Now in God's Fold :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
By Rachel Langendorfer

Now in God's Fold

Rose was dying. She was no longer able to sit up on her thin bamboo mat in the dim house. Her dusky color and gaunt frame were signs of her terminal leukemia. But this was not the first time that Rose had been on the brink of death.

Six months earlier, family members informed me that she was seriously ill and unable to leave her home. I found her in a dilapidated house, moaning, mildly disoriented, and poorly cared for. Although Rose had been sick for weeks, her family, assuming she would die, had not taken much initiative in seeking help. We transported her to the clinic, started intravenous fluids, and began to assess her condition. Most of her tests came back normal, but her hemoglobin was dangerously low. Rose desperately needed multiple units of blood.


The most urgent need was for Rose to be transported to the nearest hospital over three hours away. The Lord provided arrangements for a newly formed emergency service to send out its ambulance to our rural location. My coworker and I breathed more easily knowing an ambulance was on the way and that Rose was perking up a bit with hydration and Tylenol. But then the family started saying they couldn’t send her to town! What? She would soon die if she did not get a blood transfusion!

“If she goes to town, she might die there. It would be better for her to die in her village,” her relatives declared passionately. However, the bigger issue for them was the cost. Although the close relatives had money for hospital fees, her husband did not want to be beholden to his relatives as they expected repayment. We offered to cover the entire cost for her to get care at the Kundiawa General Hospital, and they eventually agreed to send her.  


Throughout the conversations with the relatives, we had multiple opportunities to share Scriptural truths. God made man in His image, and life is valuable. We shared our responsibility to do our best to save Rose’s life, especially considering that she was not yet ready for eternity. I shared how God provided the financial needs of the clinic through believers who donated money and also prayed for this ministry. Those funds would enable them to get treatment for Rose without any strings attached.

While in the hospital, Rose received five units of blood. She felt much stronger, and when she returned to our village, was able to take short walks without much difficulty. During this time of improved health, several Christian ladies witnessed to her. Although she listened with appreciation and interest, Rose was still relying on her good works for salvation. The tears ran down her cheeks as she recalled how God had graciously extended her life, but she was still afraid of death.


A coworker visited Rose in her home, showing her pictures while relating the story of Adam and Eve covering themselves with fig leaves after the fall. God was not pleased with their human efforts to deal with sin even as he is not pleased with people today coming before Him with their good works. Even as He provided animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve, He provided the sacrifice of His son Jesus to pay the penalty of our sins.

The coworker finished with the story of the dying thief on the cross who was unable to do any good works but simply trusted in Christ alone to clothe him in His righteousness. Rose listened attentively and with a simple faith trusted in Christ for her salvation. She was blessed to learn that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Later, as her health deteriorated, I asked her if she was afraid to die. Her face radiated joy and peace, and she said, “No, I am in God’s fold now!”


As Rose was nearing the end, three of us believers were singing hymns to her and her family members. Her unsaved husband, David, asked for clarification regarding her terminal condition. I was able to explain her diagnosis and then turn the conversation to spiritual truths. Rose had confidence that she was going to heaven because she had trusted in Jesus alone for her salvation. David acknowledged that he too had seen a change in Rose since she had come to Christ.

Rose passed gently into the presence of her Good Shepherd. Although her profession of faith preceded her death by only one month, her life changed, and her story continues to unfold. Rather than going to the pastor of his works-based religion, David came to our missionary pastor and requested that he preach the funeral for Rose. The Gospel went forth with clarity to the mourners. Shortly after the funeral Rose’s teenage daughter, Jennifer, began to attend Sunday School and trusted Christ as her Savior. The Good Shepherd continues “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)!