Monday, May 16, 2011

Trusting the Great Physician

Sometimes it is taken for granted that someone is "safer" in the U.S. than overseas. America has the best medical facilities and thus access to a plethora of medicines, state-of-the-art tests, treatments, etc. But, that is not always the case.

Amanda K. center when she and fellow short-term missionaries, Debbie, second from left, and Meredith, second from right, visited Shepherd's Heart and Lingira Island in March. Amanda Taylor and I are shown far left and far right, respectively.

My friend Amanda Kruppenbacher is also a Global Outreach missionary and has been serving for nearly a year as a teacher of missionary children at Good Shepherd's Fold, an orphanage near Jinja, Uganda.

Amanda came home to the states just a couple of weeks ago to be with her mom, who is facing serious medical challenges. But, Amanda also came home with malaria. In Uganda, malaria is blamed for just about any sickness anyone comes down with, whether it is the real culprit or not. There, malaria is fairly easy to test and to treat as tests and medicine are readily available. However, you have a window of only a couple of days to begin treating malaria before the parasites in your bloodstream quickly multiply and the sickness develops into something worse, even fatal.

Amanda's malaria did develop into something worse - cerebral malaria, which means it affects the brain, causing swelling and other symptoms. Just a few days ago, Amanda was admitted into an ICU in a Pennsylvania hospital.

Medicine was not readily available and had to be shipped from Atlanta. But, praise God! Amanda's parasite levels in her red blood cells dropped from 41% to .2% in like a day - a total miracle! Her brain swelling is decreasing and she is becoming more responsive.

If you think of Amanda K., please pray for a full and complete recovery. I believe God still has much work for her at Good Shepherd's Fold and in Uganda.

Amanda's story is a reminder that our life and breath are very much in the hands of our God - the Great Physician. He is truly the Giver and Sustainer of all life!

Amanda's blog: (She wrote about her March visit to Lingira Island in a post entitled "Let us be thankful.")


  1. great blog post, Ruthie! Thanks for sharing. It has indeed been a reminder to me that God has all of us in our hands!

  2. Thank you, Amy! Thank you, too, for keeping us all updated on Amanda. I am so grateful for my missions family! : )
    By the way, I wanted to mention that my dad found your blog and loves it! :)

  3. I will definitely be praying for her...she travelled home with malaria? Yikes! Praise the Lord that she seems to be doing better!

  4. Mikaela, thank you for praying! Yes, it is very likely that she traveled home with malaria in her system, since symptoms don't show up until about two weeks after you are bit by a mosquito carrying the malaria. She is recovering, but is not out of the woods yet. So, prayers are much appreciated!

  5. Oh, my..yes, will be praying! But how wonderful she is a little better. <3 Thank you for your recent comments, Ruthie, on my blog! I really appreciate them. :) You asked my birthday~~it is in August, the 15th! I had my "golden birthday" last year. :D


  6. Lucia, thank you for the prayers! And, you're welcome for the comments - I enjoy your blog. :) It would be fun to meet up while I am home.

  7. I am praying for her, Ruthie--I know this must be a difficult time for you and her family and friends. What an irony you brought out regarding the lack of malaria medicine in the US--I never considered that before. Thankfully, God is not limited by our human resources or lack thereof!