I mentioned last time that Dr. Roberto Kikawa's father died of cancer. We met three patients with terminal cancer during our two years in Sao Paulo. They were those whom the pastor of Liberdade asked us to visit.
Mr. and Mrs. Kikawa (second-generation Japanese) had one son, Roberto, a medical student.
He was a second-year medical student at Londrina University, a long away from Sao Paulo.
Mr. Kikawa's wife and son were both devoted Christians, but Mr. Kikawa had no faith and denied God's presence. He was in the final stages of pharyngeal cancer, which had invaded the skin of his neck. Mr. Kikawa lost his job because of the onset of his illness. Therefore, he could no longer afford medical insurance. They had a very tight financial situation and had to recuperate at home. Their son was working part-time and struggling to make ends meet. His wife wanted us to visit him, so we went to his house together. He was lying on his bed, but we could not see his face because he kept the bed covers over his head the whole time. I asked his wife about his condition, and after chatting with her, I asked her, "May I pray for him?" Dr. Michio prayed calmly but confident that God would protect Mr. Kikawa and his family, and we said “Amen”.
We could hear Mr. Kikawa saying "Amen" clearly in his futon. We were so surprised that he said, “Amen”, but we just left that day.
The next day, Mrs. Kikawa called me. "Thank you, doctor. My husband felt good and wanted to drive by himself for the first time in a long time after you had left us. He was so happy to listen to Dr. Michio's prayer.
Could you please continue to visit us from time to time?"
Since then, we visited them once every two weeks, and gradually we could communicate with Mr. Kikawa.
I will change the subject for a while.
Our decision to get married was our common dream of going on a medical mission to Africa.
Michio sent letters to the Deans of the Medical Schools in more than 40 countries asking whether they needs a Neurosurgeon. However, we could not receive any answer and moved from Switzerland to Brazil.
Finally, Michio got letters from 3 countries.
They were Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia. The former two countries already had neurosurgeons already but none in Zambia. The University of Zambia told him that they are very much in need of a neurosurgeon, but they cannot give him a sufficient salary. It is about $100 a month. But if you still want to come, we are more than happy to welcome you. We would be happy to have you as an assistant professor.”
We jumped for joy. However, we would not know the reality of the situation. Michio tried to visit Zambia.
We had been attending the evening prayer meeting in the Brazilian group. Michio finally bought tickets to travel to Africa. There was an announcement asking if there were any prayer requests, so Michio raised his hand and spoke about his trip. Their strong prayers encouraged us. The offering was passed around, and we did, too. But the full of the offering was given to Michio. It was about $700. They also distributed a piece of paper to sign up for a chain of prayer times during Michio's trip. Since this prayer and praise group was an interdenominational gathering, no one probably knew us personally. This group was so special and thankful. They did not pray by duty, nor were we forced to give donations. The Liberdade church also prayed earnestly and supported me and our kids. Michio traveled through South Africa, stopping in Zimbabwe by taking a visa to travel to Zambia. He stayed in Zambia for five days. I want to share sometime about his miraculous blessings that occurred at that time.
An incident occurred while Michio was away in Africa. One afternoon, Mrs. Kikawa called me with a sad voice. She said, "Dr. Megumi, my husband was hospitalized due to heavy bleeding from a tumor in his neck. But I am so scared because this hospital is a place where there is a rumor that once he goes in, he will never come out alive. I need to help." "Oh, no way! Michio is not here at a time like this. What can I do?" But immediately someone came to mind, Dr. Yamashita. "Don't worry Mrs. Kikawa, Michio is away in Africa right now, but I will ask his colleague, Dr. Yamashita who I trust can help you. Please wait a minute I will contact you again." I called Dr. Yamashita. He said, "I will examine him, but I cannot do much for him in such a condition except close the wound." Dr. Yamashita arranged for Mr. Kikawa to be able to be discharged from the hospital where he was currently staying. I asked a Japanese friend to take care of my three young kids until I returned home. I was very grateful to have such friends in Brazil.
