I want to share the following e-mail with you for different reasons. First, there are those who don’t believe in miracles and this is one! Second, I know this couple and they have had many hardships while serving the Lord in Africa, but they do not quit! Third, it was a personal encouragement to me of the involvement of God in our lives as we serve Him. Sometimes I get fearful of the things here that I don’t know or have confidence in, but my confidence must be in God. He will take care of my family and me as we serve Him here.
*Please note: Dr. R is a Christian surgeon that graduated from a Christian university before going on to medical school. The names and places have been edited to protect this couple’s privacy. If you know them, please do not leave their name in a comment. Thank you!
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever………But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. Psalm 73:26 & 28
This whole passage in Psalm 73 is [my husband’s] favorite, but verse 26 is [his] life verse. I count it a privilege to share this verse with you as I also try to explain in my feeble words the mighty works God has performed in [his] life.
As you know, in the early morning hours of March 18, [my husband] woke up with severe abdominal pain and a very high fever. He was in the African hospital for 10 days on IV’s. The surgeon there said [he] had not ruptured, even though [he] was sure he had felt it burst, causing his fever to become high so quickly. Had he been in America, he would have been in surgery that morning. After the 10 days in the hospital on antibiotics by IV, he spent the next 20 days at home on oral antibiotics, but not getting better. He remained on a very limited soft diet, then nothing but clear liquids until his surgery yesterday. He has lost 35 lbs. since March 18, according to what he weighed right before surgery yesterday morning.
While [he] was in recovery yesterday, Dr. R explained to us the mighty works of God that had kept [him] alive during the past month. [His] colon did rupture on March 18. After the rupture that caused him to have such a high fever, the antibiotics began to do their work on the initial infection that entered his body. Evidently God wanted him to have further protection until we could get him home for surgery. The small intestine moved over and covered the rupture of the colon, preventing more infection from escaping. The small intestine then fused itself into the rupture of the large intestine. This partially-blocked passage kept [him] from being able to eat this past month but it also saved his physical life. Having seen this rare situation in surgery, Dr. R told us that it finally explained why [my husband] was still not getting well after so long on antibiotics. Therefore, the surgeon made two reconnections yesterday since a section from the large intestine and also a section from the small intestine had to both be removed.
The doctor said that it is likely that [he] will be in the hospital closer to a week. He is allowed only a minimal amount of ice chips today. I imagine that his recovery will be slower because of his already weakened condition. He entered the hospital yesterday with a temperature of 95.8 degrees, but warm blankets brought it up to 98 degrees, in order to go to surgery.
The nurses and doctors here at [the hospital] have been so wonderful. Having spent so much time in the hospital in [Africa], the contrast is amazing to us. Dr. R asked Dr. K to assist him in surgery. Dr. K told [my husband] how honored he was to be asked to assist in the surgery of this missionary because Dr. K, a [Christian college] grad, is looking forward to the day when he will be a missionary surgeon in Togo, West Africa. He is married into [a missionary] family [that has served in Africa] for generations. He just came in the room and said that he and his family prayed for [my husband] last night. He said that he told his father, also a doctor, how [my husband’s] colon had perforated in Africa a month ago. His father said that it is a miracle that he is still alive.”
God is not finished with this man. What a testimony he will have when he returns to Africa to continue the work there that God has called him too!