She’ll be Coming to the City when She Comes

So our team plan was to stay in the village until August before coming out for supplies.  I was excited to spend four uninterrupted months there, living with Juliana, Wellington, Lorena and Isadora in the Neno village, making friends and starting to learn a new language and way of life.  But God had a better plan.

He gave me exactly five wonderful weeks in the village which is now my home, full of new experiences, restful sleep, team-building, personal growth, budding friendships, eager culture and language teachers (of all ages), and overflowing joy.  What an amazing feeling to finally be among the people for whom I have prayed for a couple of years, learning their names and family connections while sitting on low wooden benches in their kitchen-buildings.

I am falling in love.

So if the village is such an incredible place, what would drag me away from it so quickly?






Another less serious issue (although it looks worse) developed on my legs.  Obviously, I wouldn’t have wanted a second skin condition, but since it had to happen, at least it was simultaneous, so I could really get “my money’s worth” out of the dermatologist visit.



And just for extra fun, two boils (who did not consent to being photographed).

I have already been to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with a secondary infection and ordered a number of blood tests to figure out what allergies and bacteria are causing all of this.  In the meantime, she prescribed an antibiotic, anti-allergy medication, topical cream and spray, which I am using in conjunction with as many natural remedies as possible.  Indigenous areas apparently are home to many “superbugs” (antibiotic-resistant bacteria) so I want to take advantage of being in the city to fight this on every possible front.

You may ask, “How is that God’s better plan?”  Honestly, I have no idea.  It doesn’t seem better, logically.  I am not learning the language and culture better, despite the audio recordings and dozens of pages of notes I collected in the village.  I’m certainly not feeling or looking or performing better.

You should have seen me waste 20 minutes on Tuesday, attempting to thread a needle to drain my blisters, using only my non-inflamed fingers.  After realizing it wasn’t gonna happen, I went next door to ask another missionary to do me a “big favor”.  She laughed sympathetically at the simple request, gladly threading and sterilizing my needle, while her husband took a picture of my infections to post on a prayer group.  The base missionary families have all offered wonderful support, inviting me over for lunch (main meal here) every day, and giving me rides since walking any distance results in agonizing pain later.

Even though this is not what I wanted or planned for, I am convinced that God meant what He said in Romans 8:28, 29b – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”  

I love God and am called by Him, and He is using this setback for my good and to make me more like Jesus, to shine His light more brightly among the Neno and love them more deeply.  That does sound like a pretty good plan after all.

Many favorite Bible verses are coming alive in new ways recently.  Paul wrote from prison, in Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

May Jesus Christ be magnified in my body also, whether by life, or by death (no imminent danger, don’t worry) or by disgusting and painful tropical skin conditions.

Will you help me fight this battle on the most crucial front of all, through prayer?

Please pray that I will:

  • Magnify and worship Jesus in every moment
  • Count it all joy (James 1:2-4)
  • Endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
  • Handle this patiently, keeping my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  • Use wisdom and common sense in taking care of myself
  • Respond well to medication and natural remedies
  • Discover the underlying allergies and causes
  • Recover sufficiently to return to the village as soon as possible

As you pray, please don’t worry or feel sorry for me, because, all things considered, it could be lots worse.  Other missionaries I know have faced malaria, chronic illnesses, tribal wars, tapir attacks, and expulsion from the people groups they had grown to love.  Compared to those things, my situation really is not the end of the world.

Nonetheless, the slowness of one-handed typing is driving me crazy, so I will close with a couple questions to ponder.

What circumstances in your life today are causing frustration, pain, fear, or major inconvenience?  Do you believe that God, in His wisdom and love, is allowing these temporary difficulties or setbacks for your good?  Will you trust that He is still in control and that He has a better plan than yours?

14 thoughts on “She’ll be Coming to the City when She Comes

  1. Gladys Der

    Yes! I will surely join in prayer with others about this situation. I know your heart is with this community and serving God there.thank you for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Shivers

    Dear Paulette, I am so very sorry you are struggling as you are, but I admire your courage and fortitude. It is not on your own strength, but on Christ’ alone that you are able. I know this. I am praying that the great physician heals you through which ever perfect plan he has. I, of course would like for it to be a miracle, but only God alone knows what will speak louder to his people there. I pray for comfort both physically, emotionally and spiritually. You are very much loved wherever you are. Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ava Colwell

    Thank you Paulette for helping us pray for you by sharing the concerns on your heart. I thank God for your positive attitude in the midst of these unexpected health issues. You are such a blessing to so many as we witness your unshakeable trust in God who has led you to this precious people group in Brazil. Love and Prayers, Ava


  4. Victoria

    I will be praying all the time ! and i am so sorry , But i am still confused what made those blisters ! are those all yours ? ❤ i hope you are better soon paulette ! i will be praying !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you all so much for the words of encouragement and especially for your prayers! God has blessed me with an amazing support team “back home” and all over. We’re in this adventure together! Now that you all know why I’m in the city and are praying about the situation, we can move on to the good stuff. Stories from the last few weeks!


  6. Spring Austin

    Don’t know much about blogs and how it works but did see the picture on Facebook. Praying that the test will tell what it is and the right meds be given to speed your healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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