When Jesus was on this earth 2000 years ago, many people came to Him and brought those who were sick. Not only did Jesus heal them, but he also raised the dead back to life. This was not why He came, but through these miracles many did believe in Him.
Likewise, we didn’t come to live among the Agutaynens to just help with their physical problems, but more importantly to share salvation through Jesus alone. However, through the years, God has given us many opportunities to help the Agutaynens through accidents, sickness, and death. Occasionally, through these physical problems, God has opened up a door for us to share Christ and to actually begin a Bible study in their homes. Through these open doors, Melmel and others have trusted in the Jesus. Praise the Lord!
As we weekly teach God’s Word to over 100 villagers through four Bible studies, God gives us opportunities to help with their medical emergencies. In the last three weeks, we have assisted in three medical emergencies: A nasty burn, an infected balloon-like hand, and a sudden death of a newborn baby.
One Friday, a few weeks ago, Stephen was sitting outside on our porch preparing a Sunday message when Melani, an Agutaynen believer, came running into our yard. Obviously, this wasn’t a social visit. “Come! Come! Dabo’s daughter, Aiza, has burned herself!” So, Stephen dumped everything in the office and grabbed some medicine and burn cream. As Dabo only lives about two blocks away, Stephen decided not to drive but to run down to their home, not an easy thing to do in flip-flops. Upon his arrival to their house, Dabo’s wife was cuddling their 5-year old daughter, who had a serious burn covering most of her upper leg. Apparently, the mom was boiling water on their open wood hearth and the girl spilled the hot water on herself. Apparently in pain, the girl had rubbed off her own skin that had blistered and now it was an open, oozing mess. Within the hour, the wound had been cleaned and burn cream was applied to the wound. Quickly the pain subsided and Aiza actually was smiling and laughing at Stephen’s jokes. Every day for a week, Stephen, often accompanied by one of our own children, visited Dabo and his family. The girl was so sad that she couldn’t attend Kid’s Bible Club on Christmas Day, but Stephen promised to save a gift for her and bring it to her after the Club, which he and Rebekah did. She was so excited. Please pray with us that Dabo, his wife and their children will trust in Jesus.
A few years ago, our team and a believer were able to help with a medical emergency of someone in our village. As a result of that help, a Bible study was started in the home of the parents of the wounded boy. Through that Bible study, one young man, Melmel, was saved. Melmel now has a bad infection. It started out on his thumb but quickly spread up to his shoulder. His hand blew up like a small balloon. So for over two weeks, we have been helping him. Lord willing, this situation will have a successful recovery like Dabo’s girl.
Unfortunately, not all medical emergencies have a happy ending. Also, during these last few weeks, Stephen was summoned to a house on the other side of the village. This time Stephen jumped into our vehicle and within a few minutes he arrived to their house. Several people were outside the house crying and there was confusion in the air. A baby had just been born but something was obviously wrong. He wasn’t breathing and was probably already dead.
But the family rushed the baby out of the house and requested that Stephen take them and the baby to the “local” hospital. After a very bumpy ride, they arrived to a hospital about 20 minutes later. During the ride, the family held onto whatever hope there might be that the baby would survive, but he was pronounced dead upon their arrival to the hospital. Once again, they all got back into the vehicle, and headed back to the village. No rush this time, just sadness by the family. The baby was buried the very next day according to their traditions. A new evangelistic Bible Study began last week in their neighborhood and they were invited to attend. Unfortunately, no one from this family attended last week and Stephen will go by to personally invite them before the next meeting. Please pray that they too, will hear the Gospel message and trust in Jesus. The name of the mother who lost the baby is Loting.
Please pray with us that God will open the hearts of these who have recently suffered physical sickness and death, and that more would be saved.