God of comfort ...and Peace
By Hayley Giordano | Nigeria in West Africa
Hayley Giordano served with SIM in Jos, Nigeria, for 10 months between graduating from college in the USA and starting medical school. Here she shares how the comfort of Christ reached out through her to a mum-to-be during critical surgery.
Peace grabbed my hand as the surgeons started the first abdominal incision.
She was reaching out to me for comfort, a new friend from another culture, as the caesarean began.
Peace has sickle cell disease, a common genetic blood disorder in Nigeria, which can make pregnancy risky. Like so many women in Nigeria, Peace’s future looked bleak with a child on the way and a total lack of financial and spousal support.
It was those factors that led her to Pro-Life Evangel, a centre for women and girls who have crisis pregnancies in Jos, Nigeria. It was founded in 2004 as a response to the high rate of abortion and child abandonment in the region.
I first met Peace when she moved into Pro-Life’s hostel, where pregnant women and girls can live if their families are unsupportive or even hostile to their situation. Our friendship deepened over the five months she was there.
Although her life had been in turmoil, Peace’s future brightened when she moved into the Pro-Life Evangel hostel. She began actively participating in Bible studies on topics such as forgiveness and how to trust God.
Partners and family members are not allowed to accompany expectant mothers in the operating room in Nigeria. However, since I was a medical student, I was welcomed in.
In the operating room, I stood at the curtained partition so I could see Peace’s face and speak with her, while also watching the surgeons work.
I was surprised and filled with joy when Peace grabbed my hand as the surgeons began the first incision. I held her hand for the entire operation. It was amazing to see how much comfort Peace found through me, someone who had come to know her only during the past few months.
Providentially, the Lord reminded me that ultimately I wasn’t the source of any comfort. Instead, I was a servant that the Prince of Peace and God of all comfort was using to transmit his comfort.
I can help comfort others because I have been radically comforted by God, especially in Nigeria where my desire for comfort is deeper than before. I pray that eventually, through caring for my patients’ health, they would come to know and trust the God of all comfort.
•For Peace to continue her walk with God and bring Treasure up to know and love the Lord.
•For Hayley as she continues her studies, that she would bring God’s comfort to her patients for years to come.
•For the Pro-Life Evangel Centre to continue its work among pregnant women who would otherwise be abandoned or marginalised.