I had one of those “Jesus” moments quite a few weeks back that really messed with me. It affected me so deeply as only God can that only now can I feel like its time to share. Here’s the way it went.
We have obtained permission to do a weekly outreach at the government hospital which happens every Friday afternoon. This particular Friday I had not planned on going but we had last minute issues with transportation so I found myself as the only solution on such short notice. I was feeling a bit “put out” as I had things for the weekend I really needed to get done but I really felt the Holy Spirit prompting me that I needed to get over myself and take the team to the hospital.
Zimbabwe hospitals have just recently even been back in operation and let’s just say they are FAR from the standards we have in the U.S. and actually about the worst conditions I have ever seen. Flies everywhere, blood soaked mattresses and very understaffed are just the tip of the iceberg. We were praying for a young man and I couldn’t help but notice the man in the next bed with an oxygen mask over his face but still having a very difficult time breathing. Along with the blood soaked bandage that marginally covered a large hole in his chest the other thing I noticed was he was shackled to the bed with a set of handcuffs on each ankle. His eyes were closed as if he was sleeping but when we turned to leave his eyes opened and as he stared directly at me I will never forget the empty look of pain and fear I saw in his eyes. The emptiness there just overwhelmed me and it was almost as I heard a scream in my head of “please help me!!”
He pulled off the oxygen mask and the only English I could understand was “I’m dying”. My Shona is poor to non existent so I had one of our guys tell me what he was saying. Turns out he was caught poaching on a game reserve, got into a gun battle with the police and had been shot in the chest. He had no family and no money to pay for surgery to remove the bullet from his lung and he knew he would never leave that hospital bed. Through our translator I was able to tell him about Jesus, that he was loved by God and he could make a choice to accept Jesus. So the story ends…we prayed with him to accept Jesus but the best part was the change I saw in his eyes when we left. The empty, pain filled eyes that were so full of fear had changed to pure peace and joy. I’m quite sure this man never left that hospital alive but I am overjoyed to know that I will see him in Heaven one day. Thank you Jesus for never giving up on any of your children and thank you Holy Spirit for reminding me that it’s just not about me but rather for those who are still lost and hurting.