Mark Anthony is a young man who is dear to our hearts. God worked an amazing miracle by healing him of advanced stage Schistosomiasis many years ago. This disease comes from a parasite commonly found in communities surrounding us. The parasite continues to multiply because of poor sanitation. Areas such as rice lands where contaminated water gathers is perfect breeding ground for the parasite. This parasite excretes an enzyme that allows it to enter even the thickest skin on the soles of feet.
When we encountered frail little Mark Anthony, we immediately travelled with him to the hospital on another island. On the way to the hospital Mark prayed with me and put his faith in Christ. Doctors said he was as good as dead when they laid eyes on him. When Mark heard these insensitive words, he naturally started crying. I encouraged him not to listen to what man says but to place his trust in God.
Lab tests unfortunately only confirmed the bleak reality of his hopeless condition. God had different plans however for Mark Anthony! Over the course of a few days God miraculously restored all his organs and his blood. Life, color and weight gradually came back and he was released from the hospital a short time later.
We nursed him back to full health with a good diet and a lot of love. His short life has been marked by much suffering, abuse and hardship, yet his deep faith in God and connection to Hope for the Island has allowed him to overcome each obstacle.
There was a time we lost touch with Mark when the elderly woman who had cared for Mark Anthony passed away. His biological parents both died of the same disease when he was a child. We continued to pray for Mark Anthony.
During one of our recent outreaches we saw him! Although his life had not been easy, he looked good and was doing what he could to find odd jobs to survive. I offered him an opportunity to work at Hope for the Island Organic Farm and he jumped at the opportunity. Because of the many years Mark Anthony suffered, he was not able to perform hard labor. His development has been stunted in many ways because of his illness, but we found simple work duties at the farm that he is capable of doing.
It has been amazing to watch the joy and dignity rise within him now that he has productive, consistent work. All our farmers love to work with him. His joy and love for God is contagious!
We love his smile, especially when he is worshiping with his guitar. We are so happy to have him as part of our lives once again!!