ArticleField Stories

Following Christ Life or Limb

Komi was about to lose his leg. What he gained instead was of infinite, surpassing worth.
A Togolese man stands for his portrait near the ministry of the ABWE team (note: Komi not shown). (Photo credit: Judy Bowen)
Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease) is difficult to treat and often results in amputation.

Komi (age 62) was in the hospital for months as this disease threatened to take his leg. The doctors and surgeons were doing all they could to avoid amputation.

Understandably, Komi was angry and bitter upon his arrival at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB). Beyond accepting physical care, the man was neither kind nor receptive to anyone else that came to speak with him. His family referenced that even before the disease, this was usually how he acted. When the chaplains came to encourage him and share the truth of the gospel with him each day, he constantly rejected them, including their prayers for his condition.

After several weeks, one chaplain gave Komi a Bible to read himself if he “wanted to find the truth” and said to call for him if he wanted to talk. There are no televisions at HBB. Without much else to do while continuing to receive care, Komi did read the Bible.

About three weeks later, he asked for a chaplain to come and see him. No one had ever seen the man in the bed before. He was happy and cheerful, with a beaming smile on his face. Immediately he said, “I understand now! I believe! Thank you for sharing this good news with me!”

A patient receives care at HBB in Togo. (Photo credit: Judy Bowen)

Filled with a desire to learn more about God and Jesus, Komi was given a Source of Light biblical correspondence course to complete in bed.

“The man went through the lessons like a sponge, absorbing and soaking up everything that he could,” said Dr. Michael Gayle. He was finally released from the hospital in December with his leg intact, his newfound faith and peace, his Bible, and more Source of Light lessons. He returned for a follow up appointment in mid-January joyful and thanking everyone for changing his life by sharing the truth of the gospel with him. He was sent home with more Source of Light lessons.

A few hours later, the hospital received a call. Komi had been killed in a terrible car accident on the way back to his village.

“Some people would say, ‘That’s not fair! How could God not protect him after he gave his life to him!’” Gayle said. “It is sad, and it was shocking, but as Christians we really should be saying, ‘Hallelujah! This man had an opportunity to accept Christ, before he died! God has everything under control and in his plan!’”

“This is why we are here in Togo,” Gayle continued. “To share the best medicine of all—the good news of Jesus Christ! It is life changing and will save you in the end! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”


Editor’s Note: You can help finish the mission in Togo and reach the rest of Africa by giving to the HBB renewal project.

About the Author

Hannah Strayer is a media specialist serving in Africa with ABWE. Hannah uses her photography and media skills to share the needs on the field, help missionaries more effectively communicate with supporters, and share the gospel with nationals. Support Hannah’s ministry.

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