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Divine Appointments

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Eva had been having convulsions for the past three days in her remote village in Gabon. When traditional treatment did not appear to be helping, her desperate father brought her to Bongolo Hospital. By the time this three-year-old girl was admitted to the pediatric ward, she was in a deep coma from cerebral malaria.

At first, I concentrated on the difficult medical management of this devastating complication of malaria, which has a mortality rate of up to 30 percent. Even if children survive, many are left with permanent neurologic complications. We immediately began treatment for malaria, gave medication to stop her seizures and placed an IV to give her fluids and glucose because she hadn’t eaten in days.

I told her father, Victor, that we were praying that God would heal his little girl and that she would not have any lasting complications. Two days later, she began to wake up, and by the end of the week she was back to her normal self—walking, talking, eating and playing. I told Victor that God had answered our prayers and healed his daughter.

As the week went on, once Eva was out of danger and improving, I had more opportunities to talk to Victor about his spiritual condition. Victor had brought one of his two wives to Bongolo Hospital almost a year ago for treatment of pregnancy complications. God had spared the unborn child, and both mom and baby were now doing well. They had left the hospital last year without understanding or opening their hearts to the gospel message. I pointed out to Victor that God had led him to Bongolo twice for serious medical problems in his family and that I was sure that God wanted to get his attention. This was his opportunity to find spiritual healing and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in addition to Eva’s physical healing.

After sharing with Victor, I asked him if I could have our hospital chaplain, Pastor Pascal, come and explain more about how he could get right with God. A couple of hours later, Pastor Pascal found me to report that Eva’s father had prayed to accept Christ.

Not only did Victor make this decision for himself, but also he immediately went out and dragged another patient’s family member to the chaplain’s office, saying, “Come, you need to hear what the pastor just told me about Jesus.” It turns out that Victor is the chief of his village and has much influence over all the people who live there.

Often, what seems like a routine medical visit, or perhaps even an interruption in our busy daily schedule, may instead be a divine appointment—a moment in time when someone is ready to receive God’s message or in need of prayer. My desire is that God gives me a sensitive spirit to know when to pause in the busyness of the day and respond to these opportunities. Please pray that Victor will grow in the Lord and lead others to Christ.

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