Book Review #1– Jungle Doctor on the Hop

Jungle Doctor on the Hop by Paul White

There are 19 books in this series but I just got done with the second one. I really love these books. He conveys the messages of salvation in such a simple way. The African way of speaking was so simple and he always used illustrations that were so typically used in everyday life. I will put a few quotes in here from the book so you can get an idea. After finishing this book I asked God to help me find a way to live such a simple and humble life that I can be as useful in his kingdom as this Bwana doctor. To be able to help, comfort and encourage people in any way I can no matter if it is from this recliner at the moment. I would encourage you to get this set of books and read them with your children. Such dedication, selflessness and courage did the doctor have amongst the many tragic and extremely difficult times he was called upon to help in.

The author Paul was born in 1910 in Australia. His father passed down to him the gift of storytelling along with the gift of humor. He dedicated his life to Christ at 16 and proceeded to study in the medical field in preparation for being a doctor/missionary to Africa. He was only in Africa for a short 4 years before his wife’s serious failing health made it necessary to head back to Australia. Paul was very soon invited to share stories about Africa on the radio which were called the Jungle Doctor Broadcasts. He loved things in life to have variety so he had many hobbies and interests. He worked as a rheumatologist, writing, radio etc. Paul’s dream to work for God in Africa was turned upside down but he discovered he was able to reach more people with the books, radio broadcasts etc than if he had been still in Africa. He met with joy many people who told him they were on their way to the mission field because of the books. The books in part or whole have been translated into 107 languages.

The beginning of the book describes the scene at the hospital in Tanzania where a lion is terrorizing the country side and Simba (the hunter) successfully kills it with the aid of stychnine and cyanide that the doctor gave him to smear on his arrows. You only had one chance to kill a lion so you had to aim right and also use the extra help of the poisons to make sure. Also the doctor is becoming increasingly concerned with the large number of rats that are around. He spends much time with his Bible and medical books trying to figure out the strange things that he has been hearing. He finally puts together the pieces of the puzzle and discovers that the Plaque is what is threatening thousands of lives. He is helped with the puzzle by the story of the Philistines in the Bible when they had the ark. One village is already sending word of 3 people dead and 7 more desperately ill. At the village they find out that everyone is terrified because they think that this is the result of witchcraft of the witchdoctor Pumba. They had to take great precautions to help prevent more people from getting sick. The cause of all the trouble came from fleas on a coat that was stolen from travelers who had come from overseas. Every house had to be fumigated, all the rats killed and put in boiling water before being buried and the village surrounded by askaris (police) so no one could spread the disease. Pumba caused many problems not the least of which he was taken the sickest and almost died. The natives couldn’t understand the doctor taking the time and effort to try to save him when he was such a wicked wicked man. But Bwana doctor had such compassion and desire to see him get well and not to forever be lost that he used all the important medicine. One of Bawana’s helpers eventually got very sick and needed that medicine but there was none left. But they prayed and fought for Mboga’s life and God spared him. The Bwana actually discovered that he might have the disease but thankfully it was just some ordinary germs. But lest I tell you to much and you don’t discover the great nuggets in these books I will leave you with just a few quotes before I close.

The Bawana speaking: ” For years, Kisu, I turned my back on God. But one day words from God’s book hit me like a knobbed stick. “How shall we escape if we neglect-turn our backs on-so great a salvation–cure?” Till then I had a fear of dying, very real fear, but when I asked Jesus to forgive me, He did. Then everything changed, fear dissolved- disappeared. Kisu said, “Bwana I have prayed to God. I made a large request for myself. I have asked him to forgive me and cure my soul. I believe in my very middle that He has.”

The Chief in the village also gave his life to Christ and here is his prayer. “O Son of the Everlasting God, would you see fit to give your great gift to Sumnili, son of Nhonya, here in the village of Matama in the country called Tanzania.” There was no voice in reply. There was no dramatic happening. We sat in silence. Then the Bwana said, “Did He answer you?” “Bwana this is a thing of wonder. Nothing happened and yet, would God Himself lie?”

“Bwana, the reason that I wanted this thing was that I saw a difference not only in your life but those in my tribe. The men and women who came with you Bwana, they have this thing. Is has made a great change in their living. Behold, Pumba has said hard words and received no hard reply. He has threatened many vicious things and I saw that you gave him the medicine that could have been saved for yourselves. Because of this does not Mboga die?”

I wanted to show you those few excerpts to help you understand what is in these books. They are full of things like that. Yes, African life was scary and wicked but God died for them just as much as for us. Can we somehow get a vision for the lost? Can we ask God what He would have us do? I pray your eyes would be opened and filled with God as I trust mine have been. I hope I convinced you to go buy the books or at least find them in the library. They are treasures and worth the money.

1 comment on “Book Review #1– Jungle Doctor on the Hop

  1. Agape

    Hi Amaris! I remember your mom reading these books to us at lunchtime on schooldays. Very interesting, exciting, and thought provoking.
    Thank you for bringing them to mind again!


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