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Missionary Doctor Finds Hope in a Miraculous Healing

Dr. Eric McLaughlin is a missionary doctor in Burundi, one of the poorest nations on the planet. After years of watching one out of seven of his patients die, it is hard for him to hold onto hope. He tells the story of Odette, a young woman who was hospitalized with terrible kidney failure. Odette’s family pooled their money to send her to a kidney specialist in the city. Long-term dialysis was not an option, so Dr. McLaughlin wondered if the expense of such a trip would change anything for her.

Dr. McLaughlin writes, “I fear to hope sometimes. My recent weeks had been filled with tragedies like Odette’s. More than that, there had been several times when it seemed like someone was going to recover but then suddenly died. ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick,’ says Proverbs 13:12. Exactly; my heart was sick.”

Amid his lament and doubt, his phone chimed. Dr. McLaughlin saw that the messages were from a friend named Onesphore, a former student and coworker. Now he works at a hospital in the city.

“Good morning doctor. I wanted to let you know that we have been caring for Odette. We have not been able to do much. But some fluids and careful observation have resulted in her kidneys returning almost to normal! We’re sending her home today. I just thought you would want to know. Praise God!”

Not only was Odette healed, but I heard the news from someone I had helped train for his current job. The good news arrived precisely when I was sitting there thinking about how afraid I was to hope. The idea that God was present was no longer theoretical; it was real and sudden. In a moment, the revealing of this whole story filled me with tearful joy, not a small amount of fear, and a renewed hope.

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