Loss of Sight…
This last week has been an interesting one with ever-changing plans. The kind of interesting that happens with life in ministry and the associated spiritual battles. Last Thursday our family made the 10-hour drive to the capital city to take care of some things before we leave Madagascar next month. The kids and I were scheduled to fly back to Mahajanga while Jamie stayed in the capital to pick up Steve Fitch, the president of Eden Reforestation Projects and one of our bosses. While in Tana, Steve, Roger and Jamie would have several important business meetings before driving back to Mahajanga. Then they will travel to Mahabana early next week to follow-up with the 150+ employees who have planted over 25 million mangrove trees since 2006.? Now before I go any further, I need to set the stage. Mahabana, you may remember, is a really remote fishing village that has been taboo Jesus Christ and the Bible. We’ve been a part of a ministry team in Mahabana for over a decade and in that time, major transformation has occurred. The church is growing, people are coming to Christ, the forests are being restored, and lives are being transformed. It’s no wonder that every time prior to a trip to Mahabana we encounter a spiritual battle. We never expect these battles yet when they are upon us, we always realize what is taking place. This time, prior to Jamie traveling to Mahabana next week, is no exception.
Last Friday, Jamie started to experience an eye infection. No big deal… some antibiotic eye drops and we’d knock it out right away. The only problem was that after 36 hours, the infection was worsening. So we switched to a different medication. The worse the infection got, the less Jamie could see and driving suddenly became out of the question. In the middle of the night on Monday night/Tuesday morning, Jamie woke me up in total pain, unable to sleep, eye watering like crazy. It was then that I realized, despite our plans for me and the kids to fly out within just 10 hours, we would have to figure out another option. At 2am we prayed. We prayed for healing and for wisdom. Tuesday morning at 7am we called Air Madagascar to enquire about changing our flights. It was impossible because we purchased non-changeable family discounted air tickets. We would have to call back at 8:30am to speak with a manager. The only problem, we were supposed to leave for the airport at 8:30am. So we packed up our things as though we would still fly. And we prayed. At 8:15am we called again, Jamie spoke with the manager and explained the situation. “My wife and kids are supposed to leave. I’m staying in Tana to pick up my boss and have tons of important business meetings but I’ve got a raging eye infection and I can’t see anything and I certainly can’t drive. This is a medical emergency. Would you pleeaaaasssse allow us to switch flights? Yes, we know this is against company policy. Yes, we’ll be happy to pay the difference in fares.” After a lot of conversation, the manager agreed! Praise #1!
Instead of heading to the airport, we went to one of the better doctors here in Madagascar who then referred us to see an ophthalmic surgeon right away. Three hours later, Jamie was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer– an open sore on the cornea which is the clear structure covering the iris. If left untreated, this can cause permanent damage.
Praise #2– we were in the capital city when this occurred!
Praise #3– there was an actual specialist on the island and we got in to see him immediately!
Praise #4– the availability of medication to treat this condition and the underlying infection!
Instead of leaving my husband, me and the kids stayed and I was able to continue to be the chauffeur and drive Jamie to all the places he needed to be yesterday, including dropping off our teammates at the airport as they left the island and picking up Steve and Roger from the airport as they arrived in Madagascar.
Praise #5– Jamie’s infection is starting to respond to the medications and though still not able to drive, he’s feeling better.
Praise #6– One of our ministry partners is playing chauffeur for the next few days, including driving the guys the return 10-hour trip tomorrow to Mahajanga.
Praise #7– The kids and I returned home to Mahajanga after a non-eventful flight.
Praise #8– God is good all the time, He is victorious in the spiritual battles and we can trust in His working out the detail, in His care and in His protection of us!
I look forward to updating you on how God works next week during the trip to Mahabana.
(image from http://www.eyeplastics.com/80-Corneal/)