Fr. Ignace Mutombo
Before I share my testimony, I begin with these two songs of praise that burst out of the depths of my heart because of what the Lord has done in my life.
It all began in 2017, in South Africa. After a long period of suffering from high blood pressure, the diagnostic test results showed that I had kidney failure. Suddenly, I was in need of dialysis.
On the 24th of November 2017, I started my first dialysis treatment at Grey's Hospital. Since that moment my health began to rapidly deteriorate.
In August 2018, I received encouraging news from Italy. Our brother Fr. Sandro Bocchin, after approaching the Diocese of Vicenza, had found a way for me to go to Italy for appropriate health care, with even the possibility of a kidney transplant being done there. Shortly thereafter, my sister after being tested and deemed a perfect match, offered to be a potential donor.
On the 30th of January 2019, I arrived in Italy. I was admitted for dialysis three times a week for a duration of four hours each day.
We then began the long period of preparation to see whether my body would be receptive for a transplant.
A year and a half later, I was put onto the kidney transplant list. My sister, who was willing to donate her kidney, was prevented from travelling, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and strict restrictions. Besides the gesture from my sister, our brother Fanda, also offered himself as a potential donor. We did all the required testing and he was also a match. However, it wasn’t the Lord’s plan, so in the end the plan with Fanda as a donor did not become a reality. Day after day we thought about new plans and ideas, but because they was not the Lord’s will, none of them succeeded.
The very last plan was to invite my younger brother.
On that very day, the 10th of May 2022, when the hospital contacted me to set up an appointment to see how we could invite my donor… this same day the Lord opened a new and surprising door!
This is what happened that day....
That Tuesday night, while I was struggling to fall asleep, I saw that a telephone call was coming through from Vicenza. It was at 11:54pm.
I was unsure whether I should answer the call or not. However since the caller was insistent, I finally decided to answer it.
I was informed that a kidney had become available for my transplant and that I had to decide immediately whether I would accept it or not.
After quickly discussing with my local community and our General Pastor, we decided to welcome this gift from above; that had come in such a special way. We went to the hospital that same night and all the preparations began.
The following day, at 3:46pm, I was taken to the operating theatre for the kidney transplant. At that very moment, I felt the prayers, of all in Koinonia John Baptist who had been informed by the General Pastor, surrounding me.
The Lord was at work.
Two visible signs assured me that I was in good hands. Firstly, when I reached the operating theatre, the person who welcomed me, was an anaesthetist. I asked him what is name was and he replied that it was RICARDO! Wow!!! I exclaimed!
Secondly, the day following the transplant...the person who came to wake me up, was another doctor named RICARDO! The Lord sent 'two Ricardo's' in two very important moments of this event, in my life.
I am profoundly grateful to my unknown donor:
Dearest Donor, “Your death has given life to a new-birth: my ‘second life’ after sickness and a transplant. By your donation, I understand that love, even from a stranger...spreads love and life. For me now, life has another meaning. You are in me for ever! Rest in peace.”
Thank you to all John the Baptist.
To God be glory!
Join the Fight
There are many different ways to prepare the soil for new growth and strangely, one of them is by fire!
When I first arrived in South Africa, I was very surprised to see huge fields of grass deliberately set alight and consumed by fire. Beginning during the winter months of June until September, the fire seemed to devour everything around us. Initially, this sight filled me with sadness. However, I was astonished to discover afterward that the function of the fire, was not to devour, destroy and damage the fields, but to purify it and so prepare it for a new season of growth. I learned to see in the burnt fields the promise of an abundance of fresh, green grass that was about to grow back! Being able to see in this way is nothing else but HOPE!
During the last few months, it seemed as if there was a great fire burning around us: a fire that physically burnt the South African land; a fire of suffering and tribulation caused by Covid-19 and by violence and poverty. This fire also began to burn inside some of us, trying to devour our trust in God; in his Omnipotence and in his Infinite Love. Faith is under fire!
At the same time, the prophetic Spirit is opening our eyes of faith. A prophetic message from the environment of Koinonia in different parts of the world is reaching us: The opportune time for new sowing is coming. The soil is getting ready!
This is the important thought that I wish to share with you...
The fire that you may see and experience in you and around you is not to destroy but to purify! Faith must be tried to purify us from any distrust; from any pretense that God acts as we want him to act; from any desperation that tells us that He does not listen to us and from any self-dependence that still makes us try to manage on our own.
With humble hearts let us ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of Hope!
So even though we are still in the middle of winter, surrounded by fire and smoke, we can already catch a glimpse of spring approaching. The fields are about to be covered with fresh green grass. It is the time for new sowing of the Word of God in our lives, in our families, in our cities, and in South Africa!
"Arise, my love, my beautiful one", says Song of Songs, "for behold, the winter is past ... the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." (Song of Songs 2: 10-12). Arise Koinonia!!! Arise our Lord’s beautiful one!
Get ready for Spring. Your faith is purified. The soil is ready. Now may the voice of your Testimony be heard in our land!