The medical work is "the right arm of the message." Knowing how soon our doctors can make not only friends but converts, and how effectively they can get on the good side of the government in time of persecution, we tried hard to have a doctor come to Colombia with us. However, not all mission fields have that good fortune, and this was our case thirty years ago. True, we taught our believers the advantages of health reform, but when it came to serious illness the majority of our brethren were not able to afford the services of a doctor; so we were alone with God.
Our believers could ask to be taken into the city hospital, but we found to our sorrow that anyone differing from the state religion received no care. We lost a maternity case in that way. Hence, our only resource was that our God hears the prayers of the sick and afflicted; and He has been our bedside physician many times. I will mention two cases.
While I was on one of my Sabbath school and church itineraries I learned of the serious illness of one of our Sabbath school secretaries, a young sister of eighteen. Her parents had called a doctor, but the case of their daughter was beyond his ability to help. Rosalva went from bad to worse until she lost her mind. She was able to go about; so her parents kept her confined to the patio of the home. She would not let anybody come near her. One can imagine the great sorrow of the parents to see a promising child gradually waste away under such conditions.
We remembered that "we have never done our best until we have presented our needs to our heavenly Father"; so we decided to have prayer for RosaIva according to James 5. The father and the mother began at once to set the house in order as though we expected the hours of the holy Sabbath to come. Then, kneeling, we placed the healing of the daughter in God's hands. Our prayers ended, I approached RosaIva to anoint her, and to our hopeful surprise she permitted me to touch her forehead. This was the hour of the turning point in the recovery of our young sister. Soon she began to show a change of behavior and in a few weeks the parents were able to let her be with some friends in the country. All this time we remembered her in our prayers. Not many months later she was well, and in due time Rosalva was one of the happy students in our academy.
Prayer Saved Life
One of our sisters in the church at headquarters was about to become a mother. The husband had engaged a doctor, but for some reason her case became critical. To make it still more serious, the doctor excused himself, promising to be back in the morning.
The husband and the mother-in-law, seeing Marina suffer so much and already delirious, resolved to call several of the members of the church and place her case in God's hands. As they were about to close their heartfelt prayers, the mother-in-law arose to anoint Marina. As she touched the young woman's forehead, she noticed Marina take a long breath as though she was feeling great relief. Indeed, her feverish breathing was relieved.
Marina continued to improve, and when she regained consciousness in the morning, they showed her the new baby. It had arrived while the mother was still unconscious. When the doctor returned he was greatly surprised to learn what had happened. Our sister continued to recover and in due time was able to attend church services again. When I arrived from my mission itinerary I gladly joined with the church in thankful praise to God that He had remembered His suffering child so very kindly. We felt that Marina had been given back from the grave. How often we can see God's wonderful loving-kindness to His children in the mission field!