Question: What does it take to save a life?
Answer: It takes all you’ve got!
The first time we became aware of PaMeeNo was yesterday, January 11, when his son arrived at our door, asking us to please go see his Father in BlaGlow who is not eating or drinking, cannot walk, and has a problem with his stomach. BletJhaw and I looked at each other because, as usual, this did not fit our schedule at all. However I felt it was important to go because the man has not eaten or drunk anything for 4 days.
We took off on the motorbike with a few supplies that might be needed, but when I took my first look at this poor man, I knew that nothing I had brought was going to help him. He looked so emaciated, dehydrated and malnourished, that my mouth dropped open and I softly whispered to BletJhaw, “He’s dying!”
I listened for bowel sounds, but heard none. His waist and middle section was so skinny I could almost touch my fingers around it. His skin was tenting all over that’s how dry his was – just skin and bones is all. He wasn’t putting out any urine or having bowel movements. I call this stage 4 starvation/dehydration. He cannot swallow because it seems there is a growth in his throat that I hope is not cancer.
We agreed to take him to Meta hospital in the morning because it was already late and raining enough to give us a hard time to make it back. It had been raining a little all week. When we got back home it started to really rain and continued raining all night long – heavy rain at times. This is shocking and devastating this time of year.
We left home at 8:40 the next morning in the rain. Now we have to travel the long way. To take the shortcut would be suicide for sure in this wetness. I cannot possibly explain to you what trouble we had making it up one steep place after another. We met an abandoned truck which had apparently tried to make it up, but failed and slid all the way down backwards out of control, hitting a fallen tree which stopped it from falling down the cliff! The worst places for us were the down hills, which ended with hairpin turns. We slid sideways all the time and headed straight for the shear drop-offs. The last road to BlaGlow was the worst. It was so slippery! We fell into gaping gulches and slid towards the biggest canyons. We were praying constantly without ceasing. Sometimes our truck would come to a full stop just inches away from the precipice. Every time we descended a treacherous mountain we would say: “It will be impossible for us to come back up this!” Just before reaching BlaGlow there was a truck stuck and several people were trying to help another truck pull him up with a rope. BletJhaw jumped in to help. The rain kept coming down. The mud was horrible and all over us.
Finally we got to PaMeeNo’s house in BlaGlow, only for the family to tell us that they did not expect us to come in this bad weather and they were not wanting to go! However, they finally decided they would go, so we waited an hour or so, wet and muddy, shivering in the wind on the porch, talking to the people on the opposite porch.
It was almost noon and I was really hungry, but no food in sight. PaMeeNo’s son carried him up the hill to our truck.
I wondered how the poor man would feel all crammed into the back seat with 3 other people, jerking around in the mud and rain. My total heart went out to him.
It was the angel of the Lord that got us out of there, because we got up what seemed like the most impossible places. But our God is a God of impossibilities! And we prayed to Him non-stop. Rivers of water were racing down the ruts of the road. Time after time BletJhaw had to rev the engine and spin the wheels to the max and our truck would go screaming inch by inch, lurching its way and almost not making it.
After 5 total hours of driving we pulled up in front of the hospital. I was so thankful that we got to see the nice doctor that I had worked with before. He treated my patient with compassion and understood our situation, admitting him and letting the hospital be responsible for his transfer to the larger hospital in the morning, instead of making us take him!
Now we must return home quickly before dark. It is still raining. We dread coming off the concrete part and hitting the mud again. Another 5 hours of driving. It is now dark, when we come across an area where they are getting ready to pave. Huge piles of sand and rock are on one side, the precipice on the other. Around a bend in the road we go into a slide, hit a rut and get sucked off the road against the bank, (Thankfully not the precipice side) into a pile of sand. BletJhaw tries backing up and going forward, but we are smack up against the bank and tilted into it at a precarious angle.
We try using the wench to pull us off to the left and out of the hole we are in, but we pulled the tree over Instead. There will be no way out tonight. We abandon the truck and begin walking home. At least it is not raining now, but our worn out flip flops are slipping and sliding. I don’t know how far we walked, but it is after 8 p.m. and we had eaten nothing. We are bedraggled, wet, muddy, cold, hungry and thirsty. Villagers helped us out of the ditch the next morning.
But Jesus gave all for me!