The mosquitoes that buzzed outdoors brought no comfort to Seafra’s family. For the 50-year-old father of four who farmed for a living, he knew that he had two options: He could use what little earnings he made to feed his family, or he could risk temporary starvation to purchase a mosquito net they desperately needed. If he didn’t purchase a net, sickness would continue to ravage his family. The weights on the scale of importance never seemed to balance.
The Burden of Disease
Seafra and many other of his fellow villagers faced the same problem: mosquitoes. The tiny insects carried numerous harmful, and sometimes fatal, diseases. Malaria, and tyhpoid took turns infecting the villagers. The WHO estimates that 409,000 people worldwide died from malaria in 2019, with more than 229 million cases across the globe.
Seafra and his family members had already fallen ill to many of the mosquito-borne maladies. And if one or more of his family were to become infected again, he knew their funds would not be enough to pay for the subsequent medical bills.
But then Seafra and his family were invited to a local church led by Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Kedrik. At the church, the family received insecticide-treated nets to ward off mosquitoes. These special nets have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of malaria over the past 20 years. Together with other prevention programs, these nets have prevented an estimated 7.6 million malaria deaths.
After receiving the net, the family confided in Pastor Kedrik the struggles they faced. While the nets would provide ample protection against further disease transmission, the trauma of past illnesses caught from mosquitoes still lingered. Pastor Kedrik continued to visit the family once a month, praying for them and encouraging them.
Unexpected Blessing Amidst Unexpected Tragedy
Four years later, the threat of becoming ill from a vector-borne disease had vanished. Seafra and his family spent their nights in peace under the mosquito net’s protection. But then a crippling medical crisis struck the family when Seafra began experiencing severe knee pain. Unable to properly tend to his farm, Seafra was taken to various doctors, and the family performed various traditional rituals.
After exhausting nearly every avenue and selling most of their farm to pay for them, Seafra’s family asked Pastor Kedrik to pray for Seafra’s healing. They knew Pastor Kedrik cared for them; he had shown it through the surprise gift of a mosquito net and through his friendship throughout the years.
Then, after a period of continuous prayer, the pain in Seafra’s knees vanished. He could walk properly again; he could provide for his family again. So touched by his healing, Seafra and his entire family began attending Pastor Kedrik’s church, desiring to continue experiencing the tangible love of God.