I met an American paediatrician who was staying at Mushroom Lodge on vacation. I asked for his advice regarding the little girl with a treatable retinoblastoma whose parents refused medical help. They were relying on the power of prayer. He had a brilliant idea. Use the Bible to refute their beliefs.
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Matthew 5:29 King James version.
The remarkable thing was that the paediatrician was a Muslim!
One of the volunteers at Kakumbi Health Centre belongs to the same Pentecostal Church (there are a dozen different varieties of Pentecostal, by the way) and she knew the child. She said that the pastor at their church was advocating mass prayer for the child. I showed her the verse from the Bible and she agreed to speak to the pastor about it on Sunday.
I suggested that she disregard the “right” eye bit, as it is actually the child’s left eye which is affected. And to concentrate on a wider interpretation of the verse: if she doesn’t have the eye removed, she will die (not go to Hell).
I am on tenterhooks wondering if this approach will help to change the pastor’s and the parents’ minds.
If she doesn’t have the operation, the body might start to attack the normal eye and she will go blind, before she dies.