Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

“Wala na siyang infection.”

These were there words we heard from the Doctor in Manila on Saturday, and after a long 10 days of Izzy being very sick they were music to our ears and relief to our  hearts.

“Thank you Lord for answered prayer, and for giving us the grace we needed for each and everyday”.

As I look back over the past few weeks and all that has taken place, I am once again encouraged with the goodness of God. His care for us, His provision for us and His faithfulness in all areas of our lives both big and small. You may say, really? Wasn’t izzy just really sick? Yes, she was, and I experienced some of my greatest fears all in the matter of a few days, but I also experienced the love and the peace of God in ways I have also never known before.

Here are a few verses that have meant a lot to me lately from Psalm 34. 
“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto Him and were lightened: And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him from all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”

I am a fearful person in many ways, and I worry about things too. As missionaries we travel a lot, and I am afraid of flying, especially in our little mission plane, which to me feels no bigger than a car, and having to land on a grass runway in the middle of the jungle, is a terrifying experience for me every time. Then there is the fact that we live in the jungle, I am afraid of snakes, and rats, and things that bite and sting, actually I am allergic to some of them. I hate thunder and lightning, and we get a lot of it….and you get the picture. Adventurous, is not my middle name. I depend daily on the Lord to get me through each and everyday, my life is one long prayer.

This was all before Izzy came into the picture. Now, adding a baby to our life in the jungle has given my imagination another 1000 reasons to worry about things. Top of my list was her health. We were told Izzy would be very prone to infection, and I was fearful of being in the village and wondering was she really sick with infection, or was she just getting a fever like a lot of babies do when teething or for other reasons. How would I know when she was sick enough to go to the doctor? Living in such a remote location means we are often our own doctor, and I dreaded the thought of trying to figure out how to treat and deal with my own child if she were really sick. Malaria, was also a concern for us, Danny and I have both had malaria and it was such a horrible illness, I prayed Izzy would never have to experience that. I worried about how I would treat her if she were to get malaria. Then, coupled with my fear of flying was probably my biggest fear of all, having to call an emergency flight for Izzy, because of medical problems, in the middle of bad weather.

Well, last Tuesday all of the above list of fears, happened for me inside 24hours. Izzy got sick, she had fevers and wasn’t well, and I wondered and puzzled over what it could be. I read articles on the internet and looked in my books, and checked her temperature, and talked to nurses on facebook. Was it infection? Malaria? Something else? Meanwhile she got worse and at lunch time Danny made the decision to call the pilot, we needed an emergency medical flight….and yes, the weather was terrible. I prayed, and prayed, my stomach was in one massive knot. I thought I couldn’t deal with it all, and then I looked at Izzy and I knew she needed me, and I had to deal with it all for her sake. One small action at a time.

Izzy being brought to the plane by the ladies in the village. They were very worried about her. 

The plane was able to land, we had bad weather and had to wait on the “runway” for a while for the wind to die down,so we could take off.  As I held my sick little girl in my arms, I prayed and prayed. Everything in me wanted to get back out of the plane, the skies did not look clear and bright like they do most days we fly. I knew it was going to be a rough trip, but I also knew Izzy needed to see a doctor and the quicker the better. Our pilot is a wonderful pilot, cautious and yet confident, practical and prayerful. He flew us to Puerto in rough weather and to be honest I cried the whole way, I was terrified, and yet thankful to be getting closer to a doctor.

Within, half an hour of landing we were at the clinic, and it was confirmed Izzy had malaria. The next day we also discovered she had a severe bladder infection and also a kidney infection. I won’t go into all the details but over the next week she got worse and worse even while on antibiotics, she was really sick by the weekend, and we were very concerned for her as was the doctor here. Many people were praying, the doctor put her on a different antibiotic and finally within a few days, Izzy was starting to recover and we knew she was on the mend. We took her to Manila for a check up with a specialist and we heard the wonderful words, “Wala na siyang infection- She has no more infection”. Pure relief and thankfulness floods a parents heart when you know your little one is now better. We know God answered prayers for our little girl, yet again, and we are so grateful to Him, and we want to give Him all the praise and glory for answered prayers.

Poor baby was so sick. 😦

I am thankful to God for a lot of things during this whole experience, here is a list of the ways in which God went before us and looked after us in big ways and small ways.

1. Our coworkers had already arranged for the plane to come to our village on the day Izzy needed the medical flight. Things were already set up for the plane coming in. We may not have called the plane in on that day if they had not this flight booked, and the next day the weather got much worse. It would have been much more difficult to get to town.

2. Paul (our co-worker) was staying in our house at the time, so we didn’t need to pack it up in our hurry as he was staying there and could look after the house for us.

3. Four of my closest friends in the tribe were working at our house the day Izzy got very sick, and they were there to help me get ready and to hold Izzy as I got our bags ready. About 15 ladies walked with us to the plane and were there praying for us (and especially me) as we got into the plane.

4. The weather cleared up long enough for us to be able to take off and the rain didn’t start in Puerto until after we landed.

5. We just happened to have met the Dr we took Izzy to the week before in town, and had talked to him about her kidney problems, so he knew us already and was aware her medical history when we arrived with her at his clinic.

6. It was actually a blessing in some ways that she got malaria, as this is what spiked her fever, and spurred us into action to call the plane in. We had no idea she also had such a bad infections.

7. Danny’s Pastor and wife from California were here for a planned visit, and though we were disappointed to not be able to be with them in the tribe for the whole of their visit it was lovely to have people from home to be with us in a time of need. It was encouraging for us to have them here and to talk about things with them.

Having dinner with Pastor Mike and Sandy. 

I know there are many other ways God took care of us, that I may not remember right now or even have noticed, but God was faithful to meet our every need and though we had some stressful days and long sleepless nights, we had a peace from the Lord, that He was in control and that He would guide us and give us grace for each new day.

I am so grateful to all the people who prayed for us from all around the world. It was so encouraging to us, and also very humbling, to know that people were taking time to lift us to God in prayer. God answered those prayers, and though I walked through a week were really I came face to face with some of my worst fears, I also came face to face with a loving God who is always in control and who is faithful and gracious to us in all our weaknesses and needs. In some ways as we head back into the village, I am less fearful. God took me to a place I dreaded with all my heart, a place that held me somewhat captive, and He showed me that He is greater and His love is deeper than all my greatest fears. The experience of His faithfulness in such personal ways has given me victory over some of my worries. I am ashamed that I needed to “see” to believe how faithful God could be over all my fears, how much more precious to the Lord when we believe Him even though we have not “seen” Him in all areas of our neediness.

Today, Izzy is better. She is happy and healthy and trying to walk and bringing us much joy. She is a gift from God and we treasure her life. We look forward to telling her when she reaches an age of understanding how good God has been to her and how very special people, like you, have prayed for her. Thank you.

 “Lord, no matter what my future may hold, I know you will carry me though, because you are faithful and you do not change.” 

All better and enjoying some afternoon tea together in Manila. This was the day we got the good news from the doctor that Izzy was free from infection.

2 thoughts on “My Greatest fears, meet my Greater God.

  1. The Røsviks says:

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart and what the Lord has been teaching you. You expressed it so well and I know it will strike a deep chord in the hearts of each who read it like it did in our hearts. We are so thankful that sweet Izzy is healthy again. Love you guys. xx


  2. Such a great story, Pip. I feel privileged we got to hear the 'live' version at our Women's Meeting during our Regional Conference. Your title is terrific, by the way.


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