Feature

Fruit That Lasts

GCF in Action

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When Rokia arrived at our hospital in 2008, she was fighting what seemed like a losing battle with cancer, which eventually spread to her lungs. She had multiple operations and 15 blood transfusions. Above her hospital bed was a sign that read “Keneyali be soro Yesu fe” (“Healing is found in Jesus.”). We prayed for Rokia and told her about the Savior. Rokia, barely clinging to life, accepted Christ. Her husband, Adama, had given her permission to do so. (Women in Mali make such weighty decisions only with approval from their husband or father.) A few days later, Adama also trusted in Jesus.

God brought physical as well as spiritual healing to Rokia. She made it through those precarious days and received chemotherapy; after several months it seemed as if the cancer was beaten. We connected Rokia and Adama to a church in a village not far from them, and I kept the couple on my prayer list. As I prayed, I often wondered how they were doing. Had their lives really changed as a result of their decision for Christ? Was Rokia still alive?

Four years later, a man came to the hospital with a friend whose young daughter, Adjara, was ill. She was diagnosed with cancer and began a long hospital stay to undergo chemotherapy. The man continued to visit from time to time, checking in on Adjara. I saw him during one of these visits; he looked quite familiar, but I struggled to place him. Then he came to my office and began to talk about Rokia—it was Adama! He said she is doing well and that a group of believers is meeting in the couple’s village. They don’t have a pastor or a church building, but their fellowship has grown. Adama is helping the leader of the group with plans to construct a meeting place.

A few months later, in April 2013, Adama came to the hospital again, this time not with Adjara’s family but with Rokia. The couple arrived with arms full of gifts (bananas and onions) to thank us. Sitting in my office, Rokia smiled broadly. I told her it is a miracle she is alive. But the greater blessing is that she continues to follow Jesus. She and Adama are actively involved in their church, and their joy in Jesus is evident. They testify to others in their village about Christ and what He has done in their lives.

We plant many seeds at the hospital. Every day, our chaplain shares the gospel. Patients and families watch the JESUS film. Our missionary and Malian staff members interact with patients, often taking opportunities to pray with them or to share Christ. Relationships have been built, and Christ is being proclaimed. Fruit doesn’t come quickly, but God is growing those seeds, and they are bearing fruit and multiplying.

Thank you for helping me plant seeds in Mali! Pray that they will continue to grow and bear fruit that will last.

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