Determination By Dr. Jane Campbell

 Since he was 15 years old Melethu Sasi earned a living climbing coconut
trees and gathering their fruit. Climbing was something that came
natural to Sasi. His body was firm and strong and he could scale the
tallest palms quicker than anyone. He did this for 30 years to provide
for his growing family.

Then tragedy struck. At the age of 45 Sasi fell from the top of a
coconut tree. The fall should have killed him. Instead it left him
paralyzed on his right side and with multiple broken bones. For more
than a year he was completely bedridden. His sons had to quit school and
work to help support the family. But medical personnel gave Sasi little
chance of ever leaving his bed. But after years of determination and
physical therapy, Sasi was able to stand on his own feet unaided. But he
still couldn’t walk. His right leg and arms were both useless and his
body was twisted from the fall.

But Sasi couldn’t bear being a burden to his family any longer. He was
determined to train himself to walk again and to use his right arm. By
learning to swing his right leg around he was able to take steps.
Through sheer force of will he was able to grip with his right hand.

Then his mind conceived a plan whereby he could earn a living and
provide for his family. He would borrow money to purchase a
three-wheeled scooter that he could use to travel to other towns and
sell lottery tickets. But when he appealed to the government officials
for a loan, his request was met with laughter. Not only did Sasi’s
crippled appearance make his scheme seem ludicrous. The officials knew a
large rocky hill blocked his house from the road. They denied his
request.

At this point it would have been so easy to become discouraged. But Sasi
wouldn’t let a hill stop him. Though the muscles in his arms and legs
were nearly atrophied, the now 60-year-old disabled man made the
decision to carve a road from his house to the main road. So, armed only
with hand-tools, Sasi began to chisel away at the sandstone hill. It was
painfully frustrating at first. Sasi could barely hold a pick, much less
swing it with any accuracy. He lost his balance and fell repeatedly. But
he pushed himself to get the hang of it. The distance he would have to
cut through the hill was greater than the length of two football fields.
But he kept chopping away at the rock, filling a sack with the broken
pieces, and then hobbling away to dump them. Work was agonizingly slow
and when neighbors found out what he was trying to do, they derided him.

Yet Sasi did not give up. He was determined to put his plan into action
and make himself productive. And as the road began to take shape, his
neighbors began to change their tune. They offered him words of
encouragement instead. But no one chipped in to help him dig.

Three years later Sasi had nearly finished cutting a 625-foot road
through the sandstone. One obstacle remained – a large telephone pole
lay directly in his path. He petitioned the local government to move it,
which they refused to do. But by this time Sasi had won many friends and
fans. The media began to pick up his story and inspired public pressure
on the government to move the telephone pole out of his way.
Fortunately, Sasi’s determination also inspired contributions from the
public to help him purchase his three-wheeled scooter. He now rides it
daily to nearby towns to conduct business and once again support his
family.

You know, I get discouraged so easily if circumstances are not conducive
to my efforts, if I’m in pain, or if I don’t receive words of
affirmation. Sasi’s determination is an indictment against my
wimpiness. Sasi had every reason to quit, feel sorry for himself, and
conclude _“everything’s against me.”_ But he refused to give up.
Let his example linger in your memory. Store it away for the next time
you’re tempted to get discouraged because of difficulties and allow a
God-inspired dream to die.

_“For you have need of patient endurance, so that when you have done
the will of God, you may receive what was promised”_ (Hebrews 10:36).

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, even though it may take tribulation and
affliction, please develop in me the determination and perseverance I
need to fulfill Your plan for my life and receive the promise of eternal
life. Amen.