"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-David Livingstone

May 11, 2011


No sooner had I ran up the porch steps on my return from Sankhlaburi than I encountered my first patient. Make that patients. A father with his young son.
Gastric issues and pneumonia.
It felt good - so good - to be back and at it. I'd missed it more than I realized.
Since then there's been the girl with malaria; the girl with malaria; the boy with malaria; the little boy with stitches needing to be removed; the girl with malaria; the girl with abdominal pain, fever and headache; the boy with malaria; and, last but not least, the girl with malaria.
Yes, rainy season is here and the malaria fad is entering full swing. And, as if the quite unpleasant cerebral hemorrhagic variety known as Pf isn't quite good enough, every single person that I've tested positive for malaria in the last couple days has also had the double whamee combination of Pf together with Pv. Yeah, that's right, no fun. Poor kids... Did I mention that all of these are students?

Yesterday evening found me heading for the Metta ER in our good old unfaithful golden chariot with four students in tow. Two patients and two for company. There was a sweet, if very shy, little girl with low abdominal pain on the left side, together with a headache and fever for the last week. She couldn't play, had little appetite, and had lost weight. Honestly, I was baffled. Hence the trip to the hospital. The other patient, a 12-year-old boy, had been in our care all day, but now his fever was registering at 106.+ (actually not all that uncommon at all for the malaria we deal with around here) and together with his other symptoms the obvious conclusion was that he wasn't doing very well.
Now I should comment that, to our great chagrin, we've found often enough that upon our arrival at the hospital many patients are suddenly and quite unexplainably energized. Severe malaria patients who were previously slumped in the truck (and possibly carried there in the first place) gat themselves up on their own two feet and into the hospital; the unconscious arise upon the stretcher; they may assure the doctor that, no, they actually haven't been experiencing ----- symptom at all; and, quite without fail, the dizzy and weak look peppier than they did an hour ago. Now, in all seriousness, I believe that I can say that there is no ulterior motive on their part and that generally they have in no way misled us. As a general rule they are genuinely sick. But something about the whole antiseptic hospital atmosphere and white coat syndrome weaves its magic and our patient will fool the doctors once again (there are also the instances when the doctors misdiagnose) and we are left standing there looking like the naive and bumbling white people (that we are.)
Thus was the story of our shy little girl (who very much didn't want to be there in the first place.) There was no fever and no headache. Dx: Muscle strain - of the thigh. I guess the pain was slightly lower than I thought.:) Our malaria patient was admitted.

Still, the last few days have been quite slow in comparison with how it often has been in the past. I'm really thankful for that as I still need time to care for Jabez as well as for studying.
As I write, it is 1:10 a.m. (I needn't say that it's bedtime...:)) There's two malaria patients here in the house right now who have both been very sick all day (my "excuse" for being up at this hour.) I'm praying that their fevers will not rise unreasonably again tonight. God has been very good in protecting and keeping all of the students to this point!


  1. It's interesting how they react when they go to the hospital.
    I'll keep our sick students especially in prayer. And I'll be keeping you in prayer, too, as you minister to them. :)

  2. :) Yeah, thankfully there still is a lot though that do receive the care they need and don't react that way.
    Thank-you for the prayers - we all need it. God's strength is perfect... We're looking forward to seeing you here!:)