Getting Sick on the Mission Field Absolutely Sucks

Okay, okay, I know. Getting sick always sucks. I get that. However, being away from friends, family, and pharmacists that speak your native language make it even worse.

No one ever chooses when they'll be sick. If we could, we'd all pick never getting sick in the first place. No matter how much someone likes laying in bed all day they don't want to also be struggling to keep food down at the same time. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway because I'm a rebel) being sick sucks.

Now, imagine being 24+ hours away from a drugstore or pharmacy that can help you. Even if the local ones knew your language, Ibuprofen is probably illegal as is most Mucinex type meds. Need some cold medicine? Better get a prescription! Don't know any local friends to translate for you? Better hope Google translate can correctly convert "my back is killing me" into something that makes sense.  

Now, I live in Taiwan. A first world country by any measure. On top of that, I live in Taipei which is one of the most international cities in the world. Taiwanese, Mandarin, Japanese, English, and Cantonese are all spoken by large swaths of the population. So, chances are you can find a medical professional that speaks your native tongue. Unless you speak Somali, sorry to the 0.1% of the population on Earth that speaks that language. 

That means that missionaries who are in more remote locales have it rougher. Sending them medicine is dangerous and could get them in serious trouble in their host country. Check with them first to see what is legal and illegal where they are located. Also, the costs for serious medical attention can be astronomical. Getting someone from bush to bed in a hospital is not an easy feat. Always be willing to help out financially if they ask for medical help. Yes, medical bills are high no matter where you live. Except a simple cold isn't near as much a problem for someone in Arizona as it would be for someone in the heart of the Amazon.

I was sick earlier this week. That's what prompted this article. Being sick made me realize something that I often forget. I truly truly need the Lord. I mean it. Without Him I'm a goner. My health, future, work, ministry, fruitfulness, successes, failures, good times and bad times all rely on Him. When missionaries come to the field, they have to learn that again as in the early days of their faith. 

Psalm 62 hammers this home. My favorite verses in the Psalm are verses 5-7:

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God." 

Whether on the mission field or at home...
Whether in good health or sick as a dog...
Whether in safety or danger...
Whether in happiness or in depression...

"He only is my rock and my salvation..."


That's all for now travelers!

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May He make His face shine upon you.
May He give you peace.

See ya next time!

- Kenneth