A DATE WITH JESUS
Revelation 12:11 says: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; …”. When we tell testimonies of the Lord God’s power and saving grace on our lives, the devil slinks away tail between legs. So, let us share our amazing stories of God’s love in action and shame the evil one.
We look forward to reading your own story of faith in the coming weeks. Your well-written story should be about 800 – 1000 words. Send your story to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected stories will be compiled into an anthology of stories of faith.
Here is today’s story of faith told by Khethiwe Ndlovu. Enjoy! Look out for the next story of faith next week.
A DATE WITH JESUS
Jesu, bomi bami, Ngiyabheka kuwe;
Wen’ uyinjabulo yami, Ngithobiswa nguwe …
This is one of my favourite songs from AmaGama Okuhlabelela, a Zulu hymnal number 262. This song hails and exalts the Lord Jesus, who is the singer’s all in all. The Lord bestows good living and joy to the singer. He brings healing; he is the great fountain; a river of love; he is everything. I pondered the comforting words of this song as I lay on a hospital bed at Corporate 24 in Bulawayo. I had been going through excruciating pain. I love Scripture. One of my favourite verses is: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. I wondered about this situation working for my good? I remembered that in times of great suffering and pain, we are never alone. He promised he would never leave us nor forsake us. I told myself that this time in August 2017 was a special date with Jesus. I had all the time in the world to pour out my heart to him.
It had all started way back in 2003. I had experienced a pain in the centre of my abdomen towards the right. The discomfort came on and off. The consulted doctor said the pain was caused by some small stones in my gall bladder. He prescribed some medication for me and encouraged me to have a diet that is natural and has a lot roughage. He said those small stones would dissolve gradually. I followed those instructions to the book.
I believed I was fine, but in 2015, the pain recurred. I went back to the Doctor who again prescribed some medication that only stopped the pain for a short while, then it came back with a vengeance. I experienced severe pain at intervals. The Doctor recommended that I should undergo a number of scans. Nothing was seen. I survived a journey of taking endless ‘stoppain’ tablets. All the while I was in prayer for healing and so was my husband, family and church family. The crux came when I was in class attending a course in Theology. This time, the pain was so severe that I could not stand or walk on my own. My husband was called to come and pick me up. Jefter came and decided that it was time to seek a second opinion elsewhere. He took me to Corporate 24 in Bulawayo. I was admitted and further tests were recommended by the specialist there. A scan done revealed something foreign in my gall bladder. The doctor said it was not very clear what that was, and the only way to find out would be to have an operation so he could have a proper diagnosis.
We continued to pray hard as a family. Many thoughts harangued my mind. What if this is life threatening? What would become of my young boys if anything happened to me? My oldest boy, Praise was eleven years old, and the youngest, Malibongwe was seven years old. Would my husband cope on his own? O, God, you promised that when we “cast our cares on you Lord, you will sustain us and that you will never let the righteous fall” Psalm 55:22. Show yourself true to your word Lord, I prayed. Family and relatives were worried. I knew some relatives who believed otherwise would have wanted me to try seeking healing elsewhere. But they respected our beliefs and stood with my husband as he took me to hospital.
Jefter and I are Pastors of a small congregation at Brethren In Christ (BICC) Montgomery Church outside of our other full time occupations. We were seconded to this church by Rev Collen Sibanda of BICC Mahatshula as this church had gone for a long while without a Pastor. But, Jefter runs Emplicity Enterprises, a family printing company. I am an Assistant Police Inspector at Mzilikazi; and I am also working on my Honours Degree in Theology at the Theological College of Zimbabwe. Actually, when I fell acutely sick, I was on study leave doing my theological studies. I am a chaplain in the ZRP. This course will enhance my profession.
We booked for the said major operation on 22 August 2017. I was in the theatre for a good six hours. I was shocked that seemingly one of the small stones detected in 2003 had grown so big that it ended up damaging the gall bladder. The whole organ was taken out. When I opened my eyes in the recovery room, I noticed everyone in that room was in tears; my husband, my mother, my sister Patience and my niece. Why were they crying? Were they mourning me? Was I still already in another space? I was to learn later that I had taken too long to recover and had been too long in the theatre they thought I had passed on.
“Mrs. Ndlovu, I don’t know how you survived with such a thing. I am going to take it to the laboratory to find out if it is free of infection,” the doctor had said. I did not even want to look at the monster removed from my body. I remained in hospital for almost a month with all sorts of tubes connected to me. It truly was an official date with Jesus. As I became better, I had to learn to walk again like an infant. Praise the Lord, there was no infection or malignancy in the thing that was taken out. I improved day by day and was able to sit up, eat on my own, and even go to the bathroom on my own. The agonizing pain was gone, but the wound had to heal. He is a miracle working God.
Being confined to a bed in hospital for four weeks is not a joke. Since I was on a date with Jesus, I really learnt to be still and know that he is God. I learnt to trust in him as my faith grew deeper and deeper roots each day. When I had lain on the hospital bed helpless, unless someone moved me, it became a reality what might happen unless God intervenes. I needed someone to help me and that help is due only when there is the love of God in the picture. God is love and I managed each day because I could feel the love and grace around my bed. I had all the time in the world to let Jesus know my innermost feelings. I learnt to appreciate life more. I appreciated the love of my family and other relatives and friends more. It meant a lot when my young son would come and sit by my side and say, “You will be all right Mama!”
Currently, I am good and strong except for occasional back pain if I overwork or bend for some time. My faith in God is unshakable. I am in my third year in the Theology course and I continue to support my wonderful husband in the pastoral work.
Khethiwe is married to Pastor Jefter Ndlovu and they have two lovely sons. They live in Bulawayo.