An elderly woman finds healing and peace when a Christian medical team comes to town.
Fideli shifted stiffly in her chair as she watched her daughter approach beneath the searing afternoon sun. In a country where 49% of children die under the age of five, and the adult life expectancy is less than 60, Fideli’s 87 years made her a respected elder. Yet even for those who survived persistent malaria, contaminated drinking water, and a host of other health hazards, life had severe challenges.
“Mamma, I have something for you.” Fideli’s daughter held out a piece of paper. “A group of people are coming to our village of Kimvula. They are offering us medical care for free!”
The old woman’s hand trembled as she grasped the flier. “Do these people pray?”
“Yes Mamma, they do.”
Fideli nodded and straightened from her chair. “Jesus and His disciples have arrived to heal us. I have been waiting, and I must go and see Him.”
“How can you be so sure?” Her daughter raised an eyebrow.
Fideli paused. “I was born and raised in our traditional African religion, it is true. I have never been to a Christian church, and I have no idea what Jesus looks like. But I met someone years ago who told me about Him. I heard that He is a good man. He has disciples who go from village to village, healing the sick for free. And we don’t have money for me to go to the hospital.”
The younger woman nodded. “I know that you have wanted to see a doctor for a long time.”
“I have been waiting for Jesus to visit Kimvula and heal me instead,” Fideli stated simply. “And now that He is here, let us go.”
At the mobile clinic, Fideli shuffled up to a crowd that encircled a man who was speaking of Jesus’ love. After talking for a few more minutes, the man prayed. Then a smiling stranger welcomed the elderly woman and led her to a physician, who gave her the medical treatment that she had needed, no strings attached.
Even after her physical need had been met, Fideli lingered. Did Jesus have more to offer than healing from her ailment? Something about the Train Them 2 Fish clinic beckoned her, even after she had gone home.
The following morning, Fideli’s chair by her door sat empty. The crowd of listeners parted as the determined old woman stepped closer to hear the morning message and the prayer. As it ended, she approached the speaker. “Where is Jesus?” she asked. “I want to see Him.”
“Mamma,” the man responded softly, “Jesus is in Heaven. He left to prepare a place for you there.”
Fideli blinked, processing the meaning of his words.
The man continued. “He sent us here to do His work and to prepare people to meet Jesus when He comes back. He wants to take us to Heaven where there will be no sickness, suffering, poverty or death.”
Fideli looked into the man’s face. “What can I do to be among the people whom Jesus takes with Him, when He comes back?”
“Give your life to Jesus.” The man’s eyes sparkled with conviction. “Listen to His Word, and be baptized.”
The following Sabbath, a fervent old lady joined 18 others in baptism. Two weeks later, Fideli passed away in the blessed hope. She knew that soon she would see Jesus face to face.
Until the day of His return, Christ’s modern-day disciples will continue to minister from village to village. Who knows how many more wait, wondering when Jesus will visit them?
Democratic Republic of Congo
Pastor Thomas Ongasa of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a former president of his local conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Today he heads up a training school, equipping young people to spread the gospel in his country.
How You Can Help
Pray for Pastor Ongasa’s team as they minister to the needy. Pray for Fideli’s family, that they too will come to know Jesus.
Give. If you would like to help Pastor Ongasa’s work in Congo, mark your donation “Congo Evangelism” and send it to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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