Healing the holy man

In the early weeks of winter, Gobind arrived at an EHA hospital in extreme pain. Ten years before, his wife had left him. She’d taken their only child with her. In response, he’d become a sadhu (Hindu holy man) – renouncing worldly pursuits and possessions and living in a temple, receiving alms offered by worshippers. It was not an easy life and it left him anaemic and malnourished.

When he arrived at the EHA hospital, Dr Dinesh discovered that his pain was caused by a hole in his bowel – a situation that required immediate surgery. Since he was an older patient and in generally poor health already, the outcome of the surgery was by no means certain. Before surgery, Dr. Dinesh shared the Gospel with Gobind and prayed for God’s mercy to bring him through the surgery.

The Lord answered! Gobind’s bowel was repaired and he recovered. Since he had no proper home to go to, Gobind remained at the hospital for his recovery time. The staff members continued to share Christ with him. He began attending the daily chapel service as well as church on Sundays and took great joy in being involved in the faith life of the hospital.

The witness of a group of believers living in community with one another is a powerful testimony. It gave Gobind the opportunity to taste and see the goodness of community life filled with the Holy Spirit. Hospital staff and church members hope the seeds planted while Gobind was with them continue to take root and bear fruit even now that he’s recovered and left the hospital.

Pappu is another man who was drawn to Christ because of the love and community he experienced. He’s from a Muslim family whose traditional employment is carpet weaving. Fifteen years ago, Pappu suffered a severe electrical shock which permanently damaged his right arm and back.

A year ago, Pappu’s brother beat him with a rod in the same area. A wound developed which festered and never healed. When he arrived at the hospital, the doctor realised that the wound had become a large cancer.

Pappu had no money for ongoing treatment; the cancer seemed to have progressed too far anyway. But the staff wouldn’t give up on him. He was taken to see a specialist several hours away. The specialist offered no hope. Pappu continued coming to the hospital every day so the staff could change his bandages. Again, Dr. Dinesh and other staff members used the opportunity to share the Gospel with Pappu.

Three months later, Pappu sat in the weekly church service on the hospital campus and professed his faith in Jesus. He said he’d tried every religion but had never experienced love like he’d received from the Christian community. “I’ve received Christ as my Saviour,” he said, his joy and thankfulness palpable. “It’s okay if I die from cancer because I will never leave my faith in Christ”.

The love, faith, and welcome showed by Dr. Dinesh and the other staff members at this EHA hospital draws patients in and gives them hope they cannot find elsewhere. Even when physical recovery is unlikely, the opportunity for new life is still available!

  • Pray that hospitals such as this remain faithful to express the love and compassion which draws patients and their families into new life.
  • Pray for Kiwi doctors to catch the vision to go and serve in hospitals around the world where SIM has partnerships.  To go, contact us anytime at at nzletstalk@sim.org