Healing in the Midst of Suffering

By Deborah M., India Communications Specialist   |  Photos courtesy of Hope Center

The timely intervention of a Hope Center brings physical and emotional healing to a young girl in India diagnosed with a rare disorder following the sudden death of her father.

Bhuvaneshwari, when she was 5, with her parents.

Bhuvaneshwari is the only child of her parents, who are day laborers living in poverty in India. She spent most of her early childhood years with her grandmother while her parents were at work.

Despite their humble lifestyle, Bhuvaneshwari recalls being happy with the small things in life.

“I was very happy when I visited Vellore Fort (a historic 16th-century fort) for the first time with my grandfather, she says. “He even bought me a teddy!”

At the Hope Center, a shy Bhuvaneshwari, then 5, learned to draw, sing, and dance.

Gradually, she began participating in drama and dance acts, both in school and at the Hope Center.

She enjoyed going to school and loved the language classes.

“I love Tamil language, which is my favorite subject because it’s my native language,” she says.

Unexpected Turn of Events

Bhuvaneshwari was 11 years old in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With schools being closed for a prolonged period of time, Bhuvaneshwari felt sad because she missed the regular classes and her friends.

It was hard on the family, too, with no steady source of income. However, the grocery kits provided by the Hope Center helped them cope with the unexpected turn of events.

In 2021, as lockdown restrictions were being lifted, schools began to partially reopen.

Bhuvaneshwari was also able to attend online classes, thanks to the generosity of her sponsor Jan, whose gift enabled her to buy a smartphone, something her parents would never have been able to afford.

“My sponsor is kindhearted, generous, and very caring,” she says. “She motivates me to study well.”

Bhuvaneshwari writes a letter to her sponsor.

Bhuvaneshwari’s parents were able to get back to work, and life seemed to be limping back to normalcy. But what started as an ordinary day for Bhuvaneshwari on March 29, 2021, ended in sorrow.

Her father had a heart attack, and Bhuvaneshwari had to face the reality of the sudden, shattering loss of a parent.

Both she and her mother were so immersed in their grief that it began to take a toll on their emotional health.

“My father’s death was a great loss to my family. When I could not recover from it. My physical heath was affected,” Bhuvaneshwari says.

Bhuvaneshwari then began to fall ill quite often, with symptoms of fever, vomiting, neck pain, and night sweats. Her family admitted her to a local public health clinic, where her diagnosis was inconclusive.

Her Child Champions visited her at the clinic and encouraged her with words of prayer. The Hope Center also provided financial support to help cover the cost of medical expenses.

When Bhuvaneshwari’s pain became too much to bear, her family arranged for her to be taken to a speciality hospital in the nearby city of Vellore. There she was diagnosed with Kikuchi disease, a benign condition of the lymph nodes.

“I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks,” she recalls. “I had a lot of pain in my neck, and I was constantly vomiting. I was totally dependent on my mother for everything.  When I heard of the diagnosis, I was really scared. I wondered what would happen to me and my family. I wanted to leave the hospital as soon as possible.”

Bhuvaneshwari’s mother visits her in the hospital.

Hopes Lifted

At the hospital, the doctors told Bhuvaneshwari’s mother that her daughter should no longer sleep on the floor, but on a bed. But the family’s meager income made beds a luxury they could not afford.

Her mother had already incurred additional expenses toward her treatment and didn’t know where she would find the money for a bed to bring some relief to her daughter and help her regain her health.

Back home, Bhuvaneshwari’s Child Champions continued to visit her to encourage her and pray for her healing. Meanwhile, the Hope Center director told the India Regional Office about Bhuvaneshwari’s urgent need for a bed.

Bhuvaneshwari, center, and her mother, left, receive blankets for her new bed.

Funds were provided immediately for a bed, mattress, and bed linen for Bhuvaneshwari.

“My Child Champions helped me so much with their encouraging words and financial support,” she says.

“They prayed for me and my family. I trust that God heard their prayers, which has helped me in my recovery.

“Their support and prayers gave me the confidence to recover. I used to sleep on the floor, but with the help of the Hope Center, now I’m sleeping on a bed.”

Be Courageous

Bhuvaneshwari credits her Child Champion, Ms. Sonia, with her change in her spirit from one of hopelessness to one full of hope.

“Ms. Sonia inspired me,” she says. “Through her, I learnt to be courageous and confident in times of difficulties. She encouraged me to trust in God.”

Bhuvaneshwari says she learned many lessons from her Child Champions, including “how to be a courageous woman.”

On her road to recovery from her ailing health, Bhuvaneshwari has this to say: “Trust God, don’t give up.”

Help children like Bhuvaneshwari receive care and assistance in times of need by giving to the Children’s Crisis Fund.

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