Lito was a broken man, now restored and transformed.
Rusty and Kristin Russell, serving in the Philippines, share how God uses medical crisis to draw people’s hearts to Him.
Lito was a broken man. On the day we first met him, he was hospitalized at the regional hospital, literally starving to death in his hospital bed. His family had no money for food or medicine and was basically left to die. Rusty prayed with him, gave them some money for food and medicine and promised to return in a few days.
We soon learned that Lito was a man broken in more than one way. He was scorned by his own tribe. A hard-drinking alcoholic, Lito had abused and neglected his family to the point that when his wife died at a young age the tribe felt Lito had killed her by his lack of provision for the family. Many counseled us not to help Lito, but God would not let us get his situation out of our minds. We began to help the family with medicine and food and eventually Lito was discharged from the hospital, still a very weak and broken man.
When we returned to the tribe for our second term, we found Lito living in a tiny lean-to addition to his sister’s bamboo house, unable to work and relying on his family to provide for his every need. Lito now had gout, and over the next few months, we were able to give him medicine to treat the gout. He slowly began to walk with the aid of a walking stick. And do you know where Lito walked first?
He walked to the church! After a few more months, he was able to take a job and provide for himself, but every Sunday he was physically able, he was in church! Lito is a man that has experienced the healing power of Jesus, both in his heart and in his body and has recently been baptized! Lito is now even taking seminary-level training in order to teach the Bible in his community.
Lito’s story illustrates just how powerful compassion ministry at the time of a medical crisis can be. Fear and hopelessness can be overcome with loving prayers and simple acts of kindness.