Fighting Malaria

Little by little the transportation of the sick began to break down hard feelings toward Adventists. David asked one village captain, “If I brought you video equipment, would you show videos on health and the life of Christ?”

“Yes, please do,” he answered.
In several other villages the people agreed that a pastor could show Adventist evangelistic videos. As a result 65 people accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and asked to be baptized.

But Satan continued to show his hate by aiming a deadly weapon at the Amerindians–mosquitoes. Another epidemic of malaria struck Kaikan and many surrounding villages. When people are suffering from malaria, there is no way they can concentrate on the gospel of salvation.

The missionaries, too, suffered. Three times in three weeks David’s family lay in bed with fever, chills, headache, and nausea. David recovered from one type of malaria, but Becky got another type from a single mosquito that bit through her net. After taking medication, Becky would recover, but David would become ill again. Then the children took turns. All the families in the village suffered this way. As soon as one recovered, another family member got sick.
“Something has to be done!” David said.
Two malaria officers spent three weeks in Kaikan treating more than 100 patients. But still family members kept reinfecting each other.

David applied to ADRA for emergency funds. They decided on an expensive one-time treatment–a single dose would wipe out multiple types of malaria. Everyone in the village had to take the medication at the same time. As an added precaution, the villages received two shipments of treated mosquito nets made especially for hammocks.

The health ministry for Amerindians loaned David a fogger machine to spray all the houses with insecticide and vegetable oil, the latter to insure that the walls would hold the insecticide. Cockroaches, mosquitoes, and other insects dropped dead after the spray. Each day the people found dead insects on the floor and tables. Filled with hope, the villagers prayed that this triple approach would stop this serious malaria threat.

David flew to Arau and discovered that almost all the residents had malaria. Would the epidemic ever end? A doctor from Adventist-run Davis Memorial Clinic and Hospital flew with David to Arau. He personally supervised the mass treatment of all the people. The treatment was a success. Arau became the only village with no more reported cases of malaria during the rest of the epidemic.

The loving attention poured out on so many sick persons also resulted in more people wanting to know Jesus as their personal Friend. “God is surely busy working the miracles of transforming human hearts and changing attitudes.” David smiled as he chatted with Becky. “But are you aware that our three-month operating permit to fly our little airplane will soon expire? How I wish the Guyana Civil Aviation would grant us a permanent permit to keep our plane flying! I continually pray we will not be grounded, for so many sick people have been helped by this service. I’m looking forward to another miracle.”

Again God kept the plane active, for just before the plane was to be grounded, David received a call. “Your flight permit on the Cessna has been renewed for another three months.”

But there were other challenges. “I need help with the heavy workload,” David stated. “I would be so happy if God would impress the right people to volunteer as an aviation mechanic and a professional pilot.”

“God will provide in his own time.” Becky always spoke in faith. “Could it be that God keeps us in heaven’s waiting room to perfect our faith and trust in Him?”

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Fighting Malaria

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