As soon as I stepped into Jamal’s* room, I felt the hopelessness. I had taken care of him before; he was waiting for a lung transplant. He was very sick—on oxygen, struggling to breathe. His wife and two young children weren’t even allowed to see him.
Jamal was propped upright so that as much air as possible could get into his lungs. His head hung awkwardly to one side as he gasped for air. Instinctively, I fluffed his pillows and repositioned him, trying to make him more comfortable in some way. He mouthed a breathless, “Thank you.”
As I did his assessment, I tried to figure out how I could possibly relate to him. He was in such need, but he seemed so out of reach. “How are you doing today?” I asked. It was a senseless question, but it was the only thing that came to mind.
“My wife, my children. I’m worried.” He couldn’t talk much.
What could I do to carry the whole conversation each time I saw him? Suddenly, I had an idea. “Jamal, I need to see several other patients, but when I return, would you like me to tell you a story? You know I’m a Christian,” I warned, “so I only have Christian stories to tell.”
He nodded weakly.
I was so busy that I didn’t see Jamal for the rest of the morning. Another nurse covered his call for me, but he didn’t want to see her. As I returned to the floor, I got the message, “Room 263 wants you. Only you.”
I rushed to Jamal’s room to see what the problem was. “The story?” he mouthed almost silently.
I laughed with relief, “You really want to hear it?”
Knowing that Jamal’s recovery was impossible without a lung transplant, I immediately prayed that God would inspire me to share what he needed to hear. Instantly, the story of the woman with an issue of blood came to mind. How strange, I thought, to share it with a young Middle Eastern male. But I launched into the story and watched God provide the details.
“A woman had been losing blood for 12 twelve years. She had spent her life’s savings seeking a possible cure, but no one could help her. Weak and discouraged, she noticed one day that her neighbors were celebrating. Someone who had been blind could now see. Others who hadn’t been able to walk were running around. And a man who hadn’t been able to speak his entire life was talking. ‘Jesus is in the neighborhood,’ they told her. ‘If you go to Him, He can heal you too!’
“Oh, Jamal,” I continued, realizing he was fully engaged. “Hope welled up inside her. She wanted healing so much that she determined to find Him.”
I noticed the expression on Jamal’s face change. He reached out with his eyes; his face was the picture of anticipation. He motioned for me to go on. I prayed silently as I proceeded, knowing the Lord could touch him as well.
“So many people were pressing around Jesus that it seemed impossible for her to reach Him. Maybe if I just touch His garment, that will be enough, she thought.”
I explained to Jamal that Jesus knew the woman’s heart’s desire, just like Jesus knew his. “He knows you’re worried because you don’t know what will happen. He knows you’re concerned about your wife and children.”
He nodded, and I continued with the story.
“To the woman’s astonishment, Jesus began moving in her direction. The press of the crowd seemed to shove her toward him, and her outstretched hand clutched the edge of his garment. Instantly, she was healed.
“‘Daughter,’ Jesus said, looking at her with love and acceptance, ‘Your faith has made you whole.’
“Jamal,” I asked quietly, “do you believe Jesus can heal you?” I knew it was a risky question.
He was quiet for a few moments and then responded. “Yes. Yes, I believe.” My heart soared with praise and the assurance that God would reward Jamal’s simple faith.
Soon after that touching exchange, Jamal received a lung transplant. He recovered quickly and went home to his family. He sent me photos of his children huddled around him, his young boy hanging on his back, and he even visited the hospital to express his gratefulness!
He tells me that the devotionals I send to my friends each morning are such a blessing to him. And he calls me his sister because I prayed for him and helped him.
What a difference Jesus and a touch of faith have made in his life!
Our church faces tremendous challenges in sharing Jesus in closed countries, countries that have shut their borders to organized churches and traditional missionaries. But a tentmaker can bypass these barriers! Total Employment is the Global Mission tentmaker program.
A tentmaker is an Adventist professional who chooses to follow the example of the apostle Paul. Paul supported his ministry with his tentmaking trade, and as he talked with his customers, he looked for opportunities to lend a listening ear, meet a need, and share the good news of the gospel.
Like Paul, tentmakers mingle with people in the secular workplace while engaging in intentional, personal outreach. They form long-lasting relationships that enable them to touch hearts for Christ in ways they never could if they were official church workers.
Your donations to Global Mission help encourage and equip tentmakers by providing them with much-needed coaching, training, and spiritual support.
Tentmakers are making a difference for Jesus, but they need your help. Please support their ministry with your prayers and donations.
Ways to Give
Make a secure donation quickly by scanning this QR code or visiting Global-Mission.org/giving
In the United States:
Global Mission, General Conference
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6601
SDA Church in Canada
1148 King Street East
Oshawa, ON L1H 1H8
Is God calling you to be a tentmaker?
Hundreds of Adventist professionals of all types are needed. To learn more, please visit TotalEmployment.org.
To see what’s happening in mission in the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission, visit m360.tv/middleeast.