Missionaries Scott and Jennie Phillips could hardly hold back the tears as they saw Wikipai’s emaciated condition.
The couple had heard that Wikipai was so sick that he might be battling for his life so they hiked two rigorous days to the village where Wikipai and his wife, Moipi, had moved to begin a new outreach. The Dao couple was one of two families the missionaries had trained to go and teach evangelistic Bible lessons.
Upon seeing the missionaries, Wikipai greeted them with a sweet smile and in a very frail voice said, “Friends, don’t be sad for me. I have wasted away and my body has become small and shriveled like a stream that has not been fed by the rain for many days, but though my body is weak, my spirit is strong. And if my body dies here in this place, I know that my spirit will continue to live and will go up to be with the Creator. I do not fear death.”
Scott and Jennie still had fresh memories of Wikipai’s father wasting away and dying one year ago. The couple immediately started administering the medicine and rehydration fluid they brought with them.
After a few days of treatment, prayer and Scott and Jennie’s cooking, Wikipai began to regain some strength. He told the missionaries if they “were willing to help him carry his belongings and help him along the trail, he thought that he might be able to begin hiking the two days home for a time of recovery.”
Scott and Jennie knew that it would be a hard hike — that included crossing a vine bridge and ascending two 4,500 foot mountains — but looking to God for strength they began the return hike the next morning. They took it much slower going home, stopping frequently to rest and to give Wikipai rehydration fluid and food.
After a month and a half away, Wikipai and Moipi returned home and Moipi spoke to the group that gathered to meet them. “Everybody look! I was already looking for places to bury my husband. I already had a place picked out! But it is as if he has been raised from the dead right in front of my eyes! Look at him now. The Creator has caused him to live!”
Daapoi and his pregnant wife, Otopina, the other couple who were trained for this outreach, are taking Wikipai and Moipi’s place so the outreach can continue. Please pray for them and their health as they leave their accustomed environment.
Pray too that Wikipai will have a complete recovery and for the Dao people who are seeing these teachers and their families take great risks to bring them the Creator’s message, that God will work in their hearts to receive His Word.