Sunday, 20 November 2016

A faithful follower

On Thursday I had a new patient at the clinic, her name was Henrietta.  When she came in it was obvious she had had a stroke so I was expecting the subjective assessment to be quick and easy.  When I asked her what the problem was, she started with ' Since I was born......'  My first thought was 'oh no this is going to take forever and none of it will be relevant as to why she is here today for physiotherapy!!'

It turns out none of it was relevant but it was great and encouraging for me.  This is her story.....

Since I was born God chose me to serve him.  As I grew up I believed in what God had done for me and I have spent my life serving him. I did not get married or have children because I was serving God.  I was born in Cap but heard God calling me to Port au Prince as a missionary to tell people about what he has done.  My life had been difficult but we should expect to go through suffering when we are serving God.

I was in an car accident in 2014 and hit my head and was paralysed all down one side. I was in hospital for 2 months.  My family have abandoned me because I am a christian, I don't have a home and I just sleep in the church that I belong to.  When I find a little money I eat, I have gone 10 days or so with no food but I know that I am suffering for Jesus. the life of a servant of God is not easy.

I tried to encourage her and tell her the bible tells us we will suffer but we know our hope is in heaven and when we get there, there will be no more suffering.  Her face literally lit up with the thought of heaven.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone's face light up like that.  She agreed and sung a song about it! I can't say that has ever happened when treating a patient before.

I asked her how she knew we had physio here in Bethesda?  She told me a few nights ago she had a dream where two ladies told her she should go to Bethesda because there would be someone there to help her.  Anyway we continued to talk as I treated her, every now and again she would say   ' Thank you in advance Jesus for healing me.'

It was encouraging for me to see someone following the Lord so faithfully in the midst of such suffering.  Some days I think we are suffering by moving here.  There are many things we miss from home such as family,  friends, being able to take the boys to the park, going for walks, nipping out to the shop to get what we need,  church, our home culture (although Bill isn't quite sure what his home culture is anymore!!) It would definitely be easier for us to live in Northern Ireland.

Other days when I see how people are suffering here I think we are not suffering at all.  God has given us so many things to be thankful for.  We have a lovely house to live in,  we can eat everyday, we have clothes, shoes, toys, books,  our OMS missionary family, good internet (mostly) to keep in touch with family at home, friends here and many many more things.

However with or without the material possessions Heneritta and I have one major thing in common we both believe and trust in the same God. We are both thankful that even though we will have suffering in this life, it is only temporary. And when we are going through times of suffering we have a God who is able to help us, who will strengthen us and who will give us the grace we need for each and every situation.

Romans 5 v 3-6

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
 because we know that suffering produces perseverance,
 perseverance character; 
and character hope.  And hope does not put us to shame.

1 Peter 5 v 10 

And the God of all grace, 
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
after you have suffered a little while, 
will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 

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