Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good day or bad day?

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
Three more cases of malaria in the village today.

I can never decide if it is a good day or a bad day when we find new cases. It seems the worse the test results, the greater God’s presence. The more illness, the more God is glorified in the healing. With each new case, a reminder of why God has called us here.
Today, Jonah, a boy who just 3 days ago followed the Healing Faith team for 2 ½ miles as they educated and hung nets, who was showing off his dance moves and entertaining the team as they traveled, walked himself to our area and showed us the worst case of malaria I have seen so far. 3 days ago he was running, laughing and playing. Today, he was wrapped in an old suit coat, shivering violently, crying and weak. His fever was obvious to the touch. His eyes were barely open. I don’t know how far away he lived, but I am so thankful that he knew to come find us. He knew that we could help.
As Jonah lay there on the hard, wooden bench shivering, Jason gave him Tylenol for the fever. We began praying knowing that this was going to be rough. He couldn’t sit up on his own. Jason gave his first dose of malaria treatment, and someone brought him a drink. We helped Jonah sit up to sip the water, and no sooner than he swallowed, all of the medicines came back up. Another symptom, but if he can’t keep the medicines down, then the disease will not be treated. Jason quickly decided that the parasite had come on fast and severe, and this boy needed treatment beyond what we could give him. He needed to get to a clinic where he could receive IV fluids and malaria treatment.
We can’t simply whisk children away to clinics though. We need parents. We need permission.

This sweet boy, in so much pain told us that his JaJa was gone. Gone to market? Gone for good? Gone to where? For how long? We didn’t know. There was a teenage girl near us holding a baby though. She said that she is caring for Jonah, but she cannot go to the clinic because she is caring for other children, too.

Fortunately, Jason has developed a good relationship with the chairman of the village and was able to get permission as well as a recommendation for a trustworthy clinic nearby where Jonah’s family could check in on him.
Before we could gather and head to the clinic though, a group had developed around Jason. Sometimes crowds gather simply because there is something to see, but when a little girl laid her arm on Jason’s leg, he could feel the fever right through his pant leg. Another test, positive for malaria. A few children with cold and flu like symptoms, and then a third child with a positive malaria result. We begin treatment and pray healing over their little bodies.

In the midst of all of this illness and treatment though, there is Jesus. God’s presence can be felt. It is obvious that God is at work in this place in mighty ways.
11-year-old Chloe is leading a group of 5 pre-school aged girls in singing Jesus’ praises. Chloe sat with one of these girls just a week ago crying tears and crying out to God for healing on her behalf.  Today, they were practicing “group hugs”, dancing and playing. A group of older girls came over to hear their singing, and even joined in with Chloe. That would be ministry enough. That fellowship would be enough. But then, a 12 year-old tells Chloe that her little sister has just tested positive for malaria, and asked if Chloe would pray for her. Without skipping a beat, Chloe gathers all of the older girls in a circle, and they begin to pray.

Only by the hand of God. 

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