News Articles

Ministry in hospital gives believer new heart for Jesus

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (BP)–A new heart has provided new hope for a believer from a Last Frontier country.

Suffering from a serious heart condition, the believer left his homeland searching for a new heart. The search led him to a hospital in southern Africa.

The 28-year-old man was assigned a room with an International Mission Board missionary who was in the hospital having an angioplasty.

When the attending nurse learned the roommate was a Southern Baptist missionary, she sensed that God had sent him to minister to the young man. Through an interpreter, the missionary learned the young man was a committed believer but had lost hope in God’s intervention.

“Some illness had caused his heart failure. There was no heart for him in his home country so he had been advised to come to South Africa,” the missionary said. “I assured him from my hospital bed to his that he was not alone and that he had been given his own personal minister in me being in ICU, too.”

As time passed, no donor came forward and the young man’s condition worsened. The young man’s doctors recommended he return home before he died in Africa. Through the IMB’s global prayer network, the missionary asked Southern Baptists to pray.

“Don’t count God out,” the missionary told the young man. “He often waits until there can be no explanation except his intervention.”

As the doctors stood in the young man’s room explaining the situation, a call came in with the news that a heart had just been donated. They operated immediately.

As a result, the missionary said the young man’s despair turned to a desire to spread the gospel and the story of God’s power in his homeland, a place where Christians normally are not welcome.

“What a difference in his expression now. The Lord truly intervened,” the missionary said. “It was a miracle taking place.

“Thank you Southern Baptist prayer partners for your prayers. The Lord does hear and answers.”

(The identities of the man and the missionary were withheld to protect the young believer.)