Thursday, July 18, 2013

All I Want For My Birthday is a Mosquito Net!

I have been given 38 years. I do not know why God has been so gracious to me but I do not take one year for granted. I am surrounded by men, women, and children who will never see 38. So, I will count each strand of white hair with gratitude, accept every stretch mark as evidence of my abundance, and count each tooth in my mouth and thank God for the superior health care that I have received my whole life.

Now, with those lists of gratitude expressed, I will have to say that I did not usher in my 38th year with cake, presents, and a nice dinner out. For one thing, those things don't matter to me anymore, and secondly they don't exist here. Well, to be fair, you can make your own cake but who wants to do that on their on birthday, right?!

This birthday I awoke to bouts of vomiting ,extreme diarrhea, and a fever.  So, this has been the first time that I have been sick since we have been in Africa. Yes, I did thank the Lord for a whole year of great health before I began begging Him to let this not be anything serious. You see when you get the above symptoms here your mind begins to play tricks on you. You immediately think that you have some tropical disease.  So, to ease my thoughts, I asked Patrick to pull out my "African illness manual" that they gave us in our initial training when we arrived in Tanzania. As I tried to follow the flow charts with my varying symptoms I discovered that it could be anything from Malaria to Giardia. So, I began the waiting game marking my fever cycles which would help me with my diagnosis. I got sick of taking my temperature so I pulled out my Malaria self-test kit. After pricking my finger and putting my blood on the test strip, I waited the required 15 minutes for the results. To God's Glory, the test results were negative. These tests are not always conclusive so when I did not get relief from the fever Patrick and I were a little skeptical. I took more ibuprofen before I went to bed and To God's Glory, my fever broke in the night. I can not tell you how relieved I was. So, other than some exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration, I was on the road to recovery. Patrick made sure that I got plenty of rest, food, and fluids and I have made a full recovery.

I am so blessed, not because I am better, but because I have been given. I have been given a cabinet full of medicine to help with my fever. I have been given a mosquito net.  I have been given test-kits, and medical plans laid out for me.  I have been given a loving husband to stop and attend to my needs. I have been given, at one click, a whole team of prayer warriors who usher me before the Lord and petition for my healing. In a country where hundreds of thousands of people will die with malaria this year. I am blessed. Why am I blessed? To give it all away. In Luke 12:48 we are told "Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!" (msg)  So, how do I repay God for His gracious gifts?  I, in turn, give graciously to those around me.

You know that a mosquito net cost $8,000tsh here. That is the same as $4.93.  I know that it is shocking that people can not afford that, right? We blow $4.93 on stupid stuff like: candy, fast food, and junk at the dollar tree. Who would have thought that so little could help prevent hundreds of people from dying each year. It is not a full-proof cure to Malaria but it gives them a fighting chance. In a country where the average daily wage is $2,000tsh, what do you think they are going to spend their money on? If you had to choose between food and mosquito repellent, what would you choose?

So, this year my birthday ended up not being about me at all. I am totally fine with that. God showed me that, once again, I have access. Even 8,000 miles away from the land of the "fast and plenty" I am still very rich, very rich indeed. So from this year on my birthday will be about adding "life" to my fellow brothers and sisters in Tanzania. Would you like to join me? Would you like to buy a mosquito net? We have 120 little boys and girls in our Sunday school class that would love a mosquito net and more importantly they would love to know that it came from someone as awesome as you!

If you would like more information on how you can help to buy a mosquito net(s) for the children in our Sunday school class please send a message to my email address:

God Bless You as you help us Bless others!

1 comment:

  1. Kellee,
    I can't get the email to work, but please send me info on how to help. I know our SS class at FBS would want to help. If I hear from you today, I will ask them tomorrow.
    Thank you.
    Always praying for you and your family.