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Adventist Mission


Hole in Stomach

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, January 14.

By Georges Ntumba Mulumba, communication director at West Congo Union Mission


arcel felt like he was dying. His stomach hurt tremendously.

When he placed his hand on his stomach, it hurt even more.

He had no money, and he didn’t know what to do.

In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, no hospital would take him without a guarantee that he would pay for medical treatment.

Then someone told him about the Adventist Clinic of Kinshasa. Maybe they could help.

With the assistance of his children and wife, Charlotte, Marcel rushed to the 15-bed clinic.

To the astonishment of the family, the medical team didn’t say a word about money. Instead, they showered Marcel and his family with prayer.

“The big surprise for my family and myself was the attitude of this medical team who demanded nothing and were only concerned with saving human life,” Marcel says. “In comparison, most hospitals will not accommodate someone who hasn’t paid money first.”

The medical team ran a series of tests and found that Marcel was suffering from a perforation of his stomach.

It was unclear what had caused the holes. A perforation can occur as a result of appendicitis, ‌the swallowing of a corrosive substance or a foreign object, or a gunshot or knife wound.

Marcel’s case was serious. The contents of his stomach might spill through the holes and case a deadly inflection. The medical team needed to perform an emergency operation. The operation was a complicated one. Three out of every 10 people do not survive the procedure.

Marcel was admitted to the clinic. However, the medical team didn’t have all the equipment that was needed for the operation. Arrangements had to be made to secure it.

Finally, after the necessary equipment was obtained, the medical team brought Marcel to the operating room. Anesthesiologists put him to sleep. Doctors opened him up, worked carefully to repair his stomach, and then sewed him shut.

Marcel is convinced that it was God, not the doctors, who performed the delicate operation.

“The intervention was too risky,” he says. “I was at death’s door. But to tell you the truth, it was God who operated. Such a surgery on the stomach is a matter of life and death, and I am alive.”

Ten days after the operation, it was declared a success.

“Honestly, my life is a miracle of God. He did everything,” Marcel says. “I cannot forget the spirit of prayer that I noticed in the Adventist clinic. The presence of God is so necessary in times of distress.”

Marcel said that he and his family would not forget about the clinic, the place where his life was spared. He said he would not forget about the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which operates the clinic.

“We ask the clinic to keep doing acts of kindness to everyone,” he says.

The clinic received part of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to upgrade its facilities and equipment in 2019. Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. But, as evidenced in Marcel’s story, the needs of the small, 15-bed clinic remain large in a city of 17 million people. Its medical team remains committed to leading people to Christ, one person at a time.

Marcel says he is one of those people.

“I came dying and came out alive!” he says. “Praise be to the name of God! I discovered Christ through these acts of kindness.”