Will all you lovely people pray for my friend, Amanda, today? Today, Amanda is slowly waking up from sedation, and none too thrilled about the host of tubes and wires to which she's connected. 

Amanda has been living in Uganda for almost a year now, teaching a handful of missionary kids in an adorable 1-room school hut, working at an orphanage, loving on the special needs kids there, and leading a Bible study for the teenage girls. 

Amanda came home a few weeks ago to be with her mother, who was having surgery, and the day after her mom's surgery, Amanda fell ill and was admitted to the ICU. 

Come to find out, Amanda has the first documented case of cerebral malaria in the United States, and she had the highest percentage of parasitic infection in her red blood cells that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta has ever seen - 41%.

And she is pulling through!  Through a severe bout of a very deadly disease.  Crazy!

The bolt (monitoring the swelling in her brain) was removed this morning, as her levels have been within normal range for a few days, but she is still hooked up to a central IV and a ventilator.  The doctors have had somewhat of a difficult time waking her up, as each time they try, she becomes pretty agitated with the breathing tube.

It's difficult for me to think of my friend this way, when I've only ever known her to be an effervescent bubble of optimism and energy.  (As her RA, I had people asking me to "shush" Amanda's room because she and her roommate were "too perky, too happy, and laughing too loud.") 

I know that Amanda would tell, will tell, everyone that cerebral malaria is worth it, because reaching people is worth it.  And reaching people is worth it because God is worth it.  It's like C.S. Lewis said/wrote/thought somewhere (and I'm paraphrasing) - Christianity, if it is false, is of no importance whatsoever.  But considering the nature of the message, if it is true, it is the most important thing of all - and we should leverage our lives around it.    The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.  I know that as soon as Amanda is able, she will be back joyfully, enthusiastically serving people in Uganda, because she knows with such conviction that for now, it's exactly what she's supposed to be doing. 

So today, will you please pray for the healing of my friend?  You can pray that Amanda tolerates the breathing tube until they are able to take it out.  Pray for the strengthening of her lungs, where there was some damage, and that the ventilator stats keep moving in the right direction.  You can pray for peace and rest for Amanda.  Peace and rest for her family (two parents, a brother and sister), as this has been a challenging couple of weeks for them.  (Because of ICU restrictions they haven't had as much contact with Amanda as they would like, and you know, when someone you love is ill - it's never enough.)   You can pray for a swift, full recovery, and for Amanda's ministry in Uganda, where she is dearly loved. 



"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." [Acts 20:24]