by B, an Alliance worker who serves with her husband, JS, in the North and Central Asia Region
B, JS, and their team minister to an unreached people group in a spiritually dark region. Outreach efforts include medical assistance for the ill and infirm and a cottage industry that provides deeply impoverished village women with an income.
When JS and I helped raise funds for a woman who needed surgery in 2010, we never thought we would be helping more villagers with their medical needs. It can be costly and time consuming.
But God has His perfect plan. He has opened ways for us to reach the lost through providing medical assistance.
When we invite people into our home to take them to city doctors, we often have no idea what illnesses they bring. I’m always a bit nervous that the disease may be contagious. But I put my trust wholly in the Lord and ask Him to protect us—so far, so good.
Last spring, a villager asked us to visit his brother-in-law, Bob*, who was ill. He told us that the man’s doctor had refused to continue treating him and that the illness was incurable. He said he didn’t know what was wrong. (Later, the villager admitted that they did know the brother-in-law’s illness, but he didn’t want to tell us. He feared that we might be unwilling to see the man.)
When we visited Bob, we found him covered with sores. We talked with him for a while, and he began to prepare us a meal. In the middle of his preparation, he confirmed to us that he had AIDS.
Immediately, my stomach dropped. My heart started to beat faster and faster. There is no running water in this man’s home, no hot water, so bowls and chopsticks don’t get washed.
As I eyed Bob closely to see how he was preparing the meal, I faced my fear of contracting an illness—head on.
What to Do?
In my panicked state, I decided that for us to reach this lost man who was living in darkness without the hope of Jesus Christ, we had to be willing to enter through the curtain of possible death. If it meant that we contracted AIDS and died—so be it. “For [us], to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
After making this decision, JS and I joyfully partook in the meal with Bob and his family. We shared the love of Christ with them. It was the first time Bob had heard of Jesus.
JS also prayed and asked God to heal him.
We Hardly Recognized Him!
Less than two months after our visit, we met with Bob again. We hardly recognized him! He looked strong. And his eyes were no longer yellow but clear. And he had no sores anywhere on his body. He was feeling so well that he had torn down his old wooden house and had begun building a new home.
“Your God healed our brother!” his family exclaimed to us. “Please keep praying for him.”
Wow, the power of the gospel!