For Jesus, physical healing was an essential part of ministry: the majority of His recorded miracles involve healing physical deformity or disease. It was also central to His disciples’ mission.
“And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2
Today, the ministry of CURE International seeks to follow the same call. Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith explains,
“We do that by having surgical hospitals in poor countries around the world, in places like to Kabul, Afghanistan, in places like Niger, Ethiopia, India and Egypt. We stitch together broken little bodies and we tell them that God loves them.”
Many of these disabilities are relatively easy to fix, but if families have no access to treatment, children may have to struggle with both their physical problem and a social stigma.
“Unfortunately when a child is born with a disability, particularly in a developing country, they’re not able to go out and play, so they are hidden away. If they’re seen as a curse, oftentimes their families will hide them because they don’t want others to see that.”
“So these kids are isolated, kept away from other kids, and they’re often the last to eat. When a child doesn’t get the treatment they need, they’re often not able to go to school and unfortunately end up as beggars. We want to prevent all of that.”
CURE not only provides necessary surgical treatments to needy children, but their doctors and nurses also help change the way these young patients see themselves.
“When they’re born with a physical disability–something like club foot or a cleft lip or palate–these kids are told they’re cursed by God. We tell them exactly the opposite: No, you’re not cursed. You’re blessed! You’re loved by God.“
CURE also works to train medical professionals and strengthen the hospital infrastructure in 29 developing countries where they operate. Goldsmith says the ministry seeks to build personal relationships with the families they serve.
“It really hit home for me when I was in the CURE hospital in Zambia, and I watched this four-month-old baby on an operating table . This child had hydrocephalus, which is also called water on the brain. Her name was Grace, and Grace would not survive that condition if she didn’t receive treatment. Her life was saved by that Zambian neurosurgeon. She’s going to have a completely different life.”
“Later that afternoon, I walked into the ward. Grace was laying in the bed, her mom just sitting right there. It just struck me: the entire trajectory of their lives is completely different now…and that baby’s picture was up on the website later that day.”
“This is the real deal. Every kid is treated with dignity–we know their name, their mom’s name, their story–and we’re sharing those stories with folks who want to come alongside (them).”
To follow the stories of children like Grace, visit CURE International’s website, which features real-time updates of each medical journey.Hope through healing, with CURE International