"I will kill that Maestro!"
By Peter Sinagpulo
An epidemic of German measles struck the village. We
were not able to save two of the babies. My heart ached as I
watched the parents weep over the loss of their precious young
ones. But there were other babies to attend to.
The houses in the village were scattered some distance
apart, making it impossible for just the two of us missionaries
to get to each home each day. The nearest hospital was a day's
hike. The children were not immunized. The government health
workers cannot reach that far, especially since these mountain
tribe people are dangerous.
My partner and I we were visiting a baby struck down by
the deadly measles. The baby lay motionless and was gasping for
breath. The parents and the rest of the family members gathered
around their patient, doing nothing for the sick baby-only
watching, crying, and waiting for the baby to breathe her last.
We didn't have anything more left in our medicine
cabinet for this big problem. What we had available were thermo
bandages, betadine, and alcohol. And what could we do with these
against measles? "Lord," we prayed, "You alone can heal this
child. We don't have anything to give her for the measles. The
hospital is too far, and it's useless to try the day-long hike.
We're afraid our patient might die on the way."
With only a face towel in our hands and a prayer on our
lips, but with strong faith that the Great Physician would heal
using our towel and His Spirit, we talked with the father. He
didn't say a word. He just stared at us with a puzzled look and a
wrinkled forehead. Then he asked, "How can this towel dipped in
cold water and placed on her forehead heal our baby?" It was
obvious that he didn't like what we were doing.
After some bed bathing, which was the only thing we
could do to help the fever subside, we prayed: "Lord, please
touch this child with Your healing hand and make her whole
again." We left with the sure hope that the good Lord would heal
her. We shook the hands of the family members but the father
refused, and stared at us angrily.
"What is wrong, Datu?" I asked but he continued to stare
at us without another word. We left with heavy hearts thinking
that whatever happened, he would blame us.
When we reached our cottage, we were alerted by somebody
who came running after us. "Sir! Sir! The father is very angry!"
"Why? What happened?" I inquired.
"The BABY! The BABY!"
"What about the baby?"
"The baby just stayed motionless. The father knew that
the wet towel you were using was not a medicine at all, and he
was insulted. He threatened to kill you. He said 'I WILL KILL
THAT MAESTRO! I WILL KILL THAT MAESTRO!'"
With this startling news, I asked my partner to come
inside the cottage. There beside our bed, we knelt. "Lord God,
our Great Physician, there is nothing else we can do to save the
baby. Please spare her life as well as ours. Amen."
Everything was quiet now, save the sounds of the
crickets alternately chirping at each other in the moonlit night.
"Whatever will happen tonight?" we wondered. We had our
worship. In this mission school, we don't gather the children for
worship because of the far distances between their houses. We
sang and read promises of God from the Bible that told us that
God would protect us from danger. We prayed. In that prayer we
pleaded again for God to heal the baby and to protect us from the
"bolo" (big knife) of the angry father.
While we were preparing for bed, we noticed through the
slits of our wall, silhouetted in the moonlight, some figures
coming toward us. We peered out and we recognized the family we
had just visited. The father was carrying the sick baby wrapped
in a blanket hanging from his neck. "What is happening now?" I
asked my partner.
"Continue to pray," he answered back. As the family came
nearer, our hearts beat faster and faster. Suddenly we saw the
family turn to the right towards the school. I remembered that
the house next to the school was the father's sister's house. We
guessed that they were joining with other family members for
comfort in case the baby died. This is what these people do in
their culture. Our curious eyes, through the slits, were glued to
the father. We were anticipating dangerous moves against us. We
noticed that the father was looking at our cottage.
"He really is furious!" I told my partner. When they had
passed the school, the father was still looking back at our
cottage. We prayed again. And once more we asked the Lord to heal
When morning came, there was a knock at our door. When I
answered it, I saw the father with a smile on his face and some
sweet potatoes in his hands. "Thank you, Maestro," he said. "My
baby is well now!"
We praise the Lord that He intervened on our behalf and
healed that very sick baby. We continue to pray that the father,
and the others in this village, will also learn to love and trust
the Great Healer that we worship.
Peter Sinagpulo is an adopted minister under the AaMI program and
works with the Mountain tribes of Mindanao.