Hello, so what boring things have we been up to recently. Hold onto your hat!
Our colleagues, Jan and Ernie E, were sickly a bit the last two weeks. I took them to the hospital in Kadiolo to have blood drawn and tested. Tests came back confirming typhoid, and ruling out malaria. So guess what we did? We began treatment for typhoid. So 3 days later, they are still having difficult nights, and all is not well. In fact, Jan got significantly worse. So Ernie called me early Sunday morning. This would be Sunday the 15th. He said "really, this is not working, we need to be evacuated to Bamako, and possibly the USA. So Lisa and I went over and frantically helped them pack. Jan directing from the bed.
So then we asked, what do you need more from us? Do you need a chauffeur, or a nurse? Ernie said a driver would be better, because he hadn't slept too much with her being sick, and he's feeling a bit sick himself. So Tom ran back home, packed a bag. So we left for Bamako, Ernie, Jan, and I, (Tom).
As we drove, at first Ernie drove a bit, but he began to fade as the day droned on. (it is a fairly long drive to Bamako. Think Chicago-Minneapolis with a few million potholes in between...) So by the time we got to Bamako, we called the hospital we were going to, and said make room for two patients, not just one!
Ernie and Jan were admitted side by side into a room, given IVs, and superlative care. The IV tech got their IVs in one try! That doesn't happen in America a lot of the time. Good care followed. The lab report came back negative for typhoid, but positive for malaria, a particularly deadly strain that goes cerebral fast.
Jan was so low blood pressure when we arrived, we really could not have waited another day for her. Ernies case was much lighter, but a few more days untreated would have been serious for him as well. They stayed 3 days in the hospital, I ran errands for them, brought them towels, books, drinks, munchies, all things not available from your hospital bed. They were released, miraculousley for Jan, because her recovery out of the dangerous area was so quick. We stayed at a local guest house for a few more days, building strength. It was then decided that we'd drive back to kadiolo for them to rest, and for her to prepare to go to the US. (she already had a trip planned to help her daughter deliver a grand baby.)
This picture was taken at a restaurant we stopped at on the trip down. And I thank God when I see this picture because I know how they looked in the car travelling up to Bamako, and how sick they were in the hospital. Every day she is stronger, and is back up to 75% or so on the Seward health meter.
Lets not have a replay that takes us so close to desperately ill, okay? Too much excitement!
This pic is of Tom meeting with the two Fulani speaking pastors, along with the radio station director, and our two local pastors, Youssouf, and Karim. Sorry, a bit blurry because it is a night shot... but you get the visual idea!
My second story is about a fulani man. (fulanis are also known as peule.) A few months ago we told a story about a man out in his fields with his radio, heard the gospel in his language, eventually came to the radio station, met with pastor a couple of times, and accepted Christ. This young man is the second fulani to do the same thing. He came to church last week sometime and announced that he is ready to become a christian! So the fulani pastor that preaches in the radio show was called from up north in Mali where he lives. He and another pastor came down, bussing more than 11 hrs to meet with this new believer for 2 days. Imagine a people group where believers are so rare that you would bus 11 hrs to greet a new convert!
The two pastors stayed with us while they were here, and they were amazing to talk to. They said they invited the young man to come to their month long Fulani Bible conference in January. I asked this pastor how many believers attended the Fulani Bible conference each year. He began to count families. He said 6-7 families are now involved. Wow! Pray for this young man, and thank God with us that these guys can be reached even out in their fields by radio!
Here is a pic of a woman selling fresh watermelon fruit alongside the road, so delicious. But the fruit of God we've experienced this week, the new life of this Fulani man, and the grace of healing for Ernie and Jan is no less delicious. God is good!
Thanks for stopping by,
Tom & Lisa