Gerald was a hard core drug addict that came to know Jesus just a few months ago. He insisted over and over that I come with him to his community and help his friend who was sic, and couldn’t walk. I couldn’t get any more answers from Gerald so mostly out of curiosity, we went.
We walked through the narrow sidewalks that twisted between the shanty shacks in this depressed area. When we got to JonJon’s house, I was surprised how spacious it was inside. I was shocked to find a young man laying on the hard floor on a dirty piece of cardboard. It didn’t look like he had been moved in a very very long time. He was 21, I was told, his long thin body dressed only in ragged shorts. Silence, and no one moved as I knelt down beside him, I touched him. His hands were hard and stiff. I talked to him. I was shushed. “He can’t answer,” they said. “But he can hear,” I said.
I told him he was special. I told him Jesus loved him. I told him that I would try to help him. I rubbed one hand, Evan grabbed the other.  I bent his knees a bit, trying to assess him, all the while talking to him, trying to stay focused and not give any hint of the nausea I felt in my gut. This poor boy.
I told him that he was still very handsome. He turned his head slowly, as if to look at me, and his mouth opened wide… a silent laugh. I was aghast at his teeth, black stubs and the smell… Surely, they must have hurt. I told him he needed to take a bath because he smelled bad. Another deep breath and a long silent laugh. He was there… somehow trapped in that damaged and broken body…
I asked many questions and the older sister who was caring for her 9 siblings, answered in short, irritated retorts. She was weary, one could easily hear it in her voice. Their mother had died a painful death only a few years before and all the family’s troubles went to her shoulders. She did not know what to do with her brother. And you could see she had detached herself sooo far… We stood to go but JonJon wouldn’t let go of Evan’s hand. We prayed for him and promised to come back. Evan pried his hand loose. JonJon followed us with his eyes.
The bacteria from measles sometimes causes this infection that attacks the brain but most people that are get it die within the first year. This was already JonJon’s 6th year of living like this.
I just got a text. I am out of the country for a week and JonJon has been taken to hospital. He refuses to eat. The family is asking for me. It seems this is the beginning of the end…I do not selfishly wish him to suffer any more, but if I could hold his hands and tell him how Jesus is waiting for him. If I could give him just a glimpse of the Glory that awaits him, so death is not so frightening. I know there will be no kind words from those who have been waiting for this for 6 years. I know there will be silence… ignoring him, talking about him, but never to him. And in their defense, they do not know what to do… they have done the best they can.
My heart is anxious for JonJon to know Jesus, to know the peace that is without understanding. O, for him to run to his Heavenly Father and climb up on His knee and be loved; to be free from pain, from torment, from sickness and disease. Just free.