Becoming Un-Broken

Today’s post is a story from Dino Crognale, missionary at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya along with his wife Janice and kids Elizabeth, Isabella, and Ben. 

One day, I was doing rounds in the medical ward, and I met a young Maasai man, David.* He had come to the ward the night before from the ICU where he was admitted because of a self-poisoning. He was physically improving but had many other things still to heal. Like many people attempting suicide, David felt hopeless. The day before, he had severely beaten his wife and she was near comatose. In remorse and shame he turned to suicide. As I saw him that morning, we talked about his medical issues and the next steps in his care, including getting the chaplains involved for spiritual care.

We continued through rounds, but his story kept coming back to me. After rounds, I returned to my regular duties in the ER. During the day the busyness of new patients occupied my thoughts, but periodically I would think about David and his situation. The following day I went to meet with him as God had continued to put him in my mind and in my prayers. I was unable to find him, though, as he had been discharged. I was told he was still around, as his wife remained in the hospital under treatment for her injuries. The chaplain told she that she had the opportunity to meet with him the day before. As they talked, David readily confessed his sins. As he heard about the love and forgiveness of Jesus, he accepted what Jesus had done for him. He had become a believer!

I was so thankful and yet still felt unsettled as if I were supposed to meet him again. The chaplain said she would find me if she saw him around. Over the coming days, I continued to pray for him and his wife. Finally, David, the chaplain, and I sat down together.  David told what it meant to him to now be a follower of Christ. He spoke of how he had put off choosing to follow Christ many times in the past. As he tearfully recounted what had happened between him and his wife, the remorse in his voice and countenance was readily evident. He was clearly broken. His situation was broken, his relationships were broken, and now his spirit was broken. As he came to the point of hopelessness, he had chosen death, but God used that desperation to bring him to a point of repentance, faith, and life.  As he continued his story, his face and voice changed as he shared how Jesus had forgiven him and given him hope that he could change. How he could become “un-broken.” Jesus had started a process of transformation in his life. We talked about Ephesians 5 and God’s intention for relationships in the family, that as husbands we are to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.” We went to David’s wife’s bedside and prayed with them. They have a long journey of reconciliation ahead, but we know that there is hope.

David’s story reminds me of my own story. It was not until I acknowledged my brokenness that I could experience the awesome redeeming love of Christ. We are all broken, but God is just waiting to un-break us, to restore us and to welcome us into relationship with Him. This is the hope that we have and the hope we have to share.

*name changed


This story shows why we do this “missions thing.” Do you know someone who is in the midst of brokenness? Reach out to that person today. Maybe, like David, they are reaching their breaking point.

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