I had never wanted to go on a mission trip. In fact, it was the one thing that I asked God to not make me do. I loved him. I wanted to serve him, but weren’t there enough people in Naples, even in Florida? Golly, I’d even travel around the United States if he wanted. I just didn’t want to go outside the country. It was out of my comfort zone, in a big way!
But one day a friend asked me to go to Costa Rica with her, and I heard God telling me that this was for me, that I was to go. And so immediately I said, “Okay.” I felt like there was someone there I was supposed to meet; I was going for the one!
I got my passport, and three weeks later, I was headed to Costa Rica. The first morning upon getting there, we headed off to the local hospital to minister to the patients. It took quite a while for the administration to decide to let us in, but there is never a moment wasted with this group. The hour was spent in the waiting room of the hospital, singing praises to the King. When it was decided it was okay for us to visit the patients, we headed off to the maternity ward. There were precious new bundles of life every- where and mothers about to give life.
One soon-to-be mother brought tears to my heart when she explained to us that she was in the hospital waiting to find out if her unborn baby was still alive inside her. My heart caught in my throat as I remembered the pain of finding out that Chance was no longer alive, and I prayed fervently that she would not receive that same message.
We met several young girls, only sixteen and already mamas. The age of all the women in the ward we visited was very young. Motherhood came early to these young women. We prayed for blessings, health, favor on to their lives and the lives of their little ones. It was a sweet time.
After the maternity ward, we had a choice to go to the oncology or surgery floor. We chose oncology. We prayed for several men who were suffering various ailments, and then as we were standing outside a room, determining where we should go next, a young woman approached us. Would we come quickly and pray for her brother? He was dying. He had decided that he didn’t want to live any longer. His wife had left him, and he could not face the pain of her departure. So he decided to take his own life by drinking some sort of poison. The doctors said he would die that day; his organs were shutting down.
We followed her down the hallway, and there we were met by such a sad sight. Her brother, Domingo, was shaking like a leaf, and sweat was pouring off of him. His eyes were wild with fear, and the smell of death was in the room. We approached him and explained to him that we wanted to pray for him. He had changed his mind and he did not want to die. He now wanted to live, but death was overtaking him, and he was panicked and afraid.
First we asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus into his heart, and he said yes. We led him in a prayer of salvation. Then we started praying for healing over his body. As we prayed, you could see the peace of Jesus overtake him. It was something to watch. The sweating stopped, his eyes calmed, and he began declaring the power of Jesus in his life. He declared healing and hope and that he would tell the world what Jesus did for him. As his mother and sister watched the life flow back into this man, their tears turned to smiles. When we left, he was praising God for healing and hope in his life.
I know I probably can’t convey the depth of the emotions of that event, but know that it was truly a miracle from Jesus that we were allowed to see in that room—the healing hand of the Lord in action, right before our eyes. So humbling, so amazing.
When I returned to the hospital the next day, Domingo was sitting up in his bed, a little sick to his stomach, but definitely alive and well. Thank you, Jesus!
Excerpt from If God is So Good, Why Is My Life Such A Mess? by Joyce Schneider