I awoke with chills that riddled my whole body. Hot one minute, and cold the next, I felt very unstable. I would also feel weak throughout the day. Rhoda told me this was to be expected. Now more than ever, Rhoda encouraged me to eat. She said if I didn’t eat something it would be harder for me to recover. Yet, eating was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was lie in bed.
While I was working to overcome the malaria, I was exempt from all mission activities. It was against doctor’s (Rhoda) orders. One time, she told the kitchen staff that I could not leave the lodging quarters for a prayer and fasting session, until I ate something.
Throughout my sickness, I was too weak, and could do very little, so I said numerous prayers in my head. I desperately wanted to be better. I sent prayer requests back home to my family and friends. I was grateful that the missionaries lifted me up in prayer many times throughout the mission. During my own private time, I also asked the Lord to help my mother not to worry. She had reacted quite strongly to the news of my being sick. I thought about her often, to the point that I became even more concerned for her than for myself.
During my sickness, I began to once again give in to doubts. Did I really come all this way just to lie in bed all day? Father, do not forsake me now, I pleaded.
It had been two days since I had visited the clinic, and started taking the prescribed medication. I asked Rhoda to explain to me more about the malaria fever, yet she was afraid to go into too much detail. “I don’t want to scare you,” she said.
The next day, I was scheduled to lead out a Bible study session for the missionaries. In the current state that I was in, I did not think that this would be possible. I could not even get out of bed for five minutes, without feeling faint. Still, I decided not to be too concerned about it, and left it in God’s hands.
The following morning, I did not possess any strength to get up from bed. Yet, a soft, insistent voice spoke to me: “Get up, and do the Bible study.” The night before, I had also dreamed that I was leading the study. It had seemed so real…However, with absolutely no strength within me to rise from bed, I did not see how it would be possible. I asked the Lord to give me the strength that I needed.
Then, all of a sudden, I felt energy surge from within me, and I was able to wake up and get dressed. I gathered my notes, and prepared to walk over to the area where the missionaries would be congregating. My friends looked at me as if I had just lost my head, as they saw me leaving. Yet, I could not ignore the voice that I heard.
I arrived earlier, and waited until it was time for me to lead out. I would be presenting on the love of Christ, and how we could implement principles from His ministry in the work that we were doing in Chamba. While I talked, I thought of the village children I had seen as we were ministering. They had been practically naked, and in need of clothing. Before we could lead a Bible study on the three angels’ message, or any other doctrine, we needed to first meet the needs of the people, like Jesus did. I thought of the passage from 1 John, when the revelator spoke about what it really meant to have the love of God dwelling within. (1 John 3:17, 18) I spoke of how we could see from Jesus’ ministry that it was compassion that moved Him to help others. We needed to ask Jesus to help us love like how He did.
When I was up there speaking, I felt strengthened. I had had a similar experience once after preaching to a group of youth in Akrodie, prior to the mission. Once I ceased the Bible study, and sat down, I became weak again. As soon as I reached the girls’ lodging area, and was back in bed, I was soon sound asleep.
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)…
On the third day, I awoke and read this passage. It was the last day that I was on the medication for malaria, and I was feeling much better. I went the whole day grinning from ear to ear. “Why are you so happy?” Ruth asked me, one day. I didn’t even take a breath. “Because I am alive,” I told her.
At the time, I knew very little about malaria, and was uncertain as to whether or not it was possible to die from it. However, there were times that I felt so sick, that I actually thought it possible. I thought it especially hard having an unknown virus, as a foreigner. I was overcome with joy at the fact that God had healed me. It was only by His grace that I was able to face the illness with a smile. Rhoda would often find it puzzling that I would break out laughing, when I was sick, at the numerous jokes the missionaries would share. It provided me much needed relief. If I didn’t laugh, I knew I would cry.
After fighting off the fever, I took the clinic doctor’s orders like it was the ultimate law. I put on insect repellent and wore clothing that covered my arms and legs (things I should have already been doing, but I admit, I had been quite careless at times).
I love how God reveals to us His mercy and love in so many ways. At the time when I needed Him most, He reached out His hand, and offered me true healing. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, when I thought of all of His goodness. I recognized that health truly is a treasure from the Lord. It is a blessing. I vowed that I would never again take my health for granted.
On one of the evenings that I was sick with the malaria fever, and was unable to attend the evening session, I heard that the moto king vehicle that we usually took home from the grounds each night, had been in an accident.
To Be Contiuned…
To read the past account of my travels, visit here:
Glory Belongs to God
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