“Uncle, do you ever go to the village clinic and minister to the sick people there?” my visiting nephew asked me.
“We used to do that regularly,” I replied, “but for various reasons we haven’t visited there in some time. Would you like to go there with me?”
“Yes!” he replied.
The following Sabbath afternoon, we arrived at the government clinic that serves our village of about 4,000 people. We prayed for the sick and wished them a speedy recovery. One case in particular drew our attention. On one of the hospital beds lay a little 16-month-old girl named Susan. She was very thin, malnourished and dehydrated. She didn’t even have the strength to sit up. Her mother Isabel told us that when Susan became too sick to eat or drink, she became frightened and rushed her to the clinic.
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with over half the population living on less than $1.25 a day. It is also one of the hottest countries in the world with daily high temperatures approaching 118°F in April and May. Forty percent of children under the age of five are underweight and malnourished. Many mothers do not have sufficient means or knowledge in nutrition and breastfeeding.
We introduced ourselves to Isabel as Adventist missionaries and asked if we could pray for Susan. “Yes, please pray!” said Isabel. “Our family is Christian, too.”
After we returned home that day, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to keep praying for Susan, so I did just that.
Three days later, we went back to the clinic to see how Susan was doing. We looked all over the clinic, but there was no sign of Susan or Isabel. “Where are Susan and her mother?” I asked the nurses, but they didn’t reply. Worried, I push a little harder and was finally able to learn that they had gone home. I tried to get their address or phone number but met with a brick wall. “Lord,” I prayed, “I’m worried about little Susan. Please let Your will be done.” A short time later, a nurse brought me the family’s telephone number. I called it but got no answer.
I asked my Bible worker for help, and we spent the next two days trying to reach Isabel. Finally, on our third day without success, I told him, “We will just have to go to their village and ask around. By faith, I believe God will lead us to them.”
God answered our prayers and led us to the family. Isabel told me that, after we prayed, Susan had made a miraculous recovery.
The Bible says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we don’t lose heart” (Gal. 6:9 NKJV). Please join us in prayer as we deepen our relationship with this family. Pray that their hearts will be open to the word of God. Pray for Susan and the many other children in Mali suffering from malnutrition.