Bringing Hope in The Midst of Depression

Wes Harrell, Director of Engagement at Siloam Health

Today’s mission story is from our Hope for the World Mission Partner, Silioam Health.

“Maya was suffering from severe depression when she first came to Siloam’s Primary Care Clinic. A native of Bhutan, Maya spent 25 years in a refugee camp in Nepal before making her way to Nashville two years ago with her husband, Ugyen. Unfortunately, they have experienced dark days. However, when Ugyen learned about Siloam’s community health worker program, he felt a tinge of hope for his downtrodden wife.

When Community Health Worker, Hannah Rai, made her initial home visit to Maya’s apartment, she found her curled up in a blanket on the floor—a place where she spent the majority of her days sleeping. Maya’s body fatigue, chronic headaches, dizziness, and back pain were debilitating. The thought of going outside was overwhelming.

Hannah approached Maya gently, speaking in soothing tones in her native Nepali language. Hannah invited her to a health class that she was leading in the Nepali-speaking group, which was held five minutes from her house. Maya reluctantly agreed to go. What she found at the class was community. The women surrounding her talked about gardening, and even brough fresh vegetables from their small home gardens to share with the group. Maya mentioned to Hannah, “I really loved this class. I want to come back next week.” So, she did.

Hannah also helped her to start taking her blood pressure and depression medication regularly. Little by little, Maya began to come out of her shell. She loved connecting with the other Nepali-speaking women in the health class, where she also learned about nutrition and exercise. She started eating a balanced diet and began walking regularly in her neighborhood. Maya continues to progress. She no longer spends long days huddled under blankets on the floor. Her time is spent engaged in her community, treating her body well, and at the end of the day, she now sleeps soundly—back in her bed.

Thanks to church partners like Brentwood Baptist, Siloam can be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve patients like Maya.”