LESOTHO (BP) — IMB missionary Teresa Flora is praising God today for physical and spiritual transformation in the life of a family in Southern Africa.
Mosilisi, an 11-year-old girl, lives in a high mountain village in Lesotho. She is Basotho, and her people group remains unreached. She lives with her widowed mother, two school age siblings and her twin baby brothers.
Teresa, who is a missionary nurse, met Mosilisi about four years ago when she held a clinic in a neighboring village. Teresa, her husband Jim and their three daughters have lived among the Basotho for 11 years. They frequently hold clinics where Teresa can offer medical treatment and Jim can preach. Jim and Teresa served in various churches in Missouri and Arkansas before coming to the field. They have six children and eight grandchildren. Their ministry is heavily focused on U.S. partnerships, where they train U.S. churches to “be the missionary” to a valley of villages. Mosilisi lives in one of those villages, untouched by the Gospel.
Seeking help for a skin condition that had given her back a gray, scaly appearance, Mosilisi attended Teresa’s clinic. While Teresa had encountered this disease only once before, she was able to identify Mosilisi’s condition. The disease is called Ichthyosis Vulgaris. The word, Ichthyosis, comes from the ancient Greek for “fish.” This particular condition is given this name because it causes the skin to become thick, dry or scaly. Because of her condition, Mosilisi is unable to shed dead skin cells. If she does not receive proper care, her dead skin cells will accumulate and her skin will take on the appearance of elephant skin.
After this initial interaction with Mosilisi, Teresa researched and consulted with other medical professionals to provide Mosilisi with appropriate treatment. The pharmacist’s recommendation was lactic acid — more specifically, goat’s milk. Teresa and her family bought Mosilisi two goats. Mosilisi was instructed to milk the goat, dissolve an aspirin in the milk and then bathe with it. This treatment proved effective until Mosilisi’s family ran out of food and was forced to eat their only method for treating Mosiili’s condition.
Three years after this initial interaction, Teresa saw Mosilisi at the new church plant near her village of Ha Mantsi. When Mosilisi recognized her, Teresa asked if she could see Mosilisi’s skin. Much to Teresa’s dismay, Mosilisi’s skin had not improved.
In order to aggressively treat the condition, Teresa made arrangements for Mosilisi and her mother to join the Flora family in their home for two weeks. She was determined to offer Mosilisi relief. Teresa enlisted the help of friends and churches back in the States to equip them with the necessary supplies for the oil baths and body scrubbings Mosilisi would need three times each day. In an effort to loosen the dead skin as she bathed, Jim even constructed a whirlpool for the bathtub.
“What a fun day that was,” said Teresa. When Teresa handed Mosilisi’s mom the tube that pushed air into the tub to create the whirlpool, she wasn’t prepared for the force of air coming from the tube.
“When she put it in the water the bathroom experienced its own kind of rainstorm. After the shock of the impromptu rainstorm wore off, our home was filled with laughter. Probably the most Mosilisi’s family had laughed in a long time,” said Teresa.
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Source: Baptist Press