My physicians told me to expect a number of unpleasant aftereffects once they removed a golf ball-sized tumor from my cerebellum, but when I opened my eyes in the recovery area, I felt remarkably good! Not even a headache. Later, when the surgeon reported that the tumor had been removed whole and intact, I was even more elated. As the day progressed and this miraculous recovery became more evident, the nurse kept telling me I had high blood pressure. (I wonder, when Jesus did miracles in biblical times, did a nurse monitor peoples’ blood pressure as they danced and praised God?) Of course, I had high blood pressure! It was all I could do to keep from dancing down the hallway shouting praises my Great Physician!
That experience caused me to ask myself, “What should be our response when God delivers us from death?” Only one answer comes to mind: Go, tell everyone we encounter that Jesus Christ is our breath, and our life, and our all. When I awoke from surgery and the reality of God’s gift of miraculous healing settled in, all I could think to do was to tell everyone. I had to share.
The first nurse who helped me in ICU introduced herself as Naomi.
I said, “Naomi . . . ‘Your people shall be my people.’”
This wonderful, godly nurse smiled and said, “Ruth and Naomi! You know the Bible!”
“Where are you from, Naomi?”
She replied, “I am from Nairobi, Kenya.”
Earlier, the Lord had shared with me that this awakening would be for His people to share His heart for the lost and the least (Matt. 25:40). Here before me stood a lady from the very place I had been in January, a place that broke my heart for the “least of these” like nowhere else on earth. The death and poverty of the Huruma slums prompted us to establish H.I.S. BridgeBuilders there and, today, thanks to the faithfulness of several men and women, thirty to forty of the most notorious criminals meet each week to study the Word and to find new life in Christ. The study is led by Sabina Wanjiru Muchunu and a man named David.
David was a Muslim living in the northern edge of Kenya where militant Islam dominates. As he lay dying of cancer on a mat on a dirt floor he began to read discarded magazines, one of which happened to be a Christian publication explaining the gospel. He responded to the invitation of Christ with a genuine prayer of salvation. Later that night, he also prayed in belief that he would be healed of his cancer and then fell asleep.
The following morning he awoke to find that he had been miraculously healed. He had received tangible proof that the Almighty had heard his prayer, had healed his body of disease, and had cleansed his soul of sin. He couldn’t wait to share the good news with his Muslim brethren. So he went to Friday prayers at the mosque and shared that he had submitted to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and that he had been healed of cancer. His Muslim community responded by beating him nearly to death and chasing him from the city. His wife and children were given to his relatives and he hasn’t seen them since. Even so, he continues to be a bold witness for Christ in Nairobi.
When I share this story, it seems surreal. We, in America, do not have to worry about risking our lives to share the gospel. Our circumstances do not demand that we give up everything—including our families—to go and minister to people like our brother David.
When Naomi mentioned Nairobi, Kenya, I was again reminded of our calling as Christians. Just like the leper who returned to give thanks (Luke 17:11–16), how can we not go back and tell others the good news when every breath is a gift? How can we not go back and love others who are fighting for their lives when all of us have been touched by cancer in some way? How can we not go back and give when we know that every dollar we have is a gift from God? How can we not go back and share our stories of how God has healed us, cleansed us from sin, and redeemed us?
As I talked with Naomi and thought of David, it became clearer than ever that my response is to go back to Nairobi and to other urban communities around the world and to share with them the good news. To let them know that our God is bigger than any problem they might have.
Many are headed for hell today. Many lay dying in hospital beds. Many are starving to death. How shall we respond? The message of the New Testament is clear. If we say we love Jesus yet do not love the lost and the least, then we delude ourselves. In truth, we do not love the Jesus of the Bible but a counterfeit Jesus of our own making. The Jesus of the Bible said, “If you love Me you will obey my commandments.” He also said, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. . . . As you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Matt. 25:40, 45).
There is no greater authentication that we have grasped the magnitude of the grace we have been given than by the grace we give to others daily. If you think you had something to do with your salvation, your health, or your financial standing, then you will judge others and not be moved to act. If, however, you realize that you are saved, healthy, and financially blessed by the grace of God, you will be the first to say, “Here am I, Lord, send me!”
Here is a tangible way you can help right now: