One and a half years ago my Lord introduced me to Kura. One and a half days ago He took him Home.
Kura used to be a blind boy, living in a small little hut at the edge of Soyama Town in the Burji District of southern Ethiopia. He died from a brain tumor.
Kura was one of those “unplanned” ministries. In December 2005, on the spur of the moment, before I even knew what I was saying, I told Oshe (a church leader): “Tell anyone who is having eye problems to come to me; maybe I can help them.”
Kura’s parents brought him. Sitting on the ledge at the side of the Soyama church office, I examined him. He’d lost 100 percent of his sight suddenly about 2 months before. He had a constant headache. He had no history of trauma to the head. His eyes looked clear. My diagnosis: brain tumor affecting the optic nerve.
This was like a death sentence in Ethiopia. Brain surgery is not an option there. Chemotherapy and radiation are not possible. Kura was a young man, maybe 16-17 years old. His whole life lay ahead of him.
To confirm my diagnosis, we sent him to Addis for an MRI scan. The diagnosis was confirmed. Now the only thing that remained was to keep him as comfortable as possible during whatever time he had left. I was able to arrange some pain medicine for him.
Six months after this initial assessment I saw Kura again. By now the tumor had metastasized to his spine. He walked with great difficulty. His pain was great. His father was distraught; he had spent all his money taking his son to various clinics, but no one could help him! I carefully explained the problem. “No one can help Kura except the Lord Jesus. Are you willing to trust the love of the Lord Jesus? Are you willing to trust Him to do what is best for your son?” I advised him to stop wasting his money on medical help, to focus on keeping Kura as comfortable as possible, and to yield the life of his son to the Lord Jesus. I gave him more pain medicine.
I expected him to live another 6 months, but our Lord kept him here for 12 months. Just 3 weeks before he died, our Lord allowed me to visit Kura in his home. It was a run-down hut, maybe 10 feet in diameter. Kura’s bed was a bench attached to the wall of the hut, made of mud; it was hard. The air was dark and smoke-filled. I sat beside Kura, holding him, praying with him, loving him. I gave him more pain medicine, and left his home feeling certain I’d never see him again this side of Heaven. Oshe assured me that the faith of the family had remained strong; they continued to love and follow Jesus, even as that same Jesus was ruling to take their son. Church members were regularly coming to visit Kura, bringing food and encouragement. It was a wonderful demonstration of Body Life and faith in action.
Today Kura is walking without pain beside his Saviour. He can see perfectly. He has exchanged his little hut and hard bed for a Heavenly Home filled with light, comfort and joy. In times past we have shared with you our burden for Kura; we’ve asked you to pray for pain relief and peace. Now the Lord has answered that prayer in the fullest sense.
I am left with a sense of awe and humility…how blessed I am that our Lord allowed me the privilege of ministering to this young man. The world at large cared nothing for him. His situation was inconsequential. No world powers were threatened. No media considered his story news-worthy.
Yet our Lord saw him. And our Lord cared. And our Lord sent me to comfort, to instruct, and to encourage.
What unplanned ministry does the Lord have for you and me today??
July 7, 2007