malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after
another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering
and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea
Flood remained near N'dolera to go on alone. Then, of all things,
Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive
wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth, the village
chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl
was born, whom they named Aina. The delivery, however, was
exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria.
The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only
another seventeen days.
Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. He dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and then took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he snarled, "I'm going back to Sweden. I've lost my wife, and I obviously can't take care of this baby. God has ruined my life." With that, he headed for the port, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.
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