Posts tagged #tuberculosis

Jackie's Journey "My Shadow Princess"

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Arturo, Luisa, their family, and their oldest daughter, Anita

 As the plane lifted into the sky, I caught a glimpse of the entire village…waving farewell.  There was one girl who stood in front of the crowd, crying.  I would miss her most of all!  

 That young girl was my nearest neighbor, pictured above…almost as tall as her dad. She quickly became my shadow.  When two-month-old Kim would cry, she would run quickly to get her and bring her to me.  I did not understand her kind action but I always thanked her and stopped whatever I was doing to receive Kim into my arms.  

 Later I would learn what a very special gift I was receiving. The Kuna’s were very accommodating and took turns caring for each other’s babies, freeing mothers to leave the village and go into the jungle to tend their fields for hours. When the baby cried, the first mom to reach the distressed child would comfort and nurse that baby! 

 In our village, some of the mother’s had tuberculosis and “my shadow” had dutifully protected Kim for those early months after our entering Kuna land.  Our permission to live in Pucuro was granted by the Kuna elders. It was specifically given for us to bring medicine to the women who were losing their babies during childbirth and care for the sick.  In those early days, we were oblivious to much of their culture, yet silently God met my “unknown need” through the loving heart of a beautiful Indian princess named Anita.  

 Like Jacob of old in the “barren and howling waste of the desert”, “He (God) shielded us and cared for us, He guarded us as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them on its pinions.”  (Deut. 32:10-11)  The eye of an eagle can detect a rabbit or fish from over a mile away!  How much more is the protective eye of God on those who walk with Him.   

 What is your understanding of God’s protective hand? 

                         Did you know it comes with a condition?  

 “Dear friends,if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.”  1 John 3:21   Promises given in Scripture are generally followed by a condition.  

 Living under the divine protection of the Almighty God is a promise guaranteed, if we choose to walk by His standards and not our own.    Knowing He is invisibly working on our behalf when we are totally unaware of our need is a magnificent reality to comprehend when finally revealed in the light!  And it is a daily reminder to “walk our talk” so our heart does not condemn us.

  “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; 

                    and the Lord shall cover him all day long…”.  Deut. 33: 12

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on March 18, 2019 and filed under motherhood, spiritual growth, character and virtue.

Jackie's Journey: "If You Can Imagine..."

Life had become routine in the Darien jungles of Panama. The sounds of Howler monkeys, the screeching of magnificent multicolored parrots, and the beauty of the bright colored Toucan had become commonplace.  One morning we woke up to find two little spider monkeys on the front porch crawling on the girls’ bikes! 

I still could not reconcile with: the colossal spiders, the over-sized scorpions, the copious species of snakes, the blood-sucking vampire bats or the jungle army ants!  Nor would I ever find harmony with the dripping humidity and the ever-present roaches, chiggers and mosquitos!  However, I learned to appreciate the large iguanas for their tasty eggs.

Daily the Kunas would greet us early looking for sugar or oil and a morning visit.  We had become part of the community, and they had begun to accept us.  We had brought medicine, oil, and sugar after all!

The Indians had, somewhere along the line, become part of our family and we had become attached to them and their way of life.  We had learned so much from them and were amazed at their physical strength compared to their small stature.  Their ability to take one bullet and return with a deer or two bullets and return with two deer was uncanny.  We, also, learned much from their survival skills in the dense jungle.  But their openness to listen to the truth of God’s Word after a year and a half of total mistrust and resistance was the most astounding of all!   

Watching the young mothers with their babies and the respect and trust these women had for the older women in the village was heartening.  We had grown to love these very special people and had developed a mutually fulfilling relationship.  As they came to know Christ, our hearts were full of gratitude for the privilege of serving the King in such a rugged border region. 

The women swept the village once a week during dry season, and it was an opportunity for Sue Gunsteens, my partner, and I to listen to the women chatter and hear the community gossip.  You didn’t want to miss the sweeping because you would then become the object of their conversation that day!  The sweeping stirred up the tuberculosis germs.   

The Lord had given me a verse during missionary training that I claimed as I swept.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future”.   Jer.29: 11

I was consistently on guard because of something my Uncle, an orthopedic surgeon, had told me while he was visiting us at Language School.  He spoke quietly: “Jackie, you carry the TB germ from birth; it lays dormant now, but could activate in the right environment or as you get older”.  I was 25, so I only had to focus on the environmental issue, I thought to myself at the time!  During Congreso meetings we knew we had reached a level of tribal acceptance when they offered us a gourd filled with “Chicha” and everyone would drink from it!  Needless to say, I did not want to offend by NOT drinking from that cup

 God’s promises are continually sufficient

The Lord used these powerful words of promise, in the verse above, to banish my fear and sustain me as we swept the village, drank the “sugar cane-sweetened platano (cooking banana) drink” and treated the TB patients in their homes and the clinic.   

