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I will praise You in the storm


Lynn and Sharon are both family physicians. They spent 10 years serving as doctors at Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya and the past 14 years at the Red Bird Clinic in Kentucky. They opened a Mission Society field in South Sudan in 2012, where they partner with the East Africa Conference of the United Methodist Church. They teach a Community Health Evangelism program in South Sudan, which has one of the poorest health care situations in the world.

Here, Lynn shares what he has learned through a season of illness.

Since beginning our service here in South Sudan, Sharon and I have been working hard to practice all of the disease-prevention methods that we teach. However, these last few months, we have had more illnesses than the whole first year that we lived here.

As the new year began, we both experienced some significant intestinal infections. Then, a couple of months ago, Sharon contracted malaria and was successfully treated. She contracted a new case of malaria six weeks later, and she is now doing fine after a second treatment.

The day after Sharon started feeling better, I discovered that I had malaria. Unfortunately, despite finishing my course of treatment a few days ago, I have not improved. This could mean that I have a resistant form of malaria and the treatment involves a very unpleasant medicine.

I have been praying a lot during these days at home. The Lord continues to challenge me now, even as He did when I was sick for such a long time in the spring. I hear Him say, "I know that many of your brothers and sisters have been praying for you, and you should rightly praise Me when you recover. But, will you still praise Me if I do not take this away?"

I remember Paul's thorn in the flesh, which was not removed despite Paul's earnest prayers for that to happen (II Corinthians 12:7-9). So, I have answered my Lord, "I do not know whether or not I will get better tomorrow, or if I am headed towards a difficult treatment which will keep me out of ministry for a while, or maybe something else will happen. But this I know – I will praise You no matter what comes, my Savior and my God."

He is the only One worth the trust of our hearts forever. He has always been faithful to me. I must strive to be faithful to Him.