“One day a very sick woman was carried into the clinic on a cot suspended on a bamboo pole. She was unconscious, deeply jaundiced, breathing irregularly, running high fever; one look was enough to know that she was dying. The blood test confirmed that she had cerebral malaria. We put her string cot in the verandah and started her on Intravenous Quinine. We explained to the husband that only God could save her in this stage. We prayed for her recovery with little faith, I must admit.
[The team had to leave for the villages and left her in the care of a nurse.] “When we returned after 2 days, the cot was empty as we expected. I was not prepared for what happened next. A woman suddenly embraced me and started kissing me again and again, saying, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ It was none other than Gangi Malto! God had heard our feeble prayer! The smiling lady is now a ‘mukya’, serving her own community.”
“Most of our patients had infectious diseases – Malaria, TB, Kala Azar, diarrhea or pneumonia. […]The immunization status was almost zero. It was hard to help them to understand that healthy children needed injections to protect them. […]The only thing that we never had to teach them was about breast feeding.”
“We did not realize that the battle would become so fierce. One after another, team members fell sick with malaria. Our own little daughter Salome, who turned one, was down with malaria almost every month. We would hold her in our arms as she ran a high fever and vomited repeatedly – wondering whether she would see another day. I remember that we used to cry with joy at every birthday as we celebrated one more year of being alive.
[…] How do you cope with an attack every month leaving you weak, discouraged and downright depressed? […] Yes, I had the answer: the only way to cope was to simply ‘trust and obey’. God was able to preserve our children and us and every member of our team. And if He didn’t, were we willing to press on? With tears in our eyes we told the Lord that we would. Thankfully we were spared that trial.”
“We had no main electricity for the first 15 years. We ran our small generator for an hour in the morning, 4 hours in the evening and for any emergencies in the hospital. The campus would be pitch dark once the generator was put off. Not just dark – but absolutely silent – except for the sound of mosquitoes buzzing outside the netting and the sound of an occasional owl. […] There was no phone connection at all until 2004. There was no Internet until 2006. We were cut off literally for 10 years. […] We had to travel 15-40 kms. to make a phone call. We did not like this isolation.
I remember pleading with God about this… both Isac and I had thrived on the nurture of the church and college fellowship. Now, we were on our own. Who could we run to? Yes, we had the answer. None but Jesus. We had blissfully sung the song in our native Tamil, “My Jesus who gave his life for me. My Jesus is enough for me.” Oh yes, we had learnt the theory, but now it was practical time! Were we willing to accept that there was no one else but Jesus and be content? Not initially…”Yes Lord. You are all we need… and yet it would be good to be able to talk to others… we need fellowship.” But, Jesus was our only resource! Words cannot express the sweetness of being isolated – yes, cornered in with him. He proved to us over and over again that He was all we needed. It was not Jesus plus other supports. It was Jesus alone. Looking back, this was the greatest life lesson and we would not exchange it for the whole world. I consider it a blessing and privilege because the world is so crowded with information and people (good as they are) that there can often be no space or time to be alone with Jesus.”
Read further about Ruth who was severely dehydrated. The team could not find a vein to rehydrate her; they despaired and then the blocked vein opened up [miraculously] and she lived! Penniless Chandi with advanced TB was treated successfully and then returned to cover the cost of his treatment. Daniel, bed-ridden for 6 weeks due to an abscess in his thigh, who after treatment was gaily scampering up the Malto hills. Read about building the hospital, setting up mobile clinics, training community health volunteers and setting up womens’ self-help groups. Read about a Malto girl who became a nurse.