A young general practitioner disinfected the abscess with iodine; froze it, cut a small incision, enlarged it and squeezed. The “freezing”, however, failed to take, and excruciating pain seared through my arm! More disinfectant and gauze pads were then applied until, at last, my ordeal ended.
Next I attended to the payment. To my dismay I discovered that the charge for the oxygen mask alone was over 500 KSh. Oh G-d, I thought, how will I pay for it all?
Moreover, while filling out the prescriptions at the pharmacy, I realized with consternation that this was the first time ever in all my travels that I had failed to get medical insurance. Without exception I had never travelled without medical insurance - except for this one time. And this one time I needed it desperately.
Following our stay at the hospital, we met with Rev. Esther Maingi at Rivers of Joy Faith Christian Centre where I had been scheduled to hold meetings. We both expressed our bitter disappointment at having to cancel the services, and after some fellowship we ordered pizza. I was feeling better now, and also needed food to take the medicine. I ate several somewhat greasy pieces. We prayed and left for home, unprepared for what lay ahead; the drive back turned into a nightmare.
Utter chaos, bordering on madness, engulfed us. Matatut buses (mini-buses that ride all over Kenya) and trucks forced their way ahead of PKW’s, congesting the highway and every alternate route. Movement was impossible - either forward or backward. And whether we closed the windows or opened them, either way was as dreadful since breathing the moist heat in the car or the petrol fumes outside was equally nauseating.
Stuck in this inextricable traffic mess for 4 hours, the petrol fumes intensified my indigestion from the disagreeable pizza. Thank G-d my friends had a plastic bag in the car! Although accustomed to Nairobi traffic jams, both noted with dismay that they had never ever encountered a traffic jam of that magnitude.
“Who are you,” they both asked, “that the devil is fighting you so hard, filling your path with endless obstacles?”
“I believe because she has a ministry to all of Africa,” Joseph mulled. “She has a great anointing.”
It sure didn’t feel like it. I vomited all night, unable to keep so much as a drop of liquid. By morning I was so weak I KNEW I had to see the doctor once more. He agreed to see me even on this Shabbat day. With tears, I thanked G-d profusely.
I pleaded with G-d to spare us another traffic jam, alarmed I might not survive it. I could neither raise my head nor lift an arm nor walk nor stand when we arrived at the hospital. Joseph quickly got me into a wheelchair and rolled me up to the doctor’s office. I must have looked like a wilted flower with my chin drooping on my chest and my arms hanging down for the receptionists cried out, shocked at the sight of me.
Immediate hospitalization was ordered by my physician to treat the incessant vomiting and severe dehydration. I wanted a bed in the cheaper ward, but my Father in heaven knew better, for after a 2 hour wait the only bed available was in the private room my doctor had requested. I had no strength left to resist. All I longed for was rest and water – to drink – oh G-d, to DRINK! The thirst was maddening!
But first we had to go to Admissions and make a deposit of 70,000 KSh with – Or Tzion’s VISA credit card! By this time I was so miserable I didn’t care anymore how I paid or how much. Costs, credit card, debt had all become irrelevant. Deep down an urgency warned that I would be in far more serious troubles if I refused treatment again. Like a helpless child I let myself fall into the Lord’s arms.
I entrusted my credit card to Joseph who took care of everything, while I was taken up to my room. A nurse was already waiting for me to insert the IV. Four bags of water were administered immediately. Thirst was torturing me as drinks were withheld due to the vomiting. When painkillers, antibiotics and other medication were added to the 5th bag, I reacted as the day before with intense freezing accompanied by violent trembling.
Suddenly they discovered I was allergic to codeine, which had triggered the reaction and was aggravating the vomiting.
The medical staff was wonderful. Each nurse on my floor was courteous, caring, friendly and encouraging. They also were quick to respond to all of my needs. The head nurse, Roxanne, was fantastic, much like the one described by Carmen Bailey in her book, “The Big Trek”31.
My doctor, who is blessed with a good sense of humour, was superb and despite his exalted position in Kenyan medicine, unpretentious. He had diagnosed me correctly and ordered the proper treatment, but I had refused for fear of the cost.
Upon examining my wound, the doctor insisted on 3 tub soakings daily in hot water as there was no time for the necessary surgical measures since my flight back home was alrady on Monday evening. I did not realize the extent of the infection and thought the soakings were simply meant to cleanse the wound. However, they were in order to draw out more of the purulence. There was little else the doctor could do.
By Sunday I could get up by myself and feeling much better. I even watched some television from a TV set mounted on the wall in my room. . The hospital food was excellent, allowing the patient to choose his own menu from several options. But I still was allowed only tiny sips of water. Joseph and Allen divided their time between staying with me and ministering at church.
Finally on Monday morning I could drink to my heart's content. I was in heaven, relishing every drop of my diluted orange juice when I heard a knock at the door. To my surprise, my contact from the Israeli Embassy walked in to see me and discuss our project in Webuye. Shortly thereafter Bishop Bera arrived to my delight, having traveled 8 hours by matatut bus to come visit me. He felt greatly responsible that I had become so seriously ill in his house.
While I was packing Joseph went again with the credit card to finalize payment. From the 70,000 KSh deposit they took 45,000, the rest was re-accredited to the VISA. The doctor, whose fees were separate from those of the hospital, claimed that had I had the surgery as suggested by him initially, I would have paid less. Undoubtedly, he knew best.
Altogether, the Hospital and doctor costs amounted to $ 4,036.50. Adding the $ 2,368.92 charged for the plot of land plus transaction fees and the usual charges for the Or Tzion’s VISA, the debt amounted to over $ 12,604.00. This meant that there would not be enough funds in the Or Tzion account to cover the new minimum payment because I had given our daughter Ruhama – still a new immigrant - $ 1,500.00 to help pay for the 3-months rent, according to the Lord’s instructions.
As Job said, “What I have feared has come upon me,” so it happened to me.
For a brief moment I had bowed to the most debilitating force that counters our faith – that of fear – as my focus shifted from God to my circumstances.
Now, rather than exulting in G-d’s faithful provision, I face an increased debt of $ 13,134.60, due to late charges since the automatic payment was not covered by the Or Tzion account. Thanks to friends sending me some money I was able to make a partial payment, alas not the full minimum amount. Thank G-d, the monthly fee for the web site of “The Electronic Tabernacle” was thus covered by the VISA.
Now, however, Or Tzion’s account stands at $ 15.00.
Back home it hit me -- my succumbing to fear instead of standing firm in faith and trust, I failed my beloved Lord, offending Him. Broken hearted and deeply grieved, I repented and mourned for days. I vowed to keep Daniel’s fast of mourning32 until I will see my G-d’s deliverance.
No longer anxious, I have made my request known unto Him with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving33. I offer Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay my vows to the Most High. I call upon Him in this time of trouble and He will deliver me and I shall glorify Him34.
This I know - that G-d is for me. In G-d, Whose Word I praise, in the L-RD whose Word I exalt, I trust beyond a shadow of a doubt. He will ensure that I have all that I need and for every good work. Yes, my G-d will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Messiah Yeshua, exceedingly, abundantly and beyond all that I can think, ask or imagine. Having brought the full tithe unto the L-rd that it might minister unto the needy, He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour down for me an overflowing blessing, and also rebuke the devourer for me. Moreover, because I give with a cheerful heart, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall be poured into my lap35.
Surely, the Lord my G-d, my heavenly Father and His Son, Messiah Yeshua, shall deliver me according to these His promises.
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