ArticleField Stories

How One African Man Instantly Grasped God’s Grace

An ordinary conversation at a hospital in West Africa led to a light bulb moment.
“You were talking about grace, but what exactly is it?” asked Mr. Etoh.

During his regular evangelism visits to patients in the hospital wards at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB), hospital chaplain Justin Videgla got to know Mr. Etoh, who was at the bedside of his little boy who had been admitted to for treatment for abdominal pain.

Mr. Etoh and his son came from Est-Mono, a town about 100 miles (3.5-4 hour drive) from Adéta, where HBB is. Like many other HBB patients who travel long distances for medical care, Mr. Etoh had taken his son to their local hospital, but the treatments had yielded no results.

While talking with Justin about salvation in Jesus Christ, Mr. Etoh listened attentively, asking questions. One day, he went to the chaplain’s office in order to share his desire to better understand the gospel.

“I have been attending Celestial Church of Christ meetings for quite a while, but what I heard you say this morning is different from what they teach about salvation,” Mr. Etoh said. “You were talking about grace, but what exactly is it? Do we no longer need sacrifices to cry out to God for forgiveness of our sins?”

Mr. Etoh believed that keeping God’s commandments and observing certain religious rites could save him. Justin listened and then shared a simple, biblical gospel presentation based on the Book of Romans, culminating in Romans 10:9: “[I]f you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”​

“So is that all one must do to be saved?” Mr. Etoh asked. Justin affirmed this truth and read John 1:12-13.

Then, Mr. Etoh confessed his sin and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ, asking for forgiveness. Immediately, he knew he had been saved. Justin then prayed with him for the health of his child and was later informed that, by the grace of God, Mr. Etoh’s son's health had improved.

A week later, they were released and returned home. Since then, Mr. Etoh and Justin have been meeting for Bible studies.

“I give glory to God for the salvation of Mr. Etoh and for the prompt recovery of his little boy,” commented Justin.


Stories like Mr. Etoh’s happen every day through ABWE healthcare ministries. You can help finish the mission in Togo and reach the rest of Africa by giving to the HBB Vision 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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