When Sara Mamani visted the hospital in Cochabamba, her aim was to brighten the young patients' spirits while sharing the gospel through a lively puppet show.
During the display, Sara (above right) and the other members of SIM's Soldiers of Christ in Action ministry, had explained who Jesus is and about his gift of salvation and afterwards, she found herself in conversation with a Concepción - a mother-of-nine who only spoke Quechua, a language of the Andes and highlands regions.
Concepción (above left) was from a small village, but she and her husband, Juan, were visiting the city so she could get medical treatment. However, none of her doctors spoke Quechua, so she couldn’t find out her diagnosis.
Sara asked Concepción and Juan, “Have you heard Jesus’ story before?”
In their small village, neither of them had heard about Jesus, so Sara described Jesus’ life and ministry and prayed with them. She promised to return the next day to translate the doctors’ conclusions for Concepción.
When Sara came back, she interpreted the doctor’s words: “There’s a tumour in your uterus. It appears malignant.”
Sara’s background in nursing and an inspection of the sonogram confirmed the diagnosis: Concepción had a tumour the size of a newborn baby’s head that would need to be removed by surgery.
As Concepción’s new baby rested in her arms, Sara encouraged the couple to turn to God in light of the news. “God is in control. Will you trust him?” she said.
There in the hospital room the couple embraced Jesus as their saviour and united in God’s family, Sara felt a new bond with them.
Sara visited them several days each week to stay updated on Concepción’s condition and offer further Quechua translation. She also brought gifts, including Christian hymns, which she taught them to sing in Quechua to encourage their newfound faith.
When finally, the date for Concepción’s operation arrived, Sara took care of her baby as she prayed for healing.
Concepción’s surgery lasted six hours, without any complications. But once the doctors removed the tumour, they discovered an astounding fact: it was benign.
A greateful Concepción chose to name her infant Sarita after Sara and a month later, the family finally returned to their home, where Sara continued journeying to see her friends and her namesake.
As the couple readjusted to life back in the village, they realised the importance of telling their neighbours how God clearly transformed their lives. They intend to plant a church in their neighbourhood and encourage others to follow Jesus, too.
For Sara to continue courageously starting relationships to share the gospel.
For the puppet ministry, Soldiers of Christ in Action, which ministers to children, but also reaches adults and their families.
For Concepción and Juan’s family to grow strong in faith and impact their village with the good news of Jesus.