I am writing this article after spending the past week doing Bible School in a Cu'pik village in southwest Alaska. We gather twice a day to celebrate Jesus with the children and then offer evening Bible studies for the youth, men, and women of Chevak. At the end of one of my women's Bible studies, Norma Tunutmoak asked if she could share a testimony of God's power and faithfulness.
When Norma's son Joseph was 12 years old he became very ill and his skin started to turn yellow. Medical treatment is not readily accessible in many villages in Alaska so they flew to a bigger village called Bethel to see what could be done for Joseph. From there they chose to medevac Joseph to Seattle, Washington, the closest facility that had doctors who deal with liver failure. It was determined that Joseph needed a liver transplant, so the search began to find a liver with a compatible blood match.
During the months of waiting, Norma felt that she would surely have to watch her son die. She was overwhelmed with that thought and wanted to run away and never come back. Then the Holy Spirit began to work powerfully, encouraging her to pray and give her problems to God. "TRUST IN HIM AT ALL TIMES, O PEOPLE; POUR OUT YOUR HEART BEFORE HIM; GOD IS A REFUGE FOR US," Psalm 62:8.
Norma cried out to the Lord, "I give my son to you Lord, do whatever you will. If you need him, take him. I will praise you no matter what happens! You are great and I will trust you!”
The next morning the doctor came to tell her that they had found a liver that was a blood match. Wow! Upon closer examination the doctor decided not to use that liver because it was not in good shape. What a roller coaster of emotions.
Two weeks later the doctor found a liver that wasn't a blood match but it was in good shape, so he gave the orders to go ahead with the transplant. Would Joseph's body accept the liver that was not a match? Well, when the world says, "No way!" Christians can say "Yahweh!"
After spending a total of four months in Seattle, and another month in Bethel, he was able to return home to His family and community in Chevak. Once a year he visits Seattle just to make sure everything is ok, but he is alive and well, and Norma is still praising Yahweh! (Yahweh is a Hebrew name for God, the great I AM!)
What do you need to trust God for today? "Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that POWER belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs STEADFAST LOVE," Psalm 62: 11-12a. Thank you Yahweh for your power and love!