My parents shared their journey of getting to the mission field recently. If you’ve missed their tale it begins at Missionary Travel Stories. Today Mom is continuing the story of their Life in Costa Rica Part 3. You can find Part 2 here.
He was doing okay in his classes, but after a few weeks, he got very sick again. He was in so much pain that it was impossible to study or do anything else. Again he was hospitalized. I remembered being very worried, though it doesn’t sound “spiritual” to admit that. Here we just got to Central America where we hoped to serve the Lord after a whole year of traveling to raise our support. And I was with a new baby. I felt quite helpless. One of my favorite hymns sang itself over and over in my mind and was a great comfort. I wrote a newsletter to our friends and churches in the States asking for special prayer, and I quoted the words of the hymn:
All the way my Savior leads me—
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
The doctor finally said Hal had a stomach ulcer in addition to amoebas. Foreigners very commonly suffered with those parasites then in Central America. (One missionary friend of mine died because the amoebas went to his brain.) I don’t know about now, but the remedy used then contained strychnine. If Hal did have an ulcer, the amoeba medicine surely didn’t help it. He was put on a diet of baby food. He ended up having to drop out of school for that trimester because he missed too many classes to be able to catch up. Sometime after he got out of the hospital, he went on a several days’ hunting trip with some other missionaries, and ate his jars of Gerbers while the other guys ate the delicious-smelling food they cooked on the camp stove.
We planned for me to enter the language school the second trimester for a refresher course in grammar and literature, so we hired a young lady named Marielos, who lived around the corner, to work for us. She came highly recommended, and we found her to be wonderful. She loved our baby and enjoyed taking care of her. Besides that, she kept the little house clean and did the washing (on a built-in cement rub board on the back porch) and ironing. She insisted on ironing everything—sheets and pillow cases, for instance, and even the diapers! She wouldn’t hear to having Sara wear wrinkled diapers! She would set Sara in her plastic baby carrier up on a table, and merrily talk and sing to her while she ironed. Sara really loved her. (By the way those plastic baby seats were very popular then. Before we left the States I was given five!)