Expecting To Be Turned Away

One Togolese man believed his injuries were too extensive to treat—but found physical and spiritual hope at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique.

Kanab came to Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) expecting to be turned away.

When he arrived, his companions didn’t even take him out of the car because they anticipated hearing what they had been repeatedly told by other medical centers: he was hurt too badly, and there was nothing anyone could do.

Dr. Brandon Snook first saw Kanab sitting inside the taxi at the hospital curb. Not only was he suffering from devastating high-voltage electrical burns, but his burns had not been adequately treated for over a week and reeked of gangrene. Kanab was in great pain, and both he and his family felt completely hopeless.

However, Kanab was not turned away at our hospital. The surgical, nursing, and chaplain teams began the long process of caring for his physical and spiritual state. When he first arrived at HBB, Kanab firmly believed that he couldn’t know if he could be spiritually saved, and that good works were the only thing that might save him in the end. After several weeks of hearing the gospel, he began to show signs of faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

There certainly are medical cases that are beyond our capacity to treat at HBB, but thankfully, we have a Savior who is not bound by our limitations. He doesn’t turn away anyone who comes to him in faith. “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out” (John 6:37 HCSB, emphasis added). Jesus is the perfect Savior who faithfully redeems all who believe in him, but he also makes it known that he specializes in restoring hopeless cases. Paul explained to the Ephesian church that we too were once in a hopeless state:

At that time, you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. (Ephesians 2:12-13)

None of us could have done enough to earn our salvation with good works even if we lived a thousand lifetimes. We have no hope in ourselves; our only hope is in Jesus Christ. That is the true hope we can offer patients in Togo.

Please continue to pray for Kanab, his family, and the other patients at HBB. Through the tireless efforts of Dr. Snook and his team, including many surgeries and skin grafts, Kanab is slowly and steadily making progress. Though everyone had lost hope, it looks like he will survive his electric shock. Our prayer is that God will use this seeming tragedy to be the very thing to bring him to Christ! This is why we do what we do here at HBB.

Editor’s Note: Kanab’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Andrew Paul Ward

Andrew Paul Ward is an ABWE missionary to Togo, West Africa, sent from Grace Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Andrew is the husband of Mary, father to Emmanuel, Cyrus, and Alethia. He holds a B.S. from Bob Jones University, an M.Div. from Temple Baptist Seminary, and an Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Support Andrew’s ministry.