Jabir visited often now—he especially liked to play with Fred D. Frog.
But one day, as he ran into the clearing and up the steps of Penny’s hut, it was clear that he was not here to play.
“What’s wrong, Jabir!”
“Come—my sister! She’s hurt! And Father’s angry that she can’t do her work!”
He dashed out again, and soon they all saw him heading back–with his sister. She had a nasty burn on her right arm. She was in so much pain that he had to help her along.
“Let’s get her to the clinic!”
The missionaries quickly ran out to help. Penny carried her to the big hut where Doctor Amanda and her two African nurses worked. Doctor Jim was back, too. And the African dentist looked up from his corner as they came in.
Everyone rushed to do what they could.
Fred D. And Fred E. watched as Jabir sank down in a corner. He obviously hoped he wouldn’t be told to leave, but Penny gave him a hug— and pointed out the door.
On the porch, Fred E. and Fred D. kept him company. Thankfully, some time later, Penny and Doctor Jim came out and told them the news.
“She’ll be fine. But she can’t work. Perhaps it’s best if she stays here for a while. We’ll go talk to your parents.”
The missionaries, Jabir, and the frogs found a very angry father and very frightened mother.
“She was no good to begin with,” said her father. “It’s just as well if she stays with you! She’s no good to us.”
“Maybe that’s best,” whispered the mother, later. “She’s a good girl. She can be a help to you when she’s better. You’re busy—doing good. Teaching us the Bible and showing us God’s way. She can help you, and learn to read, and know God. My husband won’t allow her to go to school like Jabir.”
“She can stay for now, then we’ll see,” said Penny. “I have to leave tomorrow on a trip, but the doctors will take good care of her.”
The next day, the frogs couldn’t help being excited. They were going on another trip—a road trip this time.
The men caught in the mudslide came home, dirty, and ready to get some sleep after helping out at the village. The evangelist, on his bicycle, rolled in with lots of exciting stories about God working in the hill country.
But Penny and Sally were heading to the mountains.
“Wonder why she isn’t packing the jeep,” said Fred E.
All the suitcases and crates were lined up on the porch.
“Hope you make it in that old thing,” said Doctor Jim. “It’s a long ride. Lots of bad roads.”
Sally winked at Penny.
“What are you two up to?” asked Nurse Janie.
“Yes, what are they up to?” asked Fred E. suspiciously.
Scre-e-eech! A vehicle careened around the corner of the little hospital and came to an abrupt STOP!
“Where’d it come from?”
They all gathered ‘round a big, brand new— jeep van.
“It’s a gift from Sally’s church—well all the churches in her area. They wanted to give to a missionary project. They don’t have much, at least some of them, but they wanted to do this.
They saw me driving around in an ancient car for years,” said Sally, beaming. “Let me take pictures.”
The African driver was beaming too, as if he had given it. He loved being the one to deliver the new vehicle.
“It’s like in the New Testament,” he said. “Where the churches shared with each other when they needed something.”
“He’s right,” said Fred E. to one of their elephant friends nearby.
Fred D. nodded, too. He’d seen Sally and the people at home in need lots of times and now here they were, giving to another group of believers.
“We’re off!” Penny finally cried. The last of the luggage, two extra tires, and plenty of water, and food was packed in the back. See you in a couple of days!”
Jabir waved a little sadly, but he smiled as Fred D. croaked, “good bye, we’ll see you soon!” Whether Jabir guessed what he was saying or not, Fred D. didn’t know.
They were all going to a conference. Sally and Penny would be doing some teaching, some listening to God’s Word, some planning for the future—and lots of laughing and having fun.
It wasn’t long before they got to the mountain roads—much different than the grasslands. Up and down they went, cliffs rising on each side. Then through a stream and over some rocks-then back on the dirt road.
“Look out, it’s washed out up ahead!”
Penny carefully forded an unexpected creek bed that was usually dry, and then they were on paved road for a while.
“The roads really aren’t bad if we were going straight to the Conference Center,” she said. “But since we’re picking up Miss Agnes….”
They bumped over the rocks and ruts. Around the corner they swerved and then around another curve—and right through a big pot hole.
“Wow!” croaked Fred D, as he nearly flew out of the jeep. But Fred E., from his perch on the dashboard, made a wild leap and grabbed hold of his friend’s leg, pulling him back in.
But they all made it to the other side safely. Fred D. wasn’t used to such roads for Sally worked in a town, and often in the nearby city at home in Ecuador. But when they went down to the jungle for summer camp, it was more like this.
“Here, we are!” said Penny, cheerfully, as they came into view of a hilly meadow of grass and flowers. The frogs saw the large village with a runway nearby, and lots of people coming to greet them.
“Hi, Miss Agnes!” Sally waved.
The spirited old lady hurried toward them, with a couple of boys carrying her luggage. Even though the new jeep was mud spattered and dust covered by now, they all admired it. The boys stuffed her bags into the already full jeep and she squeezed in, waving at them.
Lots more kids gathered ‘round. “You promised, Miss Agnes!”
“Yes, I did.” She turned to the younger missionaries. “I promised them you’d tell them some stories from Ecuador when you bring me back.”
“Gladly!” said Sally. “I’ve brought new songs, too!”
They waved and off they went, over the curvy, rocky roads again.
“Sorry you had to come out of your way. I missed the MAF pilot. We had an emergency and he has too many runs to make to get back for me—what with bringing people to the conference.”
“No problem!” said Penny, as they bounced along.
Suddenly, they were all startled out of their wits by a loud bang, and she gripped the wheel tightly as they started to swerve. She brought the jeep van to a sudden stop.
“One of our brand new tires—already!”
They got out and sure enough, they’d had a blow out. “I guess it’s a good thing we brought two extra! We may need one on the way back. Let’s get to it.”
They pulled out a lot of their luggage to get at the tools and a tire. Soon they were on the road again.
“Whew,” said Fred E. “I’m not sure I like these cliffs. We weren’t too far from the edge there!”
“There it is!” I can see the Conference Center from here! See right over there on that mountain.”
“Oh, my!” said Fred E.
“Don’t worry, we’ll have fun. I’ve got lots of friends in the river that runs through the grounds.
Sally was driving this time, and as they turned yet another corner, to cross over a ravine on a rather scary bridge, she screeched to a halt.
A boy with a small herd of goats was crossing ahead of them.
Sally stopped the car and they all relaxed.
“Guess we’ve got some time to catch up,” laughed Miss Agnes.
Two days later, on their way home, Fred E. And Fred D. were looking forward to having fun with the kids at Miss Agnes’ mountain village.
Stay tuned for more….
By Carol Bennett