In the Steps of Another

1983: We met him in Ghana. To his family´s chagrin, the English doctor had given up a promising career in Great Britain. The night we stayed with him before our return flight to Germany we heard him singing – not pop songs, but Psalms from the Bible – Prof. Perry.

 

1994: We worked together for several months at Baragwanath hospital at the gates of Soweto. This young doctor spent his vacation with friends helping out in crisis-torn Mozambique. When their truck broke down in the middle of nowhere they did not give up hope, they held a worship service by the broken-down truck – Dr. Chris Collens.

1998: In the 80s he was making bombs for the terrorist group “ Shining Path”. Ten years later my wife and visited him at his church in Quito – Pastor Rolando.

  

1999: The Australian surgeon of Greek descent came to Ecuador to support me as I took up my post. Week after week this old stager assisted me on many difficult operations. One time he said of himself: “Actually as a person I´m a pretty mean, but I have been radically changed!” – Michael Stathis.

  

2003: When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer´s he took care of her until her death 7 years later. I can not remember him saying one unkind or impatient word to her in all that time – my father Rudolf John.

   

2006:The old Quechua Indio drinks a cup of tea with me and tell me of his amazing conversion. “I was always drunk and heading for the grave!” He is has been free from alcohol for over 15 years now and comes to the hospital almost every Monday to pray with me – Sr. Alvarez.

   

2007: I sit in her office, hanging on to her every word. This attractive lady tells me that she never had anything to do with God, but as co ordinator for a German non-governmental organisation she occasionally had responsibility for projects in South America involving nuns. When the nuns told her that God would take care of their needs, she thought they had lost their minds. After a long period of observation, she realized that the nuns had been right all along – Sonia Salas.

   

2008: The taxi-driver drives me from one district of Lima to another, sharing his life story with great enthusiasm. “I was on drugs for seven years. One day I took an overdose and dragged myself to my mother´s apartment. My mother and two of her friends prayed for me until evening!” I lean forward in my seat, hanging on to every word. “I have not touched drugs since that day. I am so grateful to God!”- Ricardo Marquéz

   

2010: What the kind gentleman tells me about his life in those ten minutes renders me speechless. He had lots of money, a girlfriend and a chic apartment. But one night in a dream he sees a pile of broken pieces and knows that it represents his life. A few days later he takes off to travel round the world, leaving everything behind. In Asia he tries various Far Eastern religions but they do not meet the gnawing hunger in his soul. Many months later he returns to Germany. In California he had finally found what he had been looking for – Erling E, press speaker for a Christian TV station.

  

2010: No matter whether she is on the night shift or is just coming off the night shift, she is always kind – my wife Martina.

What do these ten people have in common? They followed and still follow in the steps of Another.

 

On the last and greatest day of the feast Jesus stood and said in a loud voice: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”  Bible. John 7:37-38.