Journey to Bethlehem: December 18 - Word&Way

Journey to Bethlehem: December 18

Journey in Sickness and Health

Today's Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

In 2007, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa, as part of a music ministry team. We were to spend three months traveling the country ministering to local churches, schools and anyone we met. I was excited to minister to the people I met and had no idea how soon I would need to be ministered to.

Terry Dale Cruse

Kyle Nelson serves as assistant program director at Bethel Neighborhood Center in Kansas City, Kan.

If you have never had malaria, I don't recommend it. It feels somewhat like the flu but much worse. Besides the chills, high fever and incredible exhaustion, you can have very vivid hallucinations while fighting the mosquito-borne illness. I fought it three separate times during the three months I was there, or I never really got rid of it. On one occasion, the temperature outside was 125 degrees and I was wrapped in anything I could find to keep myself warm. It was miserable.

It is still incredible to think of the many people that came to my aid. The cause of my symptoms was unknown to me but our hosts knew exactly what I was facing. They also knew what it would take to get me better. Even though we were in a remote area of Northern Ghana, our hosts tracked down a small clinic and drove me there immediately. I remember almost nothing of the doctors or nurses but I remember waking up the next day feeling much better.

What do you suppose the beaten man in today's passage thought when he regained consciousness? I imagine him waking in the inn and softly asking the innkeeper, “What happened?” How surprised he must have been to realize who had helped him.

Our journey to Bethlehem will end in a manger, with a young mother holding the baby who would one day save the world.