Towards the end of the year 2021 in the beginning of December, Mbuma Mission Hospital received an elderly sick male patient into its care. Accompanying and assisting him was his eldest son and they came all the way from Mukoko Village which is situated in Gokwe deep in Mashonaland, 136km away from Mbuma Mission Hospital which is about a 2 hour and 20 minute drive. The Word of God tells us in Acts 17 vs 26-27 that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.” In the Lord’s all wise Providence, the suffering ordained in the lives of this father and his son were used by the Lord for good to bring them into contact with the everlasting Gospel message. They came to Mbuma seeking physical healing but their spiritual senses were awakened by their contact with the Word of God and two experiences in their lives which will be detailed below seemingly provide evidence for the above.
The father’s health when he was admitted at Mbuma was not admirable, in fact, it brought fear to both nursing staff and those observing that perhaps soon he would depart from this world because it would deteriorate with each day. This was a heavy trial for his son who initially had no hope for his father’s survival or any hope regarding the difficulties of life because in reality; he did not have a spiritual comfort for his soul which would give him hope in God and in the purposes of God which come through suffering. His church, the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have never taught him about suffering or point him to the God of Comfort “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”- 2nd Corinthians 1:4. But in the Lord’s wisdom, the period of time in which this family arrived into our premises was a period in which the sermons and Bible studies seemingly were focused on this area of life. The Lord’s Day Bible study which is open to all within Mbuma was focused on the second coming of the Lord and how through suffering God draws His people closer to Himself and opens the eyes of those outside His Kingdom to see that there is no other hope of salvation but Him through faith in Christ. When talking daily with the son of the sick father about these lessons from the Bible studies and sermons, and praying with him as well as listening to his own expressions about his father’s health, it was a pleasure to hear him say these words: “I have been in pain about my father, I do not want him to die. But now I know that God allowed this suffering for us and I see that suffering is designed by the Lord for our spiritual good. When I came to Mbuma, I was disappointed in God, far from God, running from God; but since this trial with my father’s illness I find myself reading more from the Word of God, growing closer to God and praying to God. The Bible studies of Mbuma have helped me to understand this and the sermons have been a blessing, that whatever brings me closer to Jesus it is good.”
On the 28th of December, at midnight, the understanding which this son had attained was put to the test. He called me over the phone and woke me up in tears asking that I would come pray with him for his father because his father in his unconsciousness mumbled the words that he is about to die, and physically he was both pale and frail. I immediately got up and ran to the hospital, and for the next hour I prayed with this family. We read together as well as comforted each other from the Word of God. What happened the days following was a miracle – through the Lord’s intervention working through the dedicated nursing staff at Mbuma, the Lord heard our cry, and the father regained consciousness! He awoke from his bed and could even now walk on his own and talk coherently. The Lord answered prayer, and both this father and his son rejoiced and saw the hand of God in it. This was especially comforting because in the rural community, the first port of call in times of distress is the village witchdoctor for help, but they did not bow down to Baal, the son sought the face of the Lord “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”-Psalm 34 vs 4.
After some weeks when Dr. Snoek was now satisfied with the condition of her patient, the father was now discharged from hospital and allowed to go home and be with his family. However what was so peculiar now about their departure was that they no longer wanted to leave, especially the son because in his own words in shona he said “Kuno dzidziso yaIshe Jesu Kristu yawanda, yakasiyana neChurch yangu inonongedzera kuna Maria, apa wotaura nezvaMambo mambo Jesu, kuti iye ega ndiye nzira yeruponeso uye zvinondiita kuti ndinzwe rugare. pano.” In English he said: “There is so much teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ here, it is so very different from my Church which points to Mary, here you talk about the King, King Jesus, that He alone is the way of salvation and it makes me feel at peace here.”
The Psalmist expressed it well, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” -Psalm 119:71.