Happy Holidays dear Friends,
I must admit my ‘Christmas spirit’ is down somewhat this year, maybe it’s because I’m focused on Dave & I leaving for a 6-week mission trip on December 30th to Vanuatu & Solomon Islands. But it’s still early and I have been watching some Christmas shows which always helps, lol. I am so grateful for all that God has given to and through us and our hearts are full as we anticipate helping many more in just a few weeks. We have 3 suitcases packed with 6000 Gospel tracts in 3 languages and 50 ‘Jesus’ film in 8 languages. Our purchase of 291 Bibles and 1000 Scripture booklets in the Roviana language are being shipped from Honiara and will await our arrival on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands for distribution next month. In Vanuatu, we look forward to reconnecting with Pastors, Chiefs and old friends, sharing Scripture Booklets, showing the Jesus film and distributing Bibles as God provides funds. Lord willing we will revisit the hospitals and prisons too. Precious souls will invite Jesus into their lives because of this outreach in Jesus’ name.
God is also using us in eSwatini (formerly named Swaziland). This year we have continued to work with Thea Litschka-Koen, Founder of Swazi Anti Venom Foundation providing antivenom to snakebite victims and support to their families. Just this week Thea sent us this story: “I got a call, an SOS from a hospital. They had just received 2 victims… each brought in by ambulances, and didn’t have enough antivenom, and could I help.” Packing a cooler- box, I was trying not to worry that the 1.5-hour drive might be too long. When I arrived, it was clear both victims were very ill, clearly showing the classic neurological symptoms. These included total ptosis, slurred speech, the unique “pins-and-needles, weakness, laboured breathing etc. In no time the doctor and his team were moving between the two beds. Four hours later, both victims were stable, despite some very scary moments when victim 2 developed a severe reaction to the antivenom. Once everyone had settled, we stood in stunned silence as the family and victims relayed the bizarre story…
Victim 1 was working in his vegetable garden when he stood on the snake, the mamba objected and bit him on the back of the leg; a family member called for an ambulance without delay. The response time was excellent, and soon he was on his way to the hospital.
Victim 2 jumped into the family vehicle and was soon following the ambulance. As he started driving, he felt something at his feet. The next minute he was looking at a snake, standing tall between his legs, looking at him in the face. Instinctively he says he fought the snake by knocking it away, grabbing it, watched the snake bite him 3 times. He lost control of his vehicle, and the next thing the car started to roll. A second ambulance was dispatched…
Driving home much later that night, I reflected on what could have happened. What were the odds that a Black mamba had bitten both brothers? Was it the same Black mamba, or had a second mamba taken up refuge in the car? Guess we will never know…With a little help from our Friends, everything worked out this time, all thanks to fantastic teamwork. Although the Antivenom Foundation managed to assist and save lives on this occasion, the situation remains critical. Antivenom stocks remain critically low throughout the country. Every hospital has several victims, and the Snakebite Season has just started. If you can assist in any way, we would greatly appreciate it. UPDATE: BOTH VICTIMS HAVE RECOVERED FULLY. Thea Litschka-Koen”
It was in June when Dave woke up in the morning and asked God ‘who is the Macedonian man today Lord?’ The answer came quicker than expected in an email from ‘Angie’ a Park Ranger Dave had met in eSwatini a year and a half earlier. Then Angie had asked for a Bible and prayer because she had cancer and was planning to go to South Africa for treatment. This email was desperate, she was very sick and had not been getting proper medical help.
She had other medical issues as well as no food and lived with her ill 90-year-old grandmother. Thank you to those supporters who have given specifically to help Angie in her time of need. She is now receiving medical care and we have put her in touch with The Luke Commission there as well as Thea going above and beyond to assist. Please pray for Angie, she knows the Lord and we are praying for God to give her peace, direction and comfort during this difficult time. Angie says she is ready for whatever God has planned for her.
So we recognize that the needs are many and this charity will help as God leads. Currently, we are praying for more funds for this upcoming Mission from December 30, 2019, to February 10, 2020. Our desire is also to continue partnering with Swazi Antivenom Foundation in supplying antivenom to desperate people. Be encouraged, your donations are making a difference and we are most grateful. Please keep us in your prayers for health, safety, direction & discernment into what God has planned for us and for the people He wants to bless in 2020.
Bless you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Dave & Abby Dever
Angie as a Park Ranger in eSwatini (December 2017) receiving a Bible