God Of The Impossible!
“She will not speak again!” I looked at my husband as many emotions teased his face. Dr C. Van Heerden continued, “I am sorry Mr Jumbe. She will not walk ever again.”
I wished I could scream, “No, no! Don’t look like that Phil! What is this Doctor talking about? Nothing is impossible with God,” (Luke 1:37). But, I could neither speak nor move. I lay flat on my bed at Sandton Clinic in Johannesburg. I had walked into this clinic, after driving from Harare to Masvingo, where my husband Phil took over and drove all the way to Johannesburg. Now this!
It had all started with very bad headaches I experienced, in 1996. When I went to the doctor, he thought I was just stressed. I was the Finance Director in the family company and the doctor thought I needed to relax. The splitting headaches persisted. No amount of pain killer helped. Eventually, a specialist established that I had a tumour on the left side of my head. That was scary and confusing. I was a nurse by profession and understood what that entailed, but what a relief to learn after tests that it was not malignant. The mass pressed on the brain, causing the headaches.
“You need to undergo an emergency operation to remove the mass. Unfortunately, I am going away on leave.” That is how I eventually landed at Sandton Clinic.
When I came out of theatre, I could not see. I was paralysed on my right side, and I could not talk nor move. My head was wrapped up in bandages, and I was in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for eleven days. Phil was very worried by the turn of events.
After three weeks, and no sign of improvement, Phil decided to talk to the Doctor. The Company and workers needed attention back home.
“Doctor, I would like to take Bernie home. May you please …” Phil did not complete the sentence. Dr Van Heerden interjected strongly saying,
“I will not allow that! I don’t care whether you want to travel by plane or whatever else. Maybe after two weeks I shall consider that!”
Cynthia, my eldest daughter had come to visit. She and Phil prayed fervently that night. In the morning, when Phil visited, a nurse rushed to him with the news,
“Mr Jumbe, your wife sat up! She talked!” The unexpected happening showed tremendous improvement that the Doctor said,
“Mr Jumbe, you can take your wife home!”
It was a miracle! The Doctor organised the medicines, the walking sticks, and a letter to the Doctor in Harare.
At home, it was disheartening to note the reception when various ones visited. When two of my brothers visited, the older one shed tears. The younger said, “Please don’t cry here! Do it out there!”
The worst was when my oldest Aunt visited. She looked at me and said to others, “Hmm, we need to prepare. Go and fix things at home. Things don’t look good here!”
Many visited and said encouraging prayers. Others thought I would never walk.
After two weeks from South Africa, I was rushed to the Avenues Clinic, where I was given injections to thin the blood when there was threat of thrombosis. Days and weeks moved, slowly.
Later, when Phil suggested that I should go to St Giles, I was angry. I thought he had grown weary and wanted to be rid of me. I remained at St. Giles for nine months doing physiotherapy, and speech therapy lessons. It was tough to learn to walk again. God was good all the time. I kept hoping … hoping in God.
One day, I was so fed up I just stood up and walked about five steps. Nurses around screamed in fear and my instructor scolded me terribly. But I was so excited.
“Is this me! God, you are marvellous!”
When we visited Sandton Clinic for a review, Dr Van Heerden could not believe his eyes. “Is that Mrs Jumbe! I am not charging you today. Go and buy some wine!”
I am sure deep down he wondered at what he had declared, that I was never going to talk or walk. Nothing is impossible with God. The journey to healing was long. I am grateful that I walk daily, and I can talk. They say I am God’s miracle.
Stembeni Bernadette Jumbe is married to Philbert Jumbe, and they have six adult children and two grandchildren.
Do share with us your thoughts after reading this amazing story. We look forward to your own story of faith so we may march together in faith.