… a lovely story of what goes on at Galmi

[note: This is written by a missionary at Galmi and we just wanted to share it with you because we love sharing the stories of physical and spiritual healing!]
Peter continues his work with the four surgical residents. Unfortunately, there is a never a shortage of work for the surgeons as patients arrive daily with often advanced and life-threatening conditions related to immense poverty.  Niger has been and continues to be one of the poorest places on the planet, with one of the highest child and maternal mortality rates. It’s sad knowing that so much of what we see in the hospital is totally preventable with basic sanitation, safer roads and more education. Peter continues to enjoy leading weekly Bible study (Genesis) with the residents.  He was also asked to start a weekly Bible study (Psalms) for the hospital missionaries. He loves the Bible teaching more than surgery and wishes that the latter did not take so much of his time and energy. It continues to be a heavy load for Peter, but he remains healthy and seeks to maintain a cheerful and servant attitude in his many responsibilities….
doctors at Galmi
The hospital evangelist and I offered to pray for “Ali”, a patient with a broken arm and leg following a car accident. Like most patients, he accepted, but unlike most patients I caught a hint of anger flash across his face as we finished our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. A few days later, I was back to see patients in Ali’s room (7 patients in the same room), but I was a little afraid of Ali and tried to remain out of his line of sight. “Baturia? Ina Baturia?” (“White woman, where is the white woman?”)  I heard the familiar words over the general buzz of activity in the room. Ali was asking for me.

I walked towards his bed, forcing an easy smile, and greeted him with the usual Hausa salutations. Ali responded cordially and then asked me a most astounding question, “
Can you get me a Bible in Arabic?”  He was a highly learned man, attested by the shape and length of his goatee, who had studied the Koran in Arabic during his studies in Nigeria. I was thrilled and quickly responded, “Yes of course! Absolutely, I will get you an Arabic Bible!”  Ali thanked me and I left the room pondering my dilemma, “Lord where am I going to find an Arabic Bible in this place?”

I asked around the hospital in the all the obvious places, but much to my disappointment no Arabic Bible was to be found. Later that morning while working in the clinic, I needed to speak to the obstetrician about a patient, and during our conversation I learned that she had recently purchased an Arabic Bible while home in Germany in the event someone needed it. Ali needed it!

A few days after giving Ali the Bible, I was eager to follow up with him to learn what he had read and enquire if he had any questions. The problem was how does one do this with only a few of Hausa words? There is a Nigerian (from neighboring Nigeria) missionary at Galmi named Yop. I had already had several encouraging conversations with her in previous weeks, and I knew she was very gifted in presenting the gospel to the Hausa people.  One evening we arranged to go together to speak to Ali.

It was dark when we got to the hospital, but the corridors were packed with people milling about or kneeling on mats and praying due east towards Mecca.  We found Ali, and greeted him. Given the fact that Ali was confined to his bed and the room was full of people, Yop decided it best to address the whole room rather than try for a private conversation. Yop pulled out a picture Bible from her purse and proceeded to tell the entire room 
the greatest story there ever was! She started with Creation and worked her way through the Bible, carefully explaining God’s redemptive plan through Jesus Christ. I had never seen people so captivated, so mesmerized, and so engaged. One man in the corner of the room barely blinked, and another man in the room periodically looked up at me, grinning and pumping his fist in the air as a sign of his appreciation. I just stood there, smiled and prayed.

An hour later Yop was still sharing the Good News when my phone rang.  
“Oh dear, Peter is on-call and he needs to go into the hospital to do a C-section.”  I quietly slipped out of the room and hurried home to Peter and watch over our sleeping girls. One hour later, Peter returned home and exclaimed, “You know she’s still going at it!”  “Who’s still going at it?” I asked. “Yop! She’s still in the hospital and people are joining in from other rooms.” Peter enthused. I couldn’t believe it. I thought Yop would be home by now and possibly sleeping.

I changed back into my hospital clothes and just before dashing out the door I sensed I should grab a stack of Hausa Bible tracts and hastily stuffed them into my purse. I peddled to the hospital as fast as I could, hoping I would to be present when Yop shared the absolute best part of the story – Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection power. I rushed back to the room to find Yop sharing with the same energy as when she started nearly 2.5 hours earlier. I don’t even know if Yop knew I had left, but I just kept praying for her and the people in the room. “
God please let these seeds fall on good soil… please keep the birds from snatching these seeds away…. please make a way, where there seems no way for these men to know you as their Lord and Saviour.” Yop finally stopped, took a breath, and then turned to me asking, “Hyon, did you bring the tracts?”  I quickly replied, “Yep!” I was only too happy to oblige. We handed out the tracts and left excitedly talking about how God was at work in that room. 

Several days later, again wanting to know what Ali was thinking, I followed up with Yop. Yop had subsequent conversations with Ali and answered his questions and objections. Ali believed Jesus was a great prophet who had done all the things the Bible claimed, as the Koran teaches similar truths, but Ali did not believe Jesus was the final and definitive prophet. Ali’s understanding was that because sin continued to increase in the world after Jesus, God had to send another prophet to set sinful man straight with one final revelation. In response, Yop explained that the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus’ work upon the cross was sufficient and complete for man’s redemption. She then shared the last chapter of Revelation with him, (the same passage of scripture I had just read in my own devotional time that very morning!). 

       “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share of in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”  (Rev 22:13, 18-19).

Ali was silent and then he looked up at Yop and said, “I will be with you in Paradise.” (i.e. I believe Jesus is the way and I will be with you [Christians] in Paradise)

Ali will come back to the hospital for follow up and he has Yop’s contact information for further discussion and teaching.  During this Easter season, please pray for Ali. This is what Easter is all about – Jesus died for Ali as he did for us all. Pray that Ali becomes a committed believer. It will not be easy for him as people are often persecuted for converting to Christianity in these parts. We are not sure if there are even any Christians or a nearby church in his hometown. Please pray that God will continue to lead Ali and many others in Niger to Himself through Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life.  
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Rev 22:17). Let’s pray that they come to Jesus.  

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