He knew my future and had it planned. There was, therefore, no reason to be troubled.  My focus was not on my fear but the need to keep in harmony with Him, His assignment and His will. 

Are you ever preoccupied with the future and what it holds for your life? 

In a world full of uncertainties, it is easy to “roll into” the pattern of helping God design your future, rather than simply submitting to Him and His plan, which comes with assurance and hope!

Jackie's Journey: My Shadow Princess

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     As the plane lifted into the sky, I caught a glimpse of the entire village waving farewell.  There was one girl who stood in front of the crowd, crying.  I would miss her most of all!      That young girl was my nearest neighbor and she quickly became my shadow.  When two-month-old Kim would cry, she would run quickly to get her and bring her to me.  I did not understand her kind action but I always thanked her and stopped whatever I was doing to receive Kim into my arms.      Later I would learn what a very special gift I was receiving. The Kunas were very accommodating and took turns caring for each other’s babies, freeing mothers to leave the village and go into the jungle to tend their fields for hours. When the baby cried, the first to reach the distressed child would nurse that baby!     In our village, some of the mothers had tuberculosis, and  “my shadow” had dutifully protected Kim for those early months after our entering Kuna land.  Our permission to live in Pucuro was granted by the Kuna elders, specifically to bring medicine to the women who were losing their babies during childbirth and care for the sick.  In those early days, we were oblivious to much of their culture, yet silently God met my “unknown need” through the loving heart of a beautiful Indian princess named Anita.      Like Jacob of old in the “barren and howling waste of the desert”, ”He (God) shielded us and cared for us, He guarded us as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them on its pinions.”  (Deut. 32:10-11)  The eye of an eagle can detect a rabbit or fish from over a mile away!  How much more is the protective eye of God on those who walk with Him.         What is your understanding of God’s protective hand?         Did you know it comes with a condition?           “Dear friends,  if    our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.”  1 John 3:21      Promises given in Scripture are generally followed by a condition.      Living under the divine protection of the Almighty God is a promise guaranteed , if  we choose to walk by His standards and not our own.  Knowing He is invisibly working on our behalf when we are totally unaware of our need is a magnificent reality to comprehend when finally revealed in the light!  And it is a daily reminder to “walk our talk” so our heart does not condemn us.        “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him;     and the Lord shall cover him all day long…”  Deut. 33: 12

As the plane lifted into the sky, I caught a glimpse of the entire village waving farewell.  There was one girl who stood in front of the crowd, crying.  I would miss her most of all! 

That young girl was my nearest neighbor and she quickly became my shadow.  When two-month-old Kim would cry, she would run quickly to get her and bring her to me.  I did not understand her kind action but I always thanked her and stopped whatever I was doing to receive Kim into my arms. 

Later I would learn what a very special gift I was receiving. The Kunas were very accommodating and took turns caring for each other’s babies, freeing mothers to leave the village and go into the jungle to tend their fields for hours. When the baby cried, the first to reach the distressed child would nurse that baby!

In our village, some of the mothers had tuberculosis, and  “my shadow” had dutifully protected Kim for those early months after our entering Kuna land.  Our permission to live in Pucuro was granted by the Kuna elders, specifically to bring medicine to the women who were losing their babies during childbirth and care for the sick.  In those early days, we were oblivious to much of their culture, yet silently God met my “unknown need” through the loving heart of a beautiful Indian princess named Anita.  

Like Jacob of old in the “barren and howling waste of the desert”, ”He (God) shielded us and cared for us, He guarded us as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them on its pinions.”  (Deut. 32:10-11)  The eye of an eagle can detect a rabbit or fish from over a mile away!  How much more is the protective eye of God on those who walk with Him.  

What is your understanding of God’s protective hand?

Did you know it comes with a condition? 

 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.”  1 John 3:21 

Promises given in Scripture are generally followed by a condition. 

Living under the divine protection of the Almighty God is a promise guaranteed, if we choose to walk by His standards and not our own.  Knowing He is invisibly working on our behalf when we are totally unaware of our need is a magnificent reality to comprehend when finally revealed in the light!  And it is a daily reminder to “walk our talk” so our heart does not condemn us.

 “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all day long…”  Deut. 33: 12