Rosanna* is a nurse with a passion for sharing Jesus with those who need Him most. She and her husband, Gunther, a doctor, help operate a mobile health clinic in a large city in the Middle East, where they minister to the needs of thousands of refugees who can’t afford medical care.
One day, the couple received a call from a man who asked them to come see his wife right away.
Rosanna and Gunther made their way to the couple’s apartment and listened in stunned silence as the anxious man shared his story.
Seven years ago, his wife, Nasima, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a recurrent inflammatory and progressive disorder of the central nervous system, which had caused visible damage to the entire left side of her body.
The family was not only dealing with her physical illness but also facing the heavy economic costs associated with medical treatment, as well as the psychological trauma of having to flee from their homeland during this difficult period.
About this time, Nasima slowly entered the room. Covered in a white veil, the only thing they could see was a small, puckered face filled with pain.
“It took a lot of convincing on our part to persuade Nasima to allow us to conduct a simple examination,” Rosanna said, “because in this part of the world, it’s embarrassing to expose oneself, especially to a foreigner.”
Rosanna and Gunther decided to admit Nasima into their care. Her medical costs would be covered by the project while she received the physical and psychological treatment she desperately needed to recover.
The next week, Rosanna began therapy sessions. She remembers the first time Nasima removed the veil that covered her head, spilling out her blond, disheveled hair. Closing the door, Rosanna asked her to lie down with her head toward the lower end of the bed.
“My first goal was to stretch and rebalance Nasima’s skeletal muscles to help reduce the inflammation,” Rosanna recalled. “I started with her head and neck, but it hurt her so much, she immediately urged me to stop.”
Rosanna didn’t know what to do because without these treatments, there could be no progress. She decided to pray for wisdom.
“God, I don’t know what else to try,” she pled. “Please use my hands to glorify your name. Please guide them to bring your healing!”
During the next couple of weeks, the idea slowly came to Rosanna that if she couldn’t alleviate Nasima’s pain, she could at least try to make her feel beautiful.
On one visit, Rosanna carefully began to comb Nasima’s hair. Fortunately, Nasima could tolerate the pain the combing caused. It was difficult to unravel the tangles, but Rosanna’s gentle work relaxed Nasima’s tense body, and by the end of the combing session, she had fallen into a deep and peaceful sleep.
After she woke up, Nasima stood in front of a mirror and smiled. Until now, there had been a wall between the two women, largely due to language and cultural barriers but also because of the respect Nasima had for the medical profession. Rosanna realized that she was becoming Nasima’s friend.
Since that day, God has shown Rosanna methods for treating Nasima’s body and soul.
“Now, if I’m late, she teasingly asks me why,” said Rosanna. “We pray before every therapy session, and I never leave their house without an ‘I love you’ in Nasima’s recently learned English.”
Nasima and her husband have invited Rosanna and Gunther to eat with them many times and have given them gifts from their hearts.
God in His mercy has allowed Nasima’s health to improve in some ways, and she is now experiencing very little pain.
Please pray for the ministry of Rosanna, Gunther, and their team as they provide physical healing for their patients and lead them to Jesus for the spiritual healing that only He can bring.
* Names have been changed.
Rosanna, who is earning a master’s degree in nursing, participates in the “Waldensian Student” initiative, a frontline mission approach in which Seventh-day Adventist students live, study, and serve in secular universities in specific countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Following Christ’s example of outreach, they mingle with people, win their confidence, minister to their needs, and as opportunities arise, bid them to follow Jesus.
For information on how to become a “Waldensian Student,” contact Questions@adventistmission.org.
To sponsor their unique ministry, visit Global-Mission.org/giving and select the “Waldensian Student” Program.