A Heart Healed Because of Jesus

May 5, 2017 • United States
Children's Heart Project Mayo Clinic
Yernar and Akhsholpan at his echocardiogram

A young Mongolian boy receives heart surgery through the Children’s Heart Project, and his Muslim mother hears the Gospel.

Tears of fear turned to tears of excitement at a hospital in Minnesota in March. Akhsholpan Mambar had been waiting nearly two years for this moment that would change her life.

In February 2015, Akhsholpan gave birth to a baby boy, Yernar. She and her husband, Serik, took him home to their mud house in western Mongolia. But at 2 months old, Yernar caught pneumonia, and his parents rushed him to a doctor. The doctor quickly noticed that pneumonia was not the baby’s only problem. He had been born with a heart defect.

Children's Heart Project Yernar

Yernar completely healed

But Akhsholpan and Serik didn’t want to believe the bad news. Once Yernar had recovered from pneumonia, they took him back home and didn’t think about the heart defect. A year and a half passed before they thought of the issue again. On the radio, they heard an announcement that a pediatric cardiologist would be in the center of their province to screen children with heart defects. They decided to take Yernar.

The Children’s Heart Project, which brings boys and girls from around the world to North America for heart surgery, was at the screening. The doctor explained to Yernar’s parents that he would die without intervention but that surgery would heal him completely. The surgery he needed wasn’t available in Mongolia, but the Children’s Heart Project put Yernar on a waiting list to receive surgery in North America.

“We were afraid because my son is so small,” Akhsholpan said. “We couldn’t think that his small body will be able to endure big surgery.”

While Yernar’s family waited diligently on a call from the Children’s Heart Project, they gave him medicine that had been prescribed by the doctor they had met. It helped with some of the symptoms, but Yernar still had trouble sleeping.

Good News All Around

The Children’s Heart Project called the family in December 2016, and Yernar and Akhsholpan flew with an interpreter to Minnesota in March 2017. On the day of the surgery, Akhsholpan cried out of fear. But soon, she realized the blessing that her son was receiving, and her tears changed to happy ones.

Children's Heart Project Yernar

Yernar playing with host mom Nancy

Akhsholpan was surprised at how quickly Yernar recovered. He began sleeping better immediately, and she watched in awe as he became more outgoing. Before his surgery, Yernar wanted to be carried everywhere. But now, he runs. Akhsholpan said she hopes he grows up to be a doctor to help other children like himself.

But Yernar wasn’t the only one who experienced change. While spending time talking with the interpreter, the host family, and the host church, Akhsholpan began to question her Muslim beliefs.

“[The host family] really influenced me on spiritual aspect,” she said. “My family is Muslim, and I am also Muslim, but since I arrived in America, I’ve started kind of doubting, and I don’t know at the moment what to do, either accept Jesus or not.”

Akhsholpan and Yernar returned home in April. Although Akhsholpan has not yet made a decision, she will continue to hear more about Christ as Children’s Heart Project staff members in Mongolia follow up with the family a few times a year. Please pray for her salvation and the rest of her family.

“I will share with Yernar when he starts understanding,” she said. “I will share the whole trip and what happened here, and I will share why these people helped him—because of Jesus.”

SUPPORT
About one out of every 100 babies has a heart defect that surgeons can routinely repair. Unfortunately, many of them are born in poor or remote places where their families cannot access the cardiac care they urgently need. Through our Children’s Heart Project, Samaritan’s Purse transports boys and girls from places like Bolivia, Mongolia, and Uganda to hospitals in North America. Doctors, hospitals, and host families and churches donate their time and services, but airfare is a major cost—typically $2,200 per person for international flights. For $22, you can share in this cost so that we can offer life-saving surgery and the unsurpassed hope of the Gospel. “But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).
Save a Child's Life About one out of every 100 babies has a heart defect that surgeons can routinely repair. Unfortunately, many of them are born in poor or remote places where their families cannot access the cardiac care they urgently need. Through our Children’s Heart Project, Samaritan’s Purse transports boys and girls from places like Bolivia, Mongolia, and Uganda to hospitals in North America. Doctors, hospitals, and host families and churches donate their time and services, but airfare is a major cost—typically $2,200 per person for international flights. For $22, you can share in this cost so that we can offer life-saving surgery and the unsurpassed hope of the Gospel. “But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

Children's Heart Project 013687
Suggested Gift: $2,200 | Share the Cost: $22
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