardly have the time to even learn each child’s name. Going back as a returning team member to Haiti in the fall, I stepped out of the car to a very familiar surrounding like many others on the team. I walked up to Hôpital Espoir, the place for me where nursing changed. While walking through the hallways, reliving past memories, in awe of how God could bring me back to such a place, a familiar face, Chris, Co-Director and Co-Founder of HIS Home for Children, stopped me in the hallways. “I remember you. You were Ellie’s nurse. Oh, how I wish you could see how big she is now.
Who knew how true this statement would be as I was blessed to have the opportunity of visiting Chris’ orphanage. We were swarmed with children, running at us with open arms, seeking nothing but love and affection the second the car doors were opened. Chris showed us around the home and then into a large room with bunked cribs. She led us into the room where she stopped us in front of a crib by the window. “This is one of LEAP’s success stories. This is the patient you took care of, Ellie.” I lost control of my emotions in that moment as I gazed at a napping Ellie as tears flowed down my face. It was in this moment that I was reminded of just how loved and precious each LEAP child is precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4).”
Charlie is an RN at Baylor Surgicare at Plano & Baylor Health Care System and at The Medical Center of Plano.
Please pray today for not only the team members who depart from DFW, but also for the twelve team members who begin their journey in another state or country sometime today or tomorrow. Pray that they will also travel safely, and that the entire team will meet in Delhi ready to begin their REAL journey together!
Please pray for each of the 43 team members who will be heading many miles away to work with those in need living in Damoh, India. We would ask for their health throughout the trip, safe travels by plane, train and bus, as well as a spiritual readiness for the opportunities put before every one of them.
Please lift in prayer our hosts in India, Dr. Ajai and Indu Lall and their entire staff as they make final preparations for the arrival of our team. Each year they bless LEAP with great kindness and appreciation for the work that is done. We ask God to continue to bless the Central India Christian Mission.