Recently, while visiting a patient with end-stage AIDS, my team had the opportunity to spend the majority of the visit sharing the Gospel with a very ill young woman. From previous experience we know well the urgency for someone to understand the Gospel when in such a state. On this particular visit, this mother of three responded affirmatively to every word we shared. Unfortunately, I wasn’t convinced she actually knew the truth and trusted it with her whole being. As we walked away from this difficult visit I was reminded of the verses in Ezekiel 37:1-14. Ezekiel was challenged to prophesy in the valley of dry bones– to command the bones to arise. It turns out it wasn’t just a simple command. It was a process. First, the bones needed to come together; there needed to be a sense of physical healing before the prophesy could be complete. Once the body was “whole” the body still needed breath in its lungs! Not just air, they needed the breath of life! Once the complete prophecy was fulfilled they received hope and were able to trust in what the Lord would do.
As this day closed, I was feeling exceptionally broken-hearted. I realized how many of our patients seem to be dry bones, numb to knowing the weight of their pending eternity. We treat, we share, and we preach, but we walk away and they sometimes seem unchanged– as if they are only dry bones. I even wonder at times if I’m just dry bones walking around forgetting all the Lord has done for me. Do I bring eternal hope to each person I encounter?
In Mozambique, where the history is difficult with oppression and war, disease and witchcraft, we want to call out to dry bones to arise! Whether the Compassionate Care team is visiting end-stage AIDS patients in Chipendaumwe or an audio Bible distribution is happening in a rural village in Gaza Provence, we must command dry bones to arise. We must arise as the church around the world and pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare hearts to receive the Word. Sometimes you first need to treat the wounds and then hope can be received with the breath of life. Audio Scripture Ministries is called to do this in Mozambique– arise dry bones, there is hope and life through hearing the Word of God!
Written by Dara Vanden Bosch, Compassionate Ministries Coordinator