Leo talked to Monica today. Monica is the YWAM missionary we work with in the Amazon. She’s an incredible woman, and we love her passion for the villages! She just got back from a 2-week trip farther into Peru than we go, and let us know of some really big challenges the villages are facing.
Rainy season started 6 weeks early. That means that everything is flooded, and the villages where we are going can only go from place to place by canoe. They’ve lost most of their crops already, and the fishing is sparce. Also, as the river gets higher and higher, it creates lakes or inlets where the water doesn’t flow… so the water becomes a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Where Monica was, the people were in absolute misery. Most of them didn’t have any more food, and everyone was getting sick. There were people dying left and right from different water and mosquito-borne illnesses. She assured us that it wouldn’t be that bad where we were going, but to prepare ourselves. She recommended that we start taking anti-malarial medication as well.
I will be honest… that report has knocked me down a little bit today. I don’t know what to think. I had an “emergency” meeting with my team to let them know. We prayed and cried together. Part of me is scared, but the other part of me is sad that our brothers and sisters are going through things like this! I know what it is to suffer, but not in comparison to what they are suffering! Last year we found out that every mother had lost at least one child to sickness. It was a part of their lives.
And, as far as malaria goes…. it’s been almost 7 years since I had it. Malaria. My doctor recommended that I wait 5 years to go to an area that has malaria, so technically I’m o.k. However, my body is still suffering from the damage that was done 7 years ago, and I don’t think I can handle getting it again. So, this is my internal struggle. I trust the Lord with my life or death… with blessing or suffering. I have been trusting Him for the last 4 years with all the different health issues I’ve been going through… but I am honestly ready for a break from it all. The thought of possibly facing another bout with malaria doesn’t excite me, but it doesn’t hinder me, either. I think it’s interesting that we bought the tickets on Friday, and today, Monday, is when we get this news. God is sovereign and in complete control. We, as a team, are trusting Him whether He protects us or not, and we feel honored to be able to partner with our brothers and sisters in their suffering. We are going to face a lot of “inconveniences”, like pooping in a bag among other things, but we will experience what our friends experience, and that means the world to us!
The flooding also means that we will not be able to put in the latrine toilets like we thought, because there is no ground to build on. God has a plan with this, however, and we will trust Him. The money that we had raised for this project will now go to help buy the medicine. We didn’t have enough money to do everything, anyway. God is good!