Captain’s Log-January 1 2018-Burnt Little Girl


Happy is her name, but she was not very happy the day I prepared to spread the Aloe gel all over her burnt leg.  But it was cool and she seemed to feel comforted that something good might come of this.

One morning at our prayer time before we start work Muno told us that his young daughter had spilled boiling water all over her leg the night before as she was helping her mother cook supper.  This is one of the most common accidents around the home in an African village, as the women cook over an open fire and there are always children around and helping with chores.  I often walk up the mountain behind our house and Muno’s was on the way, so I stopped by.  I met Happy, his little girl of about 10 years old, and I could immediately see that she had 1st to 3rd degree burns up and down her leg.  The surgeons were all gone and no one could do anything for her at the hospital at this time, so they had given her some Panadol (paracetemol) for pain and sent her home.  The leg looked terrible!  There were two spots especially where the meat of her leg was showing through, looking like what we see hanging on a hook at the local open market, and I was really concerned that it would get infected and there would be complications.


You can see how deep the burn is here, and other burns down the side and on the back were also bad. No bandage or medicine had been put on it and it was just raw flesh.  Anyone ID the type of Aloe Gel?

I know Aloe Vera is good for burns and we have some growing outside our kitchen door, so I went to get some.  When I returned to the house Cher said that we had a bottle of Aloe gel from the States that one of the visiting teams of volunteers had left for us.  She brought it out and I took it down to Muno’s house.  I spread the aloe liberally on the burns and told them to keep doing this each day till the gel was gone. Then we all gathered around and prayed for Happy’s healing.  We showed the pictures I took of her burns to Warren, the missionary surgeon here, and he said she would need a couple of skin graft operations.

But that’s not what transpired. Look how it turned out, without another visit to a doctor, in the before and after pictures. It is quite amazing.


Almost a month later I was passing by and was amazed to see how great the healing process had gone. Way better than I would have thought possible.

I have been thinking about this for a while now and have wondered what category to put it into. Happy’s speedy healing was a truly miraculous thing.  But was it the prayers to a healing God, or the aloe, or what?

Here is what I have been thinking.  My man, Matt Chandler, often talks about the “common graces” of God that are available to everyone, whether you believe in God or not.  A beautiful sunset,  a great steak and Cabernet, doctors and medicines, love and sex, the healing properties of the human body.  They are all gifts from our creator God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights,..” James 1:7.    I put the aloe in that category.

But, my goodness, this was truly amazing!  The chance of infection in such a big, deep wound, open to the air and dirt, with no bandage, is so great! And, in our area, the norm would have been for things to go horribly wrong. Why was this case so startlingly different?

What if we had not prayed?  What if some generous friends from the States had not left us the aloe? What if I had not stopped to visit? Believe me, I am not trying to toot my own horn here. I pass up so many opportunities to make a difference, I could feel like a total failure, (if I had any feelings at all).

The thing is, little things do make all the difference. I keep thinking of the boy who had 5 rolls of bread and 2 fish and gave them to Jesus, who turned them into enough food to feed 5000 people and still have leftovers! Did Jesus really need the boy’s stuff? I don’t think so. Yet still Jesus asked for it. And the boy got to be a part of the miracle.

I really want to be more “in the game”, to do the little bit that falls to me whether it is to go visit, or pray, or give the gel, or whatever. I want to be all in.

This entry was posted in Going Deeper, Medical, Mission and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Captain’s Log-January 1 2018-Burnt Little Girl

  1. Dick Martin says:

    Hi Jon, in cleaning stuff out after my parents’ home-going, I found your mom’s book. I am just over half done. What a wonderful accounting of God’s care for you all, even Vonnie’s getting hit by the car in Holland. I am a GFU classmate with Dave and Judy Woolsey and saw his name on your list of significant people in your life. I called him to ask him what the connection is with you and Cher. So glad he can take care of your business things stateside. Faithful guy. I hope to visit your mom sometime. My MIL is in Friendsview and we are over there about every week. We live on a 110 A tree farm near Vernonia.

    God bless you as you serve Him there in that part of the world. I had considered MAF at one time as did our son. Neither of us ended up being lead that way but we both love Jesus and airplanes. Thanks so much for your blog.

    Dick Martin

    • Jon says:

      Hey Dick, So nice to hear from you. Dave and Judy are wonderful. great friends and love hanging out with Dave. Yes, a faithful man. Love to come and see your tree farm sometime when I am back. We can talk about your love for Jesus and airplanes. Sounds like a good day to me. My mom is close to the manor. You probably drive by here each time you are there. Dave knows where. The book is a bit family but really has helped us never forget what God has done for us. We seem to forget to easily. Thanks for writing. Blessings on you, Jon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s