Captive to their beliefs

May 23, 2014

Jason Martens, Program Development Advisor for Asia, requests prayer for a girl named Nga in Cambodia. Despite Nga’s broken arm, her family is resisting taking her to a medical facility, relying instead on traditional methods that could harm Nga’s health.

When I visited Tabong Kla today, a small community about 30 km south of Stung Treng, Northern Cambodia, I was being shown a water-well by staff from our local partner organization. We didn't expect to meet Nga, a 13-year-old girl who fell from a tree earlier that day and broke her arm in two places. The break was so severe, her mother Maap told us, that the bone was pushing on the skin while her arm was dangling out of place. We could tell by Nga’s moans and tears that she was in a lot of pain.  

What made this situation particularly sad was the kind of care available to Nga, which was chosen despite our offering a more medically sound alternative. Maap took Nga to the local healer, who bandaged Nga up with a makeshift cast and gave her some traditional medicines. This option—as opposed to bringing Nga to a local clinic—was chosen not due to lack of access to medical care or a lack of money, but rather it was a choice based on spiritual beliefs. The family holds strong convictions and believes in the power of the spirit within the traditional healer and medicines. When we offered to cover the entire expense of getting Nga to the hospital in Stung Treng for a proper realignment of the bones and fitted cast, we were strongly opposed by Nga's uncle. He was adamant that it was foolish to bring her to the hospital and that the traditional healer was very powerful. 

Would you pray for Nga, Maap, the uncle, and this community that is held captive to these beliefs? It was one of those moments where you recognized the work and presence of the evil one. We left our phone number and told Maap that if she changed her mind, we would drive back out in the truck and transport Nga to the hospital. Let's pray there will be a change of heart, and that our local staff will have a chance to be a witness to the power, grace, and freedom of Jesus Christ.