Mrs. Kikawa and Roberto came to pick me up the next morning at 5:00. We were so happy to see him coming out of the hospital in his wheelchair with a smile, and we could relax somehow.
Anyway, the best thing was that he could leave the hospital alive.
We went straight to the hospital where Dr. Yamashita was working.
But he suddenly started complaining of a headache in the car.
The pain was uncontrollable. There was nothing I could do but pray. "Dear God, you are the healer. Please heal his headache. We believe in You! Please show us your mercy!
Finally, we arrived at the hospital, and his headache had somehow subsided.
There was some time before Dr. Yamashita came to see him. Mr. Kikawa started crying and appealing to his son in Portuguese. According to Roberto, Mr. Kikawa's biological mother died shortly after giving birth to him and he was deeply saddened by the fact that he had grown up being discriminated against by his stepmother. He could not forgive his stepmother. But Roberto told his father as follows. "Dad, we human beings are all sinners. But when Jesus came, he made all our sins disappear. So please forgive her even for hurting your heart. Because if you don’t forgive her, God won't bless you either."
The Bible says.
In the meantime, Dr. Yamashita came and saw Mr. Kikawa carefully and treated his wounds. He was so busy and hurried back to the hospital room without charging him for the treatment.
After that, he calmed down and told his son "Roberto, I hope you will become a doctor for poor people like me. " As I mentioned last week, he contributed to the prevention and treatment of cancer for many people by creating a system in which medical equipment is placed in a large truck and travels around to help people in impoverished areas of Brazil. After we arrived at his house and had a cup of tea, Mr. KiKawa told us about the night he had spent in the hospital. He thought he was going to die because he had lost so much blood. A Catholic sister visited him and he asked her, "Sister, am I going to die?" Then she told him “God only knows. You may die or you may not die, but either way, God will never leave you alone. He will be with you and protect you. Mr. Kikawa felt at peace. A few days later, Mr. Kikawa's condition stabilized, and his son returned to the university in Londrina for his studies. Michio also returned safely from Zambia. We reported to each other about what had happened during that time and prayed with thanksgiving.
Mr. Kikawa then accepted Jesus and was very happy about our visit. He sang one praising song and he read the Bible every day with his wife. A month later he was baptized. The Liberdade choir sang a special praise. It was a wonderful and moving baptismal ceremony. Several months passed without any subsequent episodes of his distress. One day, Mrs. Kikawa called me in a calm voice. She said, "Doctor Megumi my husband has just left for heaven. I had gone shopping and when I came back home, he looked at me with big eyes, and then he went unconscious. He was waiting for me to come back! He went to heaven very peacefully. Thank you so much for everything." Roberto told me later that Mr. Kikawa had clearly told him that he had forgiven his stepmother.
After two years in Brazil, Michio's professor ordered him to return to Japan, even for a year. When we returned to Japan, Roberto came to greet us at the airport with his mother and his fiancée who was also a medical student. He told us "I will become an oncologist. You are going to Africa. Someday I want to visit you there. Take care!" We shook hands firmly, but we had no way of knowing at the time that it was the last time I would see him. His voice still echoes in my mind. (To be continued)
(2) Division of the town of Kushimoto has established a "Disaster Prevention Specialist Network" in response to my request. We will have a meeting on the 20th and 13 disaster prevention specialists will gather on the 26th. Please pray that we will have a meaningful time. Yesterday, another heavy rain warning was issued level IV in Kushimoto, and a flood warning level II was announced. Please be careful as natural disasters are occurring all over Japan.
(3) Pastor Megumi Ono had a dental checkup the day before yesterday and found a tumor on her palate. It is small and looks benign but perform a tissue test and remove the tumor. Since she is about to leave, we ask for your prayers that everything will go smoothly.
4) As a new trial by Wakayama Prefecture, there is a training program for "local disaster support physicians" who can promptly respond to base hospitals in the event of a disaster before DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) and JMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team by Medical Association) arrive. The theoretical part has been completed and the practical part will be held during July, but the date has not been decided yet. I have to do many things so please pray that the Lord will prepare us so that our programs will not overlap.