a story of promises
In October 2009 we had relocated to Bahrain from Dubai. My sister-in-law, Estelle, called me from South Africa at 11pm on 27 Nov 2009 informing me that Leandi, my daughter, who was at university in Pretoria South Africa had been involved in a head-on collision with a drunken driver who ran away after the accident. Leandi had been travelling with friends to the Drakensberg for a vacation, a few hundred kilometres from her home. I was not aware of the seriousness of her injuries at that time. I finally got hold of my husband, Basie, who was in Pakistan at the time, so he could make arrangements for my flight to South Africa. When Basie got to the dining room the next morning in Pakistan, one of the guys travelling with him from Dubai, Leandro, said that his pastor from Brazil had called during the night and told him that a daughter of one of his friends was in danger but that she would not die! This was a prophetic word that gave us much hope during the following months.
Lamentations 2:19. “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord, lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”
We poured out our heart toward the Lord for the sake of Leandi together with so many others who were interceding for her. Through the course of the next months we became aware of people all over the world praying for her as well as contributing financially.
My brother and nephew drove the few hundred kilometres to Ladysmith that night at breakneck speed to be with Leandi. The next morning she was transferred by ambulance to Johannesburg to a private clinic. I arrived in South Africa the evening she had her first operation on her pelvis. As she was being prepared for the operation, she told me that Jesus had told her that, “All things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:28. She had an operation on the pelvis and on her arm, a bruised face and side and we assumed that was the extent of her injuries. She was put in an induced coma and the doctors were baffled as to why her stomach stayed bloated and her temperature was so high.
As we did not have medical insurance, we were concerned about the mounting bills and the hospital put pressure on us to move her to a government hospital. The community in South Africa and in the Middle East, churches and individuals rallied around us in an amazing way through financial support, friendship, numerous international calls and visits. We felt loved! In the beginning, we were still hoping that Leandi would be well enough to be a bridesmaid at her best friend’s and her brother’s wedding. But, beginning to understand the seriousness of Leandi’s condition, Basie flew to South Africa. I remember coming home one evening after spending the whole day at hospital. As my sister-in-law opened the front door I burst into tears, went up to my room and opened my Bible. My eyes fell on this passage:
Isaiah 49:12b “… for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will give safety to your children and ease them.”
What an amazing promise giving us such hope and encouragement in these difficult times! We poured out our heart like water before the Lord and lifted up our hands toward Him for the life of our daughter. (Lamentations 2:19b) We fed ourselves on the promises of God. She was transferred to the government hospital where each ICU patient had their own cubicle. We covered the walls with posters of Psalm 91 which we declared over her every night.
She was on a ventilator and had a feeding tube in her mouth. The swollen abdomen, temperature hikes and high septic markers continued. There were days of despondency and tears as the doctors spoke about possible dialysis and putting in a trachea down her throat. Several times during her hospital experience she was struggling to breathe, as when she was being transferred from one hospital to another, when she was wheeled to the CT scanner and one time when she pulled the ventilator out herself while dreaming. God protected her every time! His promises are true!
Late one evening the hospital called us and said we had to be there early the next morning as they had discovered that she had septicaemia. As I stood by her bedside that morning, her side burst open and the filth came pouring out. She was rushed into theatre and afterwards the doctor told us that within 48 hrs her organs will start to fail and she would die. BUT God! His promises were true. He had given a prophetic word that she will not die. Basie informed the doctor that this was not going to happen! She had been infected with septicaemia for 20 days without the doctors discovering it.
Psalm 144:5 “…. our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn palaces.”
John 16:22. “So for the present you are also in sorrow but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one can take from you your joy.”
I was reminded of a booklet I had read only a month or so before by Derek Prince called God’s Medicine Bottle. He had declared Proverbs 4:20-22 over himself while he was in bed for more than a year. I declared this over Leandi again and again.“ My son, attend to my words, consent to my sayings, let them not depart from your sight, keep them in the center of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, healing and health to ALL their flesh. This was the first of many abdominal operations. They took her to the theatre every other day, more than 6 times to clean out her abdomen. A Christian theatre nurse was involved from the beginning. She later told me that they did not have much hope for Leandi when they opened her up the first time. She was a God-send as she prayed in the theatre and encouraged us with the miracle of Leandi’s situation from a medical point of view.
Leandi could not attend any of the weddings that December. She was kept on morphine but could communicate on her computer or with the alphabet card. She still had tubes in her mouth so could not talk. Most visiting hours were filled with groups of people praying over her. They had to take turns visiting as so many came at the same time.
After more than 6 operations on her abdomen they finally decided to close her stomach by doing a skin graft and putting in an ileostamy bag. Her stomach had been open for about a month. I spent many days standing outside her room crying because of leaking bags and infected skinskingraftsgrafts. Timely promises encouraged me.
Jeremiah 30:17. “For I will restore health to you and I will heal your wounds.”
Psalm 41:3 “The Lord will sustain, refresh and strengthen her on her bed of languishing, all her bed, Lord, You will turn, change and transform in her illness.”
It was a slow process of learning to breathe, eat and walk on her own after two months. The trauma surgeon, Dr. Motilall asked her if she was religious, after which she replied, “No, but I love Jesus.” His reply was, “I can see He has helped you a lot!”
On the 1 February 2010 she was transferred to a rehab facility. They discovered that she had a hospital bacteria on all her wounds called MRSA and an urine infection. After hearing about this MRSA bacteria, I wanted to do some research on the internet to find out about it. It is a nasty hospital bacteria that is extremely resistant to antibiotics and therefore it is called a superbug. Reading more and more on the internet, seeing words like superbug, life threatening, never leaves your body, blood poisoning, made me very afraid. God told me to stop reading on the internet and told me,
“Do not judge by the sight of your eyes, neither decide by the hearing of your ears.” Isaiah 11:3(b)
He told me He was a Super God, more than a match for a super bug! I learned there was a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil ( like the medical facts) but I wanted to eat from the Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18), God’s Word and His Truth, which trumps the medical facts.
During this time we were served final notices by more than one doctor, we were threatened with legal action by the first hospital who did not want to negotiate a payment plan. We had taken money out of our house loan in South Africa and received many donations but the bills were insurmountable. I was reminded of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:15-20 where he received a threatening letter from the king of Assyria and Hezekiah spread it before the Lord, saying, “You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. Lord, bow down Your ear to hear, Lord open Your eyes and see, hear the words of Sennacherib which he has sent to mock, reproach and insult and defy the living God.” God’s response: “Your prayers to Me about Sennacherib, king of Assyria, I have heard.” We spread our bills and notification of legal action papers before the Lord. Some doctors gave us up to two-thirds discount, some said to stop payments till we could afford them, the hospital agreed to a payment plan. After approximately three years we had paid all the medical bills. God did work all things for good! What the devil meant for bad, God turned it into good!
The number seven is the number of completion, resurrection and physical and spiritual completeness. Nearly seven years after they discovered septicaemia and gave us such terrifying words of failing organs, Leandi is restored, in full health and more beautiful than ever. As Leandi put it, “He has brought me from the darkest pits to the Living Light and my life now speaks in itself of the Miracle He has done!”
What a great Super God we serve!