Not Forgotten

Following is a story from the recent International Scripture Blitz in Nigeria.

One morning our team of Gideons visited a psychiatric hospital in Lagos. It was a very hot and humid day. Upon arrival, a very gracious head nurse led us to the patient wards.

Our mission? Place a blue New Testament next to every bedside and allow the Auxiliary to provide a white New Testament to every nurse so that they may come to discover the only lasting hope there is – Jesus Christ.

We were shocked at the condition inside the wards. There were no nightstands or other furniture. Just beds. One ward had 37 male patients. The adjoining ward had 37 female patients.

A line of patients sat on a hard, wooden bench with their backs to a concrete block wall. It is here where they sit, clothed in their pajamas, staring into space, day after day, week after week.

As we entered, we smiled and waved.  Then something interesting happened. In response to our smiles, many of their faces began to brighten. Some even smiled.

One young man caught my gaze. It felt as though he stared into the deepest part of my soul. And then, in a moment that I will never forget, he looked me in the eyes and spoke. “Thank you that we have not been forgotten,” he said. “This is just what we need to keep us going.”

Standing there as this man prayed for us, we were humbled at how God was using our team to bring the gospel’s message of hope to the forgotten.



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