Monday, March 19, 2007

My Angel

Let me tell you about Petra.

I first met Petra when we arrived in the village. I did not speak her language and she does not speak spanish. At the time, we were living in a borrowed Indian house while we built our own house. My youngest was not yet walking, I had a 3 year old, a 7 year old and a 10 year old. We still had our Indian daughter with us at the time. She was 16.

Clint was busy from sun up till sundown. Getting poles from the jungle, making adobe bricks, getting leaves for the roof. I was busy teaching all the children and carrying water, doing laundry in the river, washing dishes in the river, cooking over an open fire.

All was going well, until one day, Indians began to get sick. We had over 80 cases of malaria in one month. We had no radio to call for outside help, so we were doing all the medical work ourselves.

One morning, I taught my 7 year old son his math lesson and left him to do his work sheet as I went to begin cooking . After a few minutes I went to check on how he was doing...I saw my son passed out at the table! He had been fine just 30 minutes earlier! I felt him and he was burning with fever.

He had contracted falcipurum malaria. This is a cerebral malaria which comes on fast and strong. We had a microscope to do the blood work and we had the quinine to treat it. So we began his treatment. On the third day when he was finally able to talk and walk with our help, the 3 year old also came down with malaria. Her's was vivax, though not as dangerous ,she was still very feverish and in a lot of pain. Next was our Indian daughter, she also contracted falcipurum malaria. Then...the baby! She came down with vivax.

Quinine is the most bitter pill you can imagine! Trying to get it down a one year old is a real struggle, but we managed.

We had so many sick, we began to run short of medication. We still had quinine , but no analgesics for pain and fever. I began to crush up Tylenol for babies. I remember giving my last dose to one poor toddler.

That night, I began to feel achy! Then the fever. And a terrible head ache! Sure enough, I also had malaria. I developed a bad case of strept throat as well, from working with the sick children. We had no more antibiotics and no pain reliever.

At one point I began to hallucinate. I don't remember much. I remember worrying about my children. They were still sick.

Praise the Lord, my husband and Jackie somehow were spared malaria that time. We had to wait for the scheduled flight day to go out for help and the antibiotics I needed. I sort of remember the flight, but the fever was very high.

But...what I wanted to tell you is how Petra would come everyday and hold my sick baby. I was to weak to care for the little one, and Petra took it upon herself to come each day and stay most of the day. She was the one to make sure Jayde got all of the quinine down and kept it down. She made sure we had water in the house.

I couldn't speak to her much at the time, but later, she told me how she felt that she was led to care for us and the baby. Even when we returned, all healthy, she would come and sit in on our home school classes and entertain the baby for me.

She said she wanted to help me, so that after I taught my kids, I would have the time and energy to learn her language.

WHY? So I could teach her the Bible! She did all in her power to help me to learn the language so that I could begin a ladies Bible study.

It took a few years but I did begin a ladies bible study twice a week...and I know Petra will be rewarded by God for her ministry to me and my family when we most needed it. She may not look beautiful to you, but to me....she is an angel!


Mountain Mama said...

Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad you like the flower pictures. I love flowers and photography and have hundreds of photos. It's fun to share,
Your story about Petra and how she let the Lord use her is absolutely beautiful. You told it well.
I read your 'about me' and had to laugh about your reading cereal boxes. I used to do that too when I had children still at home and cereal boxes on the table. I think I was desperate for a distraction!
It is nice to meet you and I am adding you to my links.

luvvom said...

That is a wonderful story of how Christ's body works together. It is an example that American Christians can look to, thank you!

jennifer said...

Praise God that you are serving God. I am utterly speechless at what you have done for the Lord.

Thank you so much, for your commitment,and also your sharing your missionary stories with us( your www family!)

Yekwana Man said...

I remember so well seeing Petra sitting there holding Jayde. I often wondered what she was thinking as she sat there. As I learned the language and began talking to her. She would tell me of her life before she new Christ. The abuse, drunkenness and her husband the witchdoctor. She wanted the message of God's love to reach everyone in her village. She new that holding our baby would help and so she did it. I wish I could hug her one more time and say thanks for being "aichä" , grandma to my kids. She was an expert on loving.

momrn2 said...

First let me say thanks for visiting "My Quiet Corner" and commenting so I could follow you here.

This story was beautiful, touching, amazing, challenging and heartwarming all at once. I'm so very grateful you shared this with us!

Oh that we could all be blessed with a Petra in our lives! Oh that we would love enough to do whatever it takes in order to share our Jesus with them!!

I will definately be back!

Candy said...

