“Based on the way I was invited in, I didn’t even know they were Christians. They were so kind to me and treated me like they had always known me. While I was standing in line waiting, I heard one of the Americans sharing the gospel and that made me nervous because I am a Muslim. I thought, ‘they are not going to tend to me because they are Christians,’ but it was the opposite…”
Medical clinics open a door to many individuals who may never set foot in a Christian church. It allows us to meet their physical needs, and in the process, share the love of Christ. Many people that came through the Mto wa Mbu medical clinic were of Islamic faith. As they went through triage, met the doctors, and received medicine, they heard the Gospel of Jesus through prayer and testimony. Many Muslims we encountered accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, not because of the medical care they received, but due to the love of Christ being present throughout the clinic. On the first day, Mkasanga, a Muslim man of 71 years, spoke with three different nurses, a doctor, and Yusuph, leading to a life changing decision.
Due to his physical needs, Mkasanga came to the clinic on the first day. “I have been in pain for a long long time. I have several issues and have spent so much money traveling to go to nearby towns to see doctors, but I exhausted all my resources. When I heard there was a medical clinic coming into my village, there is no way I was going to let that pass, so I just came,” Mkasanga explained.
“Based on the way I was invited in, I didn’t even know they were Christians. They were so kind to me and treated me like they had always known me. While I was standing in line waiting, I heard one of the Americans sharing the gospel and that made me nervous because I am a Muslim. I thought, ‘they are not going to tend to me because they are Christians,’ but it was the opposite,” he explained. Hang, a nurse with Twelve21 Global, had taught a young Tanzanian girl how to share the gospel and encouraged her to share it in the waiting area. Hang and the girl had shared the gospel with Mkasanga and four other men. They all began asking questions which prompted Anna, another nurse on the team, to join in.
“If I am a muslim, are you still going to treat me? Even if I am not Christian?” Mkasanga questioned. Anna promised, “Of course we will treat you. Our God is a God who heals and loves everyone. No matter your religion. No matter your race. No matter who you are. He loves you without question.” Mkasanga continued to wait in line after Anna prayed for him.
It was finally Mkasanga’s turn. He sat down at triage with Krista, a nurse with Twelve21 Global, and she began to share the gospel with him. “Stop. Everything you’re about to tell me I have already heard,” Mkasanga stated, “When you, Americans, go back home, when the medicine runs out, and the doctors leave, who will be here for me?” Krista reassured him that there would be a local pastor that he could personally get connected with, but Mkasanga was still concerned about what would happen to him after everyone left.
After Mkasanga saw the doctor, Krista made sure to connect him with Yusuph, who explained how important it is to get connected with the local church. Twelve21 Global is in partnership with a church across the street from the medical clinic, which Mkasanga can get involved with. The Gospel and love of Christ had been shared with Mkasanga by Hang, Anna, and Krista which led to Yusuph having the honor in leading him in prayer to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.
“When I first came to the medical clinic, my intentions were not to change my beliefs. I came as a Muslim and I didn’t know that it was a Christian place. The process of checking in and going through the clinic was very different because everyone was very caring. And the people I spoke with not only introduced me to Jesus, but helped me understand ‘the why.’ I feel like its very important I know the why instead of just accepting Jesus because I have received medical care. Several different people talked to me about Jesus and shared it with me in a way that I could understand. Everyone’s kindness and ability to share why I should accept Jesus as my savior led me to my decision,” explain Mkasanga.
Two days after his experience at the clinic, Mkasanga welcomed us into his home for an interview. We asked him at the end if he has told anyone about his experience and he responded, “I have already told so many people. Even if you told me not to tell anyone, Jesus sent me to go and tell them!”
– Photograph by Nicholas Laning
– Story written by Tiffany DeBoer