Ring! Ring! I woke up to the urgent ringing of my phone. Nearby and throughout the jungle near Kemantian, the native Palawano woke up to the roar of a helicopter. “What’s happening?” they wondered. A fifteen-year-old patient named Livi, who was at our clinic, was having severe abdominal pain with symptoms of an acute bowel obstruction. After a short prayer, I quickly left the house to find a surgeon who could assess Livi when she arrived in PAMAS’s helicopter. The surgeon at the first hospital I went to had plans that day to travel to the provincial capital. When I checked another hospital, the staff told me that the surgeon was available. I had not met Livi before, but I recognized her aunt Medyulin whom I met on other occasions when she brought family members to the hospital. Upon arrival, the surgeon quickly ordered an x-ray and showed me the film. It looked like a bowel obstruction. After inserting a nasal gastric tube, lots of green liquid came out. The surgeon said if she did not improve soon, she would need to have surgery. From the ER, they took her to her room in a ward with two other patients who were both intubated. Family members were helping them to breathe through what is called an ambu bag. The stress in the room felt overwhelming, so Medyulin, Livi and I began to pray.
I had to travel to the capital of our island with other patients for most of the next week. God really blessed Livi while I was away! By the time I returned to Brooke’s Point, she had been released from the hospital. No surgery had been needed! After morning worship, when I returned, a fellow missionary named Carrine asked Livi if she could see her medication to verify that she was talking it correctly. Livi had left it at her tent, so off she ran to get it! “Wow, she must be better!” I thought. I was amazed and happy to see God’s healing in her life!
Though Livi’s aunt Medyulin is a Christian, one of our nine baptized members in the very remote village of Kebgen, neither Livi nor her parents are. Livi doesn’t go to the worship service there in Kebgen and she has never attended our mission school, which is the only one available near her house. While we are thankful for the students attending, the school is our newest one and no one her age attends. Since she cannot read, she cannot study the Bible for herself to learn of Jesus.
Livi and Medyulin stayed with us at the farm for over three weeks while we helped them apply for financial assistance for the hospital bill. One night, we had worship with Livi and the other patients there at the farm. I prayed, asking God what story from the audio Bible I should share. The woman at the well came to mind. I had recently listened to it on the way back from the capital. Together, we listened in Palawano to the story where Jesus offered the living water to the woman — the water that would truly satisfy.
Last week Livi and Medyulin hiked the very long way back to their village and home. My prayer is that the stories of Jesus that Livi heard will forever change the course of her life and that she will ask Jesus for that living water!