Wow! what a story! I want to echo what Jennifer said her comment.
Love Candy

Penless Thoughts said...

Real, true beauty is never on the outside but in the heart and soul. God doesn't look at the outside but the heart. Aren't we glad!

Jackie said...

that was a hard time, I remember it well. What would we have done without Petra? She helped calm our fears.

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Jungle mom,
Thankyou for sharing that wonderful story. Let me tell you that I think you are a special lady and Petra and you sound like a Jewel in His crown.You should really think about writing a book about your experience. I would be honored to read it. Thank you for you and your families service for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ


Linds said...

Petra is the right kind of angel. isn't she. Thanks for sharing a lovely story from your life with us!

Jane-Jane said...

Why is it that the heart of Petra is so foreign to us???
Why is it that we are so worried about ourselves that we can't even see the people that God has in front of us, that we are to minister to?!?! We are here to love one show Jesus' love through our actions.

Sis. Julie said...

How precious!! She was definitely an angel!! What a blessing God had her there for you. I'm sure that time with the sickness was a very scary time for you as a mother and then to get it yourself and be too sick to care for your own children...thank God for Petra!! And thank God for His blessing in using her in your life and His using you in hers.

Judith said...

I read your comment about my blog, and decided to check yours.

We should watch carefully for Petra angels. How she worked in your life is more inspiring than Moses and the burning bush, or chariot riding.

We sometimes take so much for granted. After reading about the malaria and all you deal with all the time, I will not be skipping Bible Study, or complaining here in Colorado.

Happymama said...

That's a precious post. I so enjoyed it. And I see why she's your angel.


Tina said...

Hi Junglemom! God is so good to send us angels just when we need them! Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoy your daughter's blog a lot! You did a good job. She inspires me.

Pam said...

KLEENEX please! I enjoyed reading the post as it gave me another glimpse into your life all those years. It reminded me once again how even though we are sisters, how differently our lives have been lived so far!

Petra serves as an example to all ladies. I've had a few Petras in my life in times of need as well. Oh how I appreciate them and thank God for them!

serendip said...

This story and all your stories bring tears to my eye everytime I read them. In light of my post "it's about Islam", I hope you know how important and urgent your missionary work is and I know probably more than anyone else that there is nothing more important in our life time than what you and your family are doing. Thank you for being a continued inspiration to all your readers. You give me hope.

Ginger said...

As I read I hunger for more and more of your life story. I just don't want to take a day of my life for granted.

Susan said...

What an amazing story! I think Petra is beautiful, and I'm sure God does too! Thanks for sharing her story with us.

Mishel said...

What an absolutely beautiful (and amazing) story! The Lord was so good to send you an angel...named Petra. She *is* indeed beautiful!

Senkyoshi said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It was a blessing to my heart. I am praying for an angel. Unfortunately, the people in this country don't think they need anything so it is difficult to find one.

Jungle Mom said...

So glad everyone enjoyed this story of Petra. I will have to write about her life one day. Talk about a hard life!!! I am honored God allowed us to be his messengers to these people.

FeathersMcGraw said...


What a beautiful and touching story, the Lord has his ways...

I agree, she definitely is your angel, but you guys are also her angels (and the village) too :) I am amazed by you and your family, JM, God bless you,


Janie said...

I needed tissues for this one, too! Petra is indeed a beautiful woman...what a powerful testimony she has, but what a powerful testimony you and your family have as well. You really do need to write a book about your experiences if you haven't already. Perhaps you know, but maybe you don't, that although I believe our main source of strength always needs to begin and end with scripture, God uses stories like these and missionary biographies to get me through rough times. I think that is what Hebrews meant when it says "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Heb. 12:1. These witnesses you give us through your life stories that testify to God's faithfulness in dire circumstances do SO much for me as I wade through the murky waters of life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Pat said...

WE are always amazed when God provides for our needs in such miraculous ways....and just in time.

I look forward to more of your "This is My Life" stories...

Thanks Rita for going and being and doing for the Lord.....for us....we cannot or couldnot, and you were his instrument to teach those precious ones sseking him and knowing where to "rest" until they got the Word!! What a blessing to many you still continue to be!

May God reward your desire to serve him richly!! I know you will have many more stories from the new"field" soon---I can't wait!!

Love yall!

Pat said...

Petra looks like and angel to me!!

M.J. said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post! I really think that sometimes God will put "angels in disguise" in our lifes to test our character and obedience to him. We should never judge those by the outward but the inward. It is what is in the heart that will become radiant to those around us.

What a blessing this post is to me today. I know that God is speaking to me, and he used this post to confirm it.

Thanks so much!