Consolette and her brother in Vanga
Sewing school in Vanga
Eighteen years ago, while serving at Vanga Evangelical Hospital in Zaire, we came across a young child who had a deteriorating heart condition. Her doctors feared she would die without urgent surgery.
There were no options within the country for open heart surgery, but through the efforts of a podiatrist from Ohio, Dr. Dan Bailey, who had previously volunteered in Vanga, and faith and prayer from many, arrangements were made for Consolette to travel to the U.S. to have this critical surgery.
In May of 1998, Consolette, one month shy of her sixth birthday, travelled to Ohio with her father at the invitation of Dr. Bailey and the University of Michigan Medical Center. Consolette, who weighed a mere 22 pounds and with failing health, could only walk a short distance. Her father had to carry her from place to place.
Her open heart surgery took place in June, and she remained in the U.S. for several weeks to recover her strength. Dr. Bailey remembers, “Prior to leaving our home, she was running, playing, and leaping like a normal 6 year old girl!”
We thank God who touched the hearts of Dan and Randi Bailey, who opened their home and spent enormous time making this happen, as well as the surgical team, and individuals and churches across the US who supported her in prayer.
Consolette is now a healthy and lovely young woman. She attends technical school in Vanga and is studying to be a seamstress. She dreams one day of designing clothes and purchasing her own sewing machine to support herself and her own mother who is sick at home, and now depends on her.
Perhaps you remember praying for Consolette so many years ago. We rejoice in what God has accomplished through prayer and through the selfless effort and faithfulness of so many… people that Consolette will likely never meet!
God works His will in the lives of His people. Sometimes He has His purposes which we don’t understand… but always His glory shines through, as it does today in the life and future of this young woman.
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Proverbs 27:19