This post is a letter from a missionary woman in Tanzania. While she was being the hands and feet of God….her son was receiving a heart procedure in Texas Children’s Medical. Most would say she was crazy not to be there by his side. But you see…She serves an OMNIPRESENT Father, who was there with her in Africa and here in Texas with her husband and son. She is being used to ultimate glory….being the hands and feet of Jesus.

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One never knows what a day may bring. Yesterday was a particularly busy day filled with many visits by sick people. It’s not everyday we have a real doctor in our midst and so I had invited all my friends here with health issues to meet with Dr. Ocean Williams. As the morning headed into the afternoon, we had one last visitor. This elderly man’s name was Paulo from the village of Malanga. Paulo had heard that I send people to Lugoda (the Unilever hospital) for “treatment” and insisted that his daughter needed to go there as well. Paulo had been drinking the local brew, so I was a little bit skeptical about his story. I tried to explain to this animated father that Lugoda only offers help to outsiders with HIV/AIDS. He insisted that his daughter certainly didn’t have any virus. Reviewing his daughter’s health records, we could see that she hadn’t been tested for HIV and we could also see that this man had paid a lot for his daughter’s care with no success. Paulo and I went back and forth on the issue of HIV testing. In the end he concluded that he would simply accompany us to his daughter’s home in Malanga. He was insistent. So we went.

What we found was what was left of a beautiful mother of two sitting by a low fire. There was little left on her tiny body. Her name is Conastasia. I just wanted to cry as she whispered that she couldn’t lie down or breathe and that she was in terrible pain. Ocean said that she certainly needed HIV testing and that she probably had pneumonia and TB as well. I somehow managed to have exactly the right amount of money to transport her to Lugoda and to get her tested and help. I have no idea if the effects of HIV/AIDS can be reversed, but at least we can try. The father kept thanking me, but I tried to get him to recognize that truly this help came from God and not us. That was when Paulo looked me straight in the eye and said, “I don’t see any God, but I do see you!” I thought that perhaps at that moment I had had the awesome privilege to be His hands and His feet for these people. They let us pray for Conastasia and their forthcoming journey. I am so thankful that Paulo was so insistent as we would have missed a wonderful opportunity to be His hands and feet that day.

We are currently helping over 30 families get the treatment they need for HIV/AIDS and I only see the number growing. I am thankful some of my more experienced families are helping the new ones get to the hospital and through the right doors. It’s scary for these folks to navigate transport to new places much less the hospital. Their hope of living is outweighed by their fears. Please do pray that we would have wisdom as we try to address HIV/AIDS in the villages where we live. It is a reality that we cannot close our eyes to.

In His service,
Susan

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