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Flooding the World’s Marketplaces with Life | Healthcare

02.03.21
in Blog, Congo, Evangelism, Healthcare
How one missionary doctor is living and loving like Jesus in Congo
I was finishing an ultrasound on a patient at my Congo hospital when I saw James, who had just arrived in the next bed. I’ll be honest, my first thought was, That poor man won’t survive the night. 

James’ breathing was labored, he was drenched in sweat, and his heart rate was much too fast. When I put my stethoscope to his chest, I could tell his entire right lung was absent of air movement. The ultrasound probe showed it was full of fluid. His heart was so weak, it could barely pump blood. 

My initial thought was confirmed: James was dying. And he knew it. 

I ordered a chest tube, antibiotics, and laboratory tests for James. He kept crying out as I examined him, though he could barely get the words out: “Doctor help me! I’m dying!” He knew his time was short and he wasn’t ready. 

When I finished the examination, I took James’ hands in mine and prayed for him. I asked God to heal him miraculously. 

James was physically no better when I finished the prayer, but he calmed down and stopped crying out. 

I left the hospital that day expecting James to die that night, so I was shocked when I arrived the next morning to see him resting comfortably in bed! How frail my faith can be. 

After another evaluation, we diagnosed James with HIV, tuberculosis, heart failure, liver disease, and advanced kidney failure. Despite his improvement overnight, his prognosis was dismal. 

Over the next few days, James shared with me about his life. He had fought as a soldier for years in a corrupt military, and he frequently drank, smoked, and used drugs. He didn’t know Jesus but he continued to ask me to pray with him. 

James’ progress continued to surprise me, and in about a week, he was ready to be released from the hospital. 

“Thank you for saving my life,” James said as I signed his discharge papers. 

“James, God is the one who has saved you,” I said. “He has done this for a reason. He loves you. He wants you to know His Son, Jesus.”  

As a doctor, I have the privilege to be with people during some of their darkest moments: a cancer diagnosis, a wife whose husband was just diagnosed with HIV, a man on death’s doorstep. The words they hear, the touch they feel, the face they see in that moment may be engrained in their mind for a lifetime afterward. If they can hear, touch, and see Christ in me, could that dark moment be turned to light and hope? 

Jesus healed people of their physical ailments as often as their spiritual. He recognized that sickness and physical suffering are not part of God’s good creation, but a result of a world wrecked by sin, death, and evil. If He wanted to reconcile people to God holistically, then physical healing would be part of that. 

I saw James several more times for follow-up appointments. Despite his impossible medical situation, he has continued to do remarkably well. 

We’ve often revisited the conversation about how God saved him. It’s a spiritual seed God allowed me to plant in James — one that I pray God continues to grow.

Crossworld worker Mindy and her family have served with Crossworld since 2016.

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