He was a bright young student in the new extended primary school on Salawe church station. We had been assigned to develop the new ministry in the area and that included teaching the Bible Classes in the school. I really enjoyed it and this student was eager to learn. Before he finished his studies in this school, he had accepted the Lord and was baptized. The new name he took at his baptism was Daudi (David – not his real name).
Time went by. He left the area, finished further schooling and returned to live near one of our furthest bush churches. He married, had two children and was elected an elder in that church. Both he and his family had a good testimony in the surrounding villages.
It was a heavily forested area in which he lived. To enlarge the size of his gardens, some trees and bushes had to be cleared out and the ground prepared. And this was his undoing!
(Note – the italicized portions following were details related to me by others. I do not have first-hand knowledge for verification.)
As he was clearing the ground, suddenly a snake attacked and bit him on the hand. It was said to be a dreaded bushmaster, cobra or a green mamba, one of the most deadly snakes in central Africa. He knew he was in trouble and quickly tied a string high above the bite to prevent the venom from circulating. Picking up his bush knife (panga) he headed for home.
He barely made it. Staggering into his village, he called to his wife in agony. His lower arm was swollen and numb from the circulation being cut off. Hearing what had happened, she quickly called a local “blood-leter” who came and drained out the swollen arm (of course hoping that the venom would also all drain out!) and cut off the string that was acting as a tourniquet. Relief – some! – . A local government dispenser was called who did what he could but Daudi soon fell unconscious. …. was in a coma for over 5 days. After the final day of unconsciousness, he awoke, asked for a drink and his wife prepared a meal for him.
Thin and weak, he spent several days sitting outside his house in the warm sun. Slowly he gained his strength back. His presence again in the bush church was a day of rejoicing.
I came into this when I received an invitation to a feast in Daudi’s village. My Land Rover bounced over the bush road, stopping at the bush church to greet the evangelist who I found had already gone to the feast. I continued on and came to his village. There was a big crowd there; smoke was ascending from the cooking huts; there was great anticipation of what lay ahead.
Time to eat – and did we eat! Ugali (stiff corn-meal mush), beef, chicken, boiled rice, copious amounts of sweet tea. All were satisfied.
Daudi stood up and called everyone to attention. He began by relating briefly what had happened, how he was considered at death’s door, how he was now restored to full health and strength as he was before. And, before all those assembled neighbors from surrounding villages, he gave earnest thanks to God for healing him; he gave a clear testimony to God’s grace and salvation; he exhorted all to listen to the message of Salvation and to “walk in God’s way”. It was tremendous!
I don’t really know the outcome of that evening’s happenings. All I know is that Petro (Peter), the local church leader, came to me to let me know that they were building a larger and more permanent church building. And Daudi was still an elder in that church.
PRAISE the LORD for faithful witnesses to our Savior.