The ONE HOPE by Susan Mathews
Shock, grief, disbelief and so many questions flooded our minds as we left the office. After we reached home, our pastor, V.P. Abraham, gathered with us to pray. As we wept before the Lord, God gave Pastor Abraham a word from Jeremiah 18:3-4:
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. “
The verse was a beautiful illustration of the miracle we believed would take place for our baby. Even though the potter’s vessel was marred, he did not discard it, but used the same clay to make another vessel. We put our trust in God and His Word. The Bible says that Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but also for our sickness and diseases. His sufferings on the cross and His resurrection not only ensured eternal life for those who believed on him, but also clearly shows that by His stripes, we were (already) healed! We started to pray to the Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit!
The news of the poor prognosis for our baby spread to our relatives and friends throughout the world. People were praying for us. The following weekend was our annual church revival meeting. The visiting minister, Pastor Vaidyan, called Santhosh and myself up to the front of the church for prayer. As Santhosh placed his hands on my stomach, the whole assembly began to intercede for us. Later, Santhosh said he felt fire in his hands. We believed that God was healing our baby.
The following week, we were sent to a pediatric cardiologist so that an echocardiogram could be done to check the baby’s heart. He confirmed that there was one large hole in the heart wall; plus, there were many smaller holes, he could not count them. Sometimes the holes will close on their own, he advised. However, open heart surgery may be performed based on the baby’s health at delivery. Honestly, after we left his office, I was a little stunned. I thought our baby was healed when we believed in the Word and after the revival meetings. But then it was as if God put the song “Whose report will you believe, we shall believe the reports of the Lord!” into my heart. I encouraged Santhosh and myself with the song. God would heal our baby! All of our doctors met with us to review all the test results the next week. They could not find any genetic reason to indicate a cause for our baby’s birth defects. “It’s a one in a million fluke.” The specialist then began the follow-up ultrasound. He shook his head while staring at the screen, which frightened us. Then he said, “There’s the stomach! This baby has a chance for life; all the other defects are surgically correctable.” We gave all praise and thanks to God for His answer to prayer and great faithfulness.
In September 2001 he received clearance to begin eating food by mouth; yet he was scared of anything being around his mouth. I was so anxious to cook for him or buy him a Happy Meal! In God’s own time, at 1 ½ years of age he finally started to eat by mouth.
Philip used to be so fearful of unfamiliar faces or even unfamiliar toys. Over time, he transformed into the social butterfly he is today. No one is a stranger to him, he only meets friends.
The Word tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I know that the God who created a stomach, where there was no stomach can in the same way straighten the spine that is curved. He alone can change the hopeless situations and turn it into one full of hope. He is the God of all hope.
Philip finished his earthly journey on October 22, 2019 after 19 incredible years on this earth. He went through 25 surgeries and passed away after his 25th surgery. He lived a full life and never wasted a moment! His motto was that he would work “Until the World is Cleft-Free” and “Until there are No More Sold!”
We as his parents and his siblings have decided that we will honor his legacy and work until #PhilipsDream is fulfilled.
Susan and Santhosh
Founders, Love Without Reason