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May 19, 2020

“As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV 1984).

I received an email this week from one I had not communicated with in 24 years. He asked me to call him and I did. His name is Kole Akinboboye, and 24 years ago he was a family medicine resident training at our mission hospital in Eku, Nigeria. I reviewed my diary of those mission years and discovered the very last entry: “I misdiagnosed a man with minimal symptoms and a rigid, non-tender belly. He went into shock the next day and in surgery was found to have infarcted his entire small bowel. There was no way he could live. When the patient awoke from his anesthesia, Dr. Akinboboye sat with him and told him about Christ. Before he died, the man accepted Jesus as his Savior.” This young doctor I had trained so long ago is now practicing in Nigeria in his own hospital and sharing Christ through his ministry.

The 24 years roll back as if it were yesterday. I remember so well the young man we trained who now has a life and ministry of his own. His email and this diary entry shout at me, but not so much of my good mission gone by. They shout to me of God’s great blanket of redemption that covers mankind, not so much with massive mission campaigns, but with young men and women who love God and grow up in their countries throughout this world, sharing Christ as they show His love. What a blessing for me to see the persistence of God in His loving plan through this Nigerian doctor after so many years. And I could say the same of Dr. David Iyamu and Dr. Godfrey Iyalomhe and hundreds I have known but cannot remember.

God is faithful. The work He is doing through each of us will not fail, though we often only see it in brief flashes from heaven, like this email from Kole.

Dear Father,
Thank You for Your work in Kole’s life and for Your work through his life for those You love. Let me never lose hope in Your plan or in the place You have chosen for me within that plan.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Olurotimi Aborisade on February 4, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    We have been greatly blessed by the ministry of Dr Kole Akinboboye. I met him as an undergraduate in early 90s in Nigeria. He was our Medical Director and has remained since then a positive spiritual influence.

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