Mystery Illness Leads Woman to Wholeness in Christ

Sadzi sobbed. What had happened to her? She had once worked hard to help provide for her family. Now, she couldn’t even get out of bed. She had chronic fever, leg pain and little appetite.

Mystery Illness Leads Woman to Wholeness in Christ
Sadzi and Makato struggled in poverty. They couldn’t afford medication or proper sanitation to help keep them healthy.

Despair settled over Sadzi, and her family felt it. They knew Sadzi was miserable, and it pained her family to see her in such a condition. What should they do? What could they do? The cause of her illness was a mystery.

Fighting an Unknown Illness

Sadzi and her husband, Makato, were extremely poor. Makato worked as a daily wage laborer, but his earnings barely fed the family of seven, so Sadzi also worked. The two toiled from morning to evening, and for a while, it was enough. They experienced hardship, but their needs were met.

Then Sadzi gave birth to their third son and suddenly fell ill. Poverty and poor health often go hand in hand. Impoverished people commonly have little access to proper medical care, nutrition, sanitation or medical knowledge that would improve their health.1 In Sadzi’s case, illness may have been linked to insufficient prenatal care. Complications in pregnancy and childbirth is a leading cause of mortality for women in impoverished communities like Sadzi’s, with millions of mothers developing disabilities such as severe anemia, incontinence, damage to the reproductive organs or nervous system, chronic pain and infertility every year.2 Sadly, impoverished women such as Sadzi are often in poor health themselves and lack the proper nutrition or medical care they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Whatever the cause of Sadzi’s ailment, she couldn’t seem to gain relief. Makato called a witch doctor to treat her illness, but Sadzi didn’t get well. He tried a more renowned witch doctor and offered sacrifices, but still nothing changed. Makato took Sadzi to the hospital, where she received medicine. Eventually the medicine ran out, and Sadzi didn’t have the money to buy more.

Sadzi’s condition worsened until she became bedridden. Day and night, Sadzi sobbed. She had lost all hope for her healing.

Mystery Illness Leads Woman to Wholeness in Christ
Makato and Sadzi grew in their faith as they attended a GFA church like this one, but they still faced hardship due to their poverty.

Wholeness at Last

Then Sadzi’s uncle, Balta, came to visit. A believer, Balta prayed for Sadzi and encouraged her to believe in Jesus.

“Don’t worry,” Balta told Sadzi. “Jesus, the Healer, will cure you, whatever sickness you are going through. You just need to trust Him.”

When Makato returned home that evening, Sadzi shared everything her uncle had said. Eager for Jesus to heal her of this illness, Sadzi and Makato found a local Christian church. They faithfully attended church services and believed for Sadzi’s healing. In response to their faith and prayers, Sadzi’s health gradually improved. Within a month, she was completely healed! Her family and neighbors were amazed to witness this wonderful work of the living God.

Sadzi and Makato later became part of a church led by GFA pastor Dacian. There, they and their children have continued to grow in their faith for about three decades. Their most essential needs were met as their spirits were fed and God proved faithful in their lives.

“Jesus, the Healer, will cure you, whatever sickness you are going through. You just need to trust Him.”

Grateful that God has been with them throughout life’s difficulties, the couple acknowledges that it’s only by God’s grace and mercy that they have reached thus far. Makato, an elder in the church, constantly carries Gospel literature with him so he can share with others about Christ’s love and what He has done in his life.

A Lingering Need

Despite the healing and joy Sadzi and Makato had found, however, they still struggled because of their poverty. For instance, they lacked proper sanitation facilities. Though the family had a toilet, it was poorly made and dilapidated. As a result, the toilet regularly overflowed and leaked, contaminating its surroundings in the family’s backyard. Such poor sanitation can lead to numerous diseases, including cholera, dysentery, typhoid, intestinal worm infections and polio as well as other health issues and even death.3

They knew it was an issue. They were likely reminded of it every time they came near enough to inhale its stench, every time nature called, day after day.

Mystery Illness Leads Woman to Wholeness in Christ
The church provided a safe, properly built toilet for Sadzi and Makato’s family.

The couple often planned to build a new toilet, but they didn’t have the funds. They considered taking out a loan to meet this crucial need, but then the COVID-19 pandemic and an ensuing lockdown meant they couldn’t work. It would have been difficult to repay the loan prior to the lockdown given their small income, but with no income they had no choice but to put off their plans once more. Then God provided through His people.

In time, Pastor Dacian learned of their desperate need for a proper toilet. Longing to help his brother and sister, Pastor Dacian offered a practical solution, taking initiative to construct a new toilet. Within a month, Sadzi and Makato had a new toilet made of bricks and concrete that would properly dispose of the waste. The new, safe facility filled their hearts with joy.

“We are extremely thankful to the church leadership for building this toilet for us,” the couple said. “For many years, we were using a dilapidated toilet. We many times planned to build a proper toilet, but we were not able to afford it with our little income. To have a toilet of this kind is beyond our imagination.”

The new toilet would help keep them healthy, and it would remove the stench from their backyard and their lives. Finally, they had the proper facilities to take care of the basic human need to relieve themselves. It likely also serves as a daily reminder of God’s goodness, provision and faithfulness.

Mystery Illness Leads Woman to Wholeness in Christ
Practical gifts such as toilets and warm blankets can meet people's urgent needs and introduce people to Christ's life-changing love!

Practical, Life-Changing Gifts

Many impoverished families like Sadzi and Makato’s struggle to meet even their basic needs. Luxuries such as proper sanitation facilities, warm blankets and mosquito nets—items which could greatly improve their health—are beyond their reach. Some families who are entrenched in generational poverty need income-generating tools such as goats, chickens or sewing machines to break the cycle of poverty and offer brighter futures for their children.

You can help. Through GFA World’s Christmas Gift Catalog, you can provide various practical gifts to families in need that can transform their lives. These gifts not only meet urgent, tangible needs, but they demonstrate Christ’s love and care in people’s everyday lives, making a profound spiritual impact as well. Gifts to impoverished believers become conduits of God’s faithful provision and can help these individuals grow in their faith. Gifts also help individuals experience true love and care, sometimes for the first time, planting seeds of truth and hope that can transform their hearts.

Give a life-changing gift today! »

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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