Bitten In A Third-World Country

22 06 2013

Blood ran down my leg as I struggled to get the dog to let go. He was medium-sized , scrawny, and mangy…and wouldn’t leave me alone.

It was my first trip to a foreign country on a mission trip. In this country, dogs are everywhere and more like rats than pets. They wandered around at the hospital where the medical team served, dug through the trash, wandered in and out of patient rooms, and watched for scraps of food to eat. They weren’t aggressive, so the one attached to my leg was unusual.

Prior to our departure from the US, the leader of our group, Suzie Smith, recommended that we memorize Psalm 91. This was the chapter the Lord gave to them when they began Global Passion Ministries in the 90s. I figured they knew a little more about the mission field than I did, so I followed her advice. I was thankful that I had.

After a few minutes’ fight with the animal I managed to chase him off. I looked over the open wounds on the back of my calf and wondered what to do.

We had come to this town to repair cleft lips, remove tonsils, and perform minor surgeries for the locals. In other words, I was with a host of medical professionals. If I told them about the dog bite, all attention would turn to me. It would be a huge diversion from what we were there to do. The focus would be on getting rabies vaccine shipped, and taking care of me.

What to do?

The Scripture I’d memorized came to mind; specifically this part:

 “Because you have made the Lord, even the Most High, who is my refuge, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.”

Psalm 91:9, 10

“Okay, Lord,” I said, “I get what You mean. The chapter begins with, ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High…’. I am abiding in You. What plague could exist in You? Either Your Word – all of it – is true or You have lied to us. I believe You are Truth. Here’s my chance to walk in light of that truth.”

I returned to my room and cleaned up my leg with soap and water. I told no one.

Although the wounds were deep, they didn’t even turn pink from the barest hint of infection.

After we got home, I told Suzie about the dog bite. She immediately scolded me for my silence.

I responded, “You and I both know that all focus would have snapped to me. We weren’t there for me.”

“True. We’d have called home, bought the meds and had them flown here. One of the Customs guys probably would have kept it. That would have been a huge distraction. I’m glad you didn’t say anything…but don’t do that again!”

On the flight home, I read through Psalm 91, then closed my Bible and said, “Father, thanks for showing me that Your Word works when I’m in a third-world country. The next time I come, I’ll be sure to trust what You have said.”

He replied, “Oh, you don’t think you need My Word at home?”

Yikes! I certainly didn’t want to be tried in this way again!

This event served to strengthen my faith in the Bible…to live as if it is really trustworthy. As a result, my walk with God – and especially the way I pray – was changed forever. I no longer beg and plead for God to do something He said He would do, but instead thank Him for His faithfulness in the matter.

“Has He not said, and will He not do it?”

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25 responses

23 06 2013
Mary

Powerful!!!

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Mary. Trusting Jesus is much easier since this event.

\o/

22 06 2013
Tanya M.

What a wonderful reminder to trust God’s word wherever we are and that He is forever faithful. Love God’s timing here. I feel like this reminder is preparing my heart for a similar mission that’s been on my heart. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Funny to find your comment here. I just left your blog after leaving a comment for you there. Hmm, sounds like that mission needs to move from your heart to your feet. 😉

\o/

23 06 2013
Tanya M.

Loved what just happened here. God’s timing is perfect. Amen? Amen.

23 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

and Amen!

\o/

22 06 2013
ddclaywriter

I appreciate your faith but what were thinking Tami?!?!
So happy the Lord gave you a clean wound. He is good isn’t he?

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

I was thinking, “Is the Bible true or not?” God seemed to be asking me the same question at the moment. “Do you trust Me?” It certainly wasn’t MY idea. I’m not big on “tempting” God.

He gave me a respect for His Word that I certainly lacked before that day.

22 06 2013
ddclaywriter

He stretches us doesn’t he? The Bible is true and he brings us all to those points when we have to ask ourselves, “do we really believe? do we really trust Him and take Him at His Word?”

Thanks for sharing your faith and trust; and of course your wicked gash.

22 06 2013
Heidi Viars

What a wonderful reminder to trust God and His Word. What an amazingly practical and loving God we serve. Your heart for Him is so evident and is contagious. Much love to you, sister! Keep reminding us, will ya!

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Contagious? Really? Woohoo…that’s my earnest desire, to attract others to the Lord. Thanks, Heidi!
\o/

22 06 2013
cshowers

Hallelujah Tami. Thank you for posting this. It was an encouragement to me. God bless you, my friend.

Love,
Cheryl

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Cheryl. 🙂
\o/

22 06 2013
Kari Anne Dorstad

Praise God for his promises of protection at home and everywhere else he places us.

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

He never leaves us, never forsakes us!

\o/

22 06 2013
pastorpete51

Thank you for sharing this personal testimony. I re-blogged your post because there is nothing more challenging than a true story! God bless you in your service for Him!

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you kindly. That was the best lesson in trusting the Lord that I’ve had in a long time. He is so patient as He teaches us!

\o/

22 06 2013
pastorpete51

Reblogged this on praise2worshipdotnet and commented:
I have been on a couple of missions trips and this kind of thing as been in the back of my mind. Thank you for challenging us to trust Jesus as you have!

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you!

\o/

22 06 2013
bluebeadpublications

A dog bite can be scary.

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Unless you have Almighty God to hide in! 🙂

\o/

22 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Yes, He will do just exactly as He promises! So glad that the LORD is soooooo faithful to all His promises!

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Umm hmm. You know it!

\o/

22 06 2013
Karina Susanto

Great post..! love it..:)

22 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Great God – oh, how I love Him! 🙂

\o/

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