September 20, 2007

Personally Speaking, May I Ask You To Pray?

It is easy for me to forget how some others are pressing on in the midst of very difficult circumstances for the cause of Christ. May I be personal with you and share an email from a very dear family friend? I got it today, from a very distant and rural village in central Africa, where she is a single missionary, the only one within hundreds of miles. I would be appreciative of your prayers. Her name is Wendy. Grace to you, and peace. Steve.
Dear friends,
Greetings! This will be a short one since I'm still not up to writing too much. I've been quite sick with malaria since the middle of last Thursday night. I started meds right away but started vomiting a lot too, so I was not able to keep down any pills I was taking. Because of this, the medical folks here put me on an IV quinine drip for two days. Not fun! I was flat on my back in bed for four days. Just yesterday and today I've been feeling a little bit "human" again. Quinine has all sorts of "wonderful" side effects like crazy dreams, hearing loss, loss of appetite, etc.
So, I've been pretty sick for five days now. I take the last quinine pill today so hopefully in a few days the ringing and white noise in my ears will lessen. Today is the first day that I've really felt like eating anything although I've been forcing myself to eat egg custard, pudding, poached eggs, and whatever else I can manage to get down.
Since I was vomiting so much they did some other tests and I've got some internal parasite problems; nothing unusual out here but something I'll have to take care as well once I get my strength back. We aren't out of the woods yet, but each day I feel a couple of percentage points better! :)
One amazing thing in all this has been the care I've received from the folks here. I counted up 36 different people who came to see me during the first five days of my being sick. Some came to just shake my hand and smile, some to pray, some to give advice :). But all came to express their concern and love. The medical staff has been extremely helpful, even coming in the middle of the night to change the IV. I do feel that I'm in good hands.
The Lord has, of course, also been so very good to care for me. I've done some reading in Psalm 18 off and on during this time and been comforted by many verses there. One that I've been meditating on when I get a few moments of clear thinking is verse 19, "He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me." Pretty awesome to think that even when you are vomiting so that you wonder if you are ever going to be able to stand up again, the Lord delights in you!
I know that the reaction some of you might have to this email is to worry. Please don't! I'm doing OK and as each day goes by and I progress from being able to keep down some egg custard to a poached egg to fish soup with macaroni, things are looking up!
One main prayer request is that I will have wisdom as I hopefully have some strength to restart some activities by the end of this week. The School of Music and the Bible may start one week late just to give me another week to rest and regroup. Please pray that once I start being active again that I won't overdo!
Doing email is a stretcher right now so if you have written I don't think I'll be able to get back to you before next week some time. You don't need to respond to this one - please just pray that I'll be completely healed.....SOON!
ADDENDUM, Monday, Sept. 24th - Thank you for your prayers and emails; I have not received anything from Wendy since this letter.


Andrew and Carolyn said...

Hi Steve,
Many thanks for your comment over at our little blog - much appreciated, as is the content of what you're posting here. I'll certainly be praying for Wendy, that she will know the Lord's grace and strength in these days.

God bless you in all of your work in extending God's kingdom through quality, God-centred literature.

Yours in Christ,

Steve Burlew said...

Many thanks, Andrew. I see, from your blog, that these have been emotional days for you, as you face change. Press on, dear brother, and stand firm. You may not be able to always see the ground where your foot is about to land, but be certain that it is solid if, indeed, you are seeking after and walking in the grace of the Lord.

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