Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Message from Dan Stauffer, Jr/Sr High Math Teacher

"When I think of God's goodness to me and my family, I reflect back to a difficult experience that began on July 4, 2000. At the time I was living with my wife and two children in a remote part of Africa, just beginning a translation of the Bible for the Songhai people. On that particular Tuesday afternoon my wife lost her ability to respond and communicate clearly; she had contracted malaria. Being thousands of miles from a modern hospital this was quite frightening. What could I do? God had the right people in place, and I was able to arrange an evacuation flight to the capital city (2 days away by car, but only a 3-hour flight). Of course, I "knew" for sure that we would return to our home within a couple of weeks and pick up our ministry where we had left off. However, the doctors in the capital were very concerned. This was not an ordinary case of malaria. It was, in fact, cerebral malaria. Bad news: most people who contract such a severe case of cerebral malaria do not survive. It was evident that the medical help in the capital was not good enough, so we were encouraged to evacuate to Paris. The corporate jet rented to us for this special evacuation belonged to the president of a neighboring country. It carried the whole family to France. A few days later as my wife lay in the hospital dying from parasites in her blood, I received the news that the cost of our evacuation flight had exceeded the insurance by thirty thousand dollars. What could I do? I was losing my wife, and I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Again God had the right people in place. The doctors did their work with fantastic skill, and my wife made a full recovery--incredible! Many people who heard about our evacuation debt wanted to contribute and make sure that it would not be a burden to us. Within two to three months we owed nothing--incredible!

God answered our prayers in the way we had hoped. However, today I still have to ask myself: what if I had lost my wife? What if I had worked for years to pay off the debt I had incurred? My life over the past eleven years would have been a lot different. It seems I would have been so devastated. I need to remind myself that even if God had not used the doctors to heal my wife and blessed me with contributions from faithful supporters to meet my financial need He always leads me through what is ultimately best for my life. In spite of my lack of understanding, God always does what is right--He never makes mistakes. That's the assurance I want to face the experiences I have in my life...experiences that seem to turn out right and those that I think should have had a different conclusion."

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