January 10th, I sent the UBM prayer team a prayer request for 15-year-old Florina. Florina was bitten by a Fer-de-Lance snake. The fer-de-lance's name means 'spearhead' in French. It is the most dangerous snake of Central and South America, and causes more human deaths than any other American reptile. On average, a fer-de-lance injects 105mg of venom in one bite, although a venom yield of up to 310mg has been recorded while milking them. The fatal dose for a human is 50mg. Florina felt the Fer-de-Lance bite her, saw the fang prints in her foot and then she saw the snake. Florina and her sister ran from the Fer-de-Lance as the snake chased them. These snakes are VERY aggressive. One of the men killed the snake while another cousin and her husband rushed Florina to the hospital in town. I happened to be in town for dinner and we saw the truck carrying Florina speed past the restaurant window going the wrong way on the one-way street toward the hospital with emergency flashers. We new it had to be bad so we took off to the hospital and arrived just as they took Florina into the emergency room. We prayed for Florina and then went to her parents' house and met them as they were leaving. They had been waiting in their driveway for someone to pick them up because they have no transportation of their own. We prayed again with the parents. I gave the mother instruction to NOT permit the doctors to cut Florina's leg off, if they wanted to do that. (They do that often with Fer-de-Lance bites!) I assured her by faith that Florina would be fine. After we arrived home, I emailed you all to agree with us in prayer.
Patti's original email to Bill and the prayer team - 1/10/11
Tonight we took friends out to eat in town because they had no water. We were sitting in the cafe when we saw little Esther's cousin's truck fly by with lights flashing going toward the hospital the wrong way on a one way. (Few have vehicles down here. Usually one or two in a big extended family. We went to see what was happening and her 15 year old sister was bit by a Fer-de-Lance snake. The victims usually die. Some make it but lose their leg. That is what bit Valentino years ago...you have heard that testimony. So we are trusting the Lord for a miracle. I would appreciate it if you all would stand with us in prayer. Thanks.
Bill's reply and message to the prayer Team - 1/11/11
Father, we thank You for having mercy on this child. As You sent the serpents as a curse against those who murmured, You also sent the deliverance for those who took their eyes off the bite and placed them on the pole. For this girl, as we stand in the gap for her, we take our eyes off the bite and place them on the cross of Your Son Jesus Christ as it was all already done. We command that venom neutralized and harmless in the name of Jesus Christ, our only hope. So be it.
Email from Zelda, Florina's sister - 1/29/11
Florina and her sister met aunt Sharon coming into the yard and aunt Sharon asked if they could help her unload some groceries and the girls said yes. Aunt Sharon had a 5 gallon water jug and Florina, the girl that got bit by the snake, decided that she could carry it because it was not far from the vehicle to the house. While she was carrying the jug of water to the gate, Florina came upon the snake and said, "I got bit but I don't know by what!" It was starting to get dark. She saw two red marks on her foot. Then she looked down and immediately saw the snake. She pushed her sister out of the way and started running. The snake started to chase both girls and Florina was quite shaken knowing that she had been bit by a snake as she saw the snake! Florina was rushed to the hospital and the snake was killed by some men. It was a Fer-de-Lance for sure. The Punta Gorda hospital sent her to Dangriga hospital because Fer-de-Lance bites are often fatal. Well, the doctors there said they could not trace any snake poison in her body so they assumed she got bit by a scorpion but it was a snake and they killed it right after it bit her. All that for the Lord to be glorified! He works in mysterious ways for sure and there is so much more details to be shared from their mother, Florita, to you.
Postscript by Patti:
Recently, there have been two men in this southern district, that we know of, who were bitten by Fer-de-Lance snakes, who died. This is a very dense jungle area. Most people just cut a space out of the jungle to build their homes and plant their corn. There is MUCH land not inhabited. It is a tropical climate. Most of the Indian people live in the jungle. They don't even have outhouses. They go out in the dark to go "use the bathroom" in the bush. They go into the bush to cut firewood for cooking and to hunt for food. It amazes me that so few do get bitten. I have never heard of a young child being bitten. Florina is East Indian. The East Indians usually live in rural areas near the towns. We work more among the Maya and Ketchee in the mountain jungle areas. We have known many of Florina's relatives for many years but had never met her or her parents before this happened to her. Her great-grandparents were precious people of God. We were dear friends when they were living.
I am writing all of this just to give you a better idea of how things are down here. God is gooooood! :-)