Hello brethren. I am writing to share how my husband, James Wagner, witnessed at the Northside Hospital to the community of healthcare professionals and patient family members. Sometimes, people think witnessing involves travelling to different places and preaching but witnessing comes in a variety of ways.
One can witness through a change of behavior or attitude, an alteration in the way they dress, or through healing from an illness or overcoming an addiction. All of these methods are forms of witness to the people who knew them or were close to them to see the change.
My husband and I witnessed at the Northside Hospital community of healthcare professionals and the patient family members in a number different ways, including the ones mentioned before.
During this time of my husband’s hospitalization and daily commute between hospital and home, I had met three ladies in similar situations but different cases. Due to my husband being in the ICU, I learned that this area of the hospital had a different way of operating and one of these ways was a family waiting room which has a code and all the necessary amenities for the patient family members.
Meeting the same people daily was easy and how we met goes as follows: First was Maria, a young mother of two kids under ten who had quit her job to care for her husband. I sympathized with her because she was in a more difficult situation than me. Even though both of our husband’s were in the ICU and on the respirators, I could leave mine at home alone and I didn’t have to quit a job. The comfort she had was that her family helped her with her kids.
After she shared her fears with me, I asked her if she believed in God and she said yes. I assured her that with God, all things are possible. I told her that, “As our Shepherd we will lack nothing. We hold on to that promise and trust God will provide for your family.” Working with limited time, I wrote down the scriptures on a sheet of paper for her and we parted.
Two days later, I almost knocked a lady down at the ICU entrance rushing in at the sight of the door opening and later the same lady came and sat next to me with a weary look on her face in the ICU family room. After initial greetings, she informed me that her husband is too sick and something terrible had happened to her. I inquired if she believed in God and she said she did after a long hesitation.
Now with her saying that she did indeed believe in God, I assured her that with Jehovah all things are possible and there is nothing such as “too sick” with HIM. Then she told me how she had given someone money and after that, she realized the story the man who she gave money to didn’t add up and she was conned. Here I explained that once one gives something, that thing should not be grieved but be given freely regardless, or that thing shouldn’t be given at all because it defeats the purpose of giving.
As she was talking about how bad she felt, a statement came to me that I felt the need to share with her. That statement went as follows: “I give with a clean heart now, accept it as a token of good faith for the sake of my husband and let it go”. I told her to say this out loud to the LORD! Two days later, we met again and she was happy to see me. She told me how she had been looking forward to talking to me because she understood things better the way I had explained to her and that her husband was doing better.
She also informed me that she had hesitated because she thought I was a Jehovah witness and how she had left the kingdom hall gatherings. I explained that I was not in association with Jehovah witness denomination but I had faith and trust in Jehovah God. Again the break was over and we parted ways.
Two days later again, I met another lady of Indian descent and after greeting her she asked me who I was visiting and I informed her that my husband was in the ICU and she told me that she was there for her son who had been transferred from Augusta to Northside Hospital in Atlanta. She informed me that he was very sick and she had to rent an apartment close to the hospital.
Being of Indian descent and due to the part of India she was from, I knew they didn’t practice Christianity. Therefore, I was cautious to ask her if she believed in God until I saw an opening. She said, “It was a blessing my husband was responding because as a nurse I understand the nature of what had happened to him.” This gave me the comfort to speak candidly about God.
Now, given the opportunity, I asked her if she was a Christian and she said yes. I assured her that God is able to handle anything. I quoted Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Timothy 1:7 and I prayed with her and we parted. I tell you ICU in the Northside is like a school. They follow visiting hours and no one is allowed before or after the visiting hours and there is only one person allowed in the room overnight.
After I got back to the room I wrote her a letter and gave her more scriptures to have as a reference. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity, because either she was too far or I never closed paths with her until a few weeks later when we met at the chapel prayer meeting. After everyone else left and the service was over, she remained behind and so did I because I was so happy to see her.
She inquired how my husband was and I asked her how her son was and as she read the first verse of Psalm 40 which was the theme for that day. She started crying and said, “Please take me and save my son!” I held her and we both cried but I was saying, “No. Don’t say that, Jesus already did that for all of us now. Ask God to strengthen you and to guide you on how to take care of your son.” I reminded her that she also has a daughter and a husband to think about. I informed her that the three of them need to pull together and to keep their trust in God and to be there for her son.
Since I had misplaced the letter and we were in the chapel with Bibles I got one of the Bibles and opened to Ephesian 6 to read from verse 10. After we read we prayed and I also explained that her daughter may think that she only loves her son by talking like that. In the end I told her that her husband and their daughter were also worried for her in addition to their son as the mother. I assured her that only God has answers and for us is to trust in Him without doubt. After praying, we both left.
I saw her husband sometime later and when he started talking to me I knew she had talked to him about me. He told me his wife was talking to her friend and their son was responding but they trust in God with their son.
As for my story, my husband Witnessed to doctors and nurses by how he was able to go in and out of ICU and came out responding to all commands after they had told me he wasn’t going to come out the first week in ICU. No matter the crisis, he come back with determination and thrived day after day to the point that they finally nicknamed a “ comeback kid” and to others a “miracle man”
This journey made me believe that the seed of faith was planted because anyone who cared or saw my husband during hospitalization must understand that there is a higher power beyond human ability. My husband finally died but not when they said he would. He had gotten well to go to the rehabilitation center when something else happened but he had fought the good fight with determination.
Brothers and sisters in life, we have to do our part with joy and gratitude and rest in God for the finale because only HIM knows when and how it ends.
Stay encouraged and trusting in the Lord For HE is our shepherd and we lack nothing.
Your sister in Christ
Mrs Domiscilla Wagner
KENYAN PARENTS IN USA