Child Lives After Malaria Attack
Two US Dollars gives little boy new life!
This is a remarkable story of how our generosity, no matter how small or large, can change someone's life!
(Left) This little guy lives in a very small village in the bush of northern Uganda called Arapai. David and Shonda were challenged in their faith in August of 2003 while resting after a teaching session. While this little guy was playing with other children, they were presented with the defining moment to save his life by first praying over him then after no visible results, committing to pay for immediate medical treatments from a nearby home-clinic when he collapsed right in front of them, began convulsing and then became lifeless. (Photo/David Tompkins)
In August of 2003, David and Shonda traveled back to Uganda from Kenya. They were invited to Arapai, a small area within the jungles of northeastern Uganda to speak a 2-day Discipleship Conference with their host, Pastor Bernard Ebiau. Surprisingly, it was a fairly large church facility within a small village deep in the bush. I still remember driving our car on a trail no bigger than a bicycle trail to get there. Shonda and I laughed within ourselves the whole trip there. When we arrived, we noticed that all buildings were hand made with grass roofs, mud walls and floors made of cow dung that had been wet and then finished so that when it drys, it is hard and smooth in the likeness of concrete. Really a unique process... and no, it doesn't smell at all of manure! The picture to the left is a little hut that we slept in for three nights during our stay in Arapai. We called it our Ramada Inn. The pastors actually generously offered to give it to us so we could call it home whenever we came back to this village.
One day during a break between sessions, we had went outside to sit down and cool off under a large iconic Acacia tree. There were children playing around us while their parents were inside the church still hearing the word. We had an interpreter that had come outside with us to cool off as well. There were several women off to the side who were cooking meals for the conference attendees (we always buy food to feed the people anytime we go out and do ministry, especially in this rural areas of the nations). We noticed that one of the smaller boys was acting funny even through he was trying to play with the other children. We kept watching him while we were drinking our purified water (bottled water). The little boy was playing and then he just dropped to the ground. We could tell there was something seriously wrong with him. Our interpreter ran over and picked him up into his arms. While he was holding him, the child was convulsing and began to foam at the mouth. It looked like he was having a seizure and then his eyes rolled back into his head and his body went limp. He was completely unconscious. Immediately we began to pray and by this time, the women who were cooking had come to see what was happening. One of the women was his mother. She was screaming and crying almost hysterically. During our prayer, our interpreter began telling us that his mother was saying there was a nurse nearby that had just happened to have a clinic open in the village on this particular day. It was far from the church so they ran his lifeless body over and went inside the little hut. we stayed back just to stay out of the way. We were still praying for him and the mother.
What seemed like forever but was actually just less than a minute, I was quickly approached by our interpreter that had carried the boy in to the clinic. He said that the boy was having a severe attach from a high-grade fever due to malaria. He also told us that the boy needed medication and without he would surely die. They were concerned about the cost of the medication because the mom couldn't afford it and they were afraid that the nurse had seen us Americans with dollar signs in her eyes. Without hesitation, I quickly consented to have the little one treated regardless of how much it might cost us. This whole time, we could do nothing but trust God that the child would live and not die. Word got to the nurse and she treated the little man with a shot and some other medications. We waited and we waited and waited some more. Finally I was approached with a small piece of paper that resembled a written invoice for payment. Of course, it was written where I couldn't understand without interpretation but I could see the amount for the medication was 4,000 Ugandan Shillings. As my brain was scrambling to figure the exchange rate in my head, I realized that it was just less than $2.00 US. I reached into my wallet and pulled out some money and handed to our friend and he took it inside while we stayed outdoors. Our heads were still spinning from the commotion of all that had happened when the mother come walking out of the clinic straight over to us and still crying, she wrapped her arms around us and began thanking us over and over again. It seems we had saved her child's life and he would live for just 2 dollars!
This incident was a life-changing moment for Shonda and I. You should never underestimate the power of a dollar or two and whether you have given enough in the kingdom of God and His work world-wide. The rest of this story... about a half of a hour later, that same little boy was back outside with his mother, not in full strength but watching the other children playing and laughing with them. We are grateful for every donation that comes in to PMI Missions and what it might accomplish for God's people.