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Keneyali be Soro Yesu fe

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For weeks, Rokia Dembele, a young woman in her twenties, lay in a bed in the recovery room at Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children in Mali, under a sign that read in Bambara: Keneyali be soro yesu fe (“Healing is found in Jesus”). Her life hung in the balance. Although we were giving her the best medical care we could provide, she had little strength left to fight. For days, her heart rate was a rapid 140–160 beats a minute. She struggled to breathe even on the highest amount of oxygen we could give her.

We first met Rokia in June, when she came to our hospital with a precancerous ectopic pregnancy, which had required her first operation. In the months that followed, she returned to us with severe anemia and other complications, during which time she received several blood transfusions and another surgical intervention.

Rokia was readmitted to our hospital one day last fall with heavy bleeding. Within hours of her arrival, she underwent the first of three operations she would have that week. Cancer was overwhelming Rokia’s body, having spread to her lungs. Although the source of her cancer was removed when she had a hysterectomy, we were uncertain whether Rokia would survive. We gave her more blood transfusions donated by various visitors and hospital workers. And we prayed and talked to her about Jesus, in whom healing is found.

One day, Rokia prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior. A few days later, her husband, Adama, also prayed with our chaplain to receive Jesus. We weren’t sure Rokia would live another day, but we rejoiced that she had found spiritual healing and knew with certainty where she would spend eternity. True healing is found in Jesus.

When Rokia was discharged from the hospital in December, she held a record at our hospital for having the most operations (five) and blood transfusions (15). She completed three cycles of donated chemotherapy, which we have here in a very limited supply. We don’t know yet whether she will find complete long-term physical healing, but the fact that she is alive, walking around, smiling and asking me for more lotion for her itchy skin is a miracle itself! Best of all, she and her husband have both found salvation.

As our hospital staff cares for patients, doing as much as we are able with the resources available to us, we are constantly reminded that it is Jesus who heals. What a blessing it is to serve here and have opportunities to see people receive physical and, most of all, spiritual healing and hope.

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