“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2).
“In new fields no work is so successful as medical work. If our ministers would work earnestly to obtain an education in medical ministry lines they would be far better fitted to do the work Christ did as medical missionary. By diligent study and practice, they can become so well acquainted with the principles of health reform, that wherever they go they will be a great blessing to impart information so much needed to the people they meet” (Medical Evangelism, p. 239).
I met a university graduate named Hawa Diallo. Her father is a Fulani, and her mother is a Malinke. Her father abandoned her mother. As the eldest child in her family, Hawa now sells fish balls to provide for her mother, brothers and sisters. Whatever money she can spare she uses to buy things for her future wedding. “When it is time for me to marry, my parents will not be able spend a lot of money on household items for my wedding,” she says. She is saving them from shame and embarrassment. Among the Malinke, marriage is a big deal.
I asked Hawa if she has someone in mind to marry. She said no. “Ah,” I said, “so you are preparing your heart for Jesus.”
She paused and then laughed. “Yes, I am preparing my heart for Jesus.”
Once when I visited Hawa she had a large, infected cut on her foot. I ask her if she had visited the hospital, and she said she hadn’t. I told her to wait for me, and I asked Fred to take me home so I could get some medical items. When we returned to Hawa’s house she was surprised to see my big medical bag, with ointment, gauze, antibiotics and so on. I sat by her and asked if she would allow me to clean her sore. She hesitated, but I insisted, telling her that God wanted me to help her with her sore because He wanted her to be in good health.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, the sick, the poor, and the brokenhearted gathered around Him and his heart went out to the suffering. Missionaries, evangelists, pastors and gospel workers cannot ignore the physical needs of those around them and hope to be effective in spiritual ministry. If our actions do not demonstrate the love, grace and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ, then our words are in vain.
I told Hawa that the Lord brought me into her life so that she might be saved from pain and suffering. She allowed me to help her, and I cared for her foot for about three weeks. When her foot started improving she had a new appreciation for Christ’s healing power. Please join us as we pray for Hawa that Jesus will reveal Himself to her.