This article was originally published in the November 2017 edition of ITMI Monthly.
“I have two different infections. One is pseudomonas and the other is MSSA”, Phil texted me after we returned from our India trip.
MSSA is a pretty nasty “staph”, we would know it best as a staph infection that is really close to MRSA (pronounced “mersa”) and is highly resistant to antibiotic treatment and many times kills or severely maims the patient.
Pastor Phil McKeown went to battle the spiritual blindness in India and Nepal and yet on a physical level, he realistically could have fought his last fight.
Pastor Phil McKeown with a couple from the conference.
This trip to India was truly unique in my 15 year history of trips.
Both Phil and I got a really good case of the Indian flu and it drastically changed our intended plan. Phil pretty much didn’t eat anything for about 6-7 days, I ate a bit more, but then, I really enjoy Indian food.
The flu we caught would have been more than enough to derail many a mission trip.
But when Phil, in his weakened state, slipped on the slick bathroom tile and concrete floor in his Indian-style bathroom, hit the back of his head after dropping his full 6’4” frame to the floor and split his right elbow open about 5 inches, as he preceded to pass out, we had a real battle finishing what we had started.
ITMI partner, Paul [we don’t disclose his last name for security] found us a 5-star hospital and we took Phil to get his arm stitched and his head checked out. We thought that was all we would have to do.
The young Indian doctor was very nice and caring, but she didn’t sufficiently clean out his wound and by the time we arrived back in the States, Phil had an arm and maybe a body that was pretty infected.
Just this evening I received a text from a friend of ours that is also Phil’s long time doctor and he said, “Steve, thank you so much to taking such great care of our friend Phil. Not sure that he would have made it without your help!”
Dr. Ken is not one to exaggerate!
We are grateful that Phil did make it home and that he only has a few more days of his intravenous antibiotic until they remove the surgically inserted pic line that dumps the medicine directly into his blood stream.
God clearly empowered both Phil and I when it was our time to teach, it really was amazing to watch and be a part of it. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and grace!
Enjoying fellowship with ITMI's David and Taru Kumar.
Their ministry is focused on using the gift of hospitality to try and break down the intensely thick, yet invisible, personal and community barrier walls that keep their community of Onseepkans blinded and bound to the life destroying habits and practices that have destroyed the fabric of this community.
Yet the enemy still finds ways to try and destroy what God is doing.
Gerhard writes me,
“ Hallo Steve…Thought you would like to know. My ex-worker in whom I invested a lot of time and money and who was finally lured away with promises of alcohol, now started spreading stories [of how] terrible he was treated while working for us.
Having to work himself half to death and assaulted and kicked with heavy boots! Some people in the community who we won through being friendly are now terrified to come near to us.
We continue to keep our eyes on the Lord and trust Him for a spiritual breakthrough in Onseepkans.”
The le Roux family serving the elderly in Onseepkans.
Onseepkans, South Africa is quite remote.
The town of Onseepkans, South Africa.
A girl from the le Roux's weekly Kids' Club.
Elmane's hospitality and kindness is welcomed by the locals.
We share these challenges with you to remind you that the enemy is very much trying to break God’s people who want very much to share God’s love and truth in ways that will actually help change their lives.
Because of this, we really need your commitment to pray and pray fervently for strength, and power to go to battle with the enemy who is at the door.
We also need, if God so leads, to help those that don’t have the many things that we have, to at least hear the Word and be clothed and fed while doing it.
Will you pray about letting God use you to be a conduit of HIS resources to the Gerhard and Elmanes, the Indian partners and all of our valuable partners around the world. Thank you!
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.