Nehemiah is just like any 10-year old boy. Most young boys get injured while playing, but because Nehemiah lives in a remote village along the Sepik, receiving medical attention for those injuries is much more difficult.
While playing in a tree, Nehemiah fell 20 feet (6 meters), fracturing several ribs and collapsing a lung. As our Medical Director, Chris Cooke, loaded the young boy onto the plane, he asked Nehemiah what had happened.
"I fell out of a tree. Masalai pushed me," Nehemiah replied.
Masalai are a part of the amimistic culture of Papua New Guinea and are believed to be evil spirits and a source of fear.
Before takeoff, our team gathered around to say a quick prayer of protection. During the flight, you could feel the anxiousness in the air. The last child our team had brought in who fell out of a tree passed away, and our hearts still ached from that loss.
While it was only a 35 minute flight, it seemed much longer as each breath became more of a struggle. Nehemiah's oxygen began to drop and Chris grabbed the Ambu bag to resuscitate Nehemiah mid-flight.
Upon arriving at Boram Hospital, physicians inserted a chest tube to relieve pressure and drain fluid from Nehemiah's collapsed lung. During the course of the night, he began having difficulty breathing yet again and had to undergo the same procedure on the other lung.
For 12 days, our staff visited Nehemiah, brought him an adventure Bible in Tok Pisin, and explained that because of Jesus, there wasn't a need to fear Masalai anymore. Before leaving the hospital, he told us that he was going to return to his village and tell everyone what Jesus did for him! Because of your faithfulness, both financially and in prayer, we are able to see lives saved every day. Thank you for sharing in this journey!
Sharing our Story!
We have been blessed in recent months to share our story with companies and churches all over the country - and the world! Thank you to the following churches and organizations for traveling this journey with us!