God's Love Transforms Hearts

November 7, 2019 • Worldwide
Vanessa and her son Mateo heard about God's love through the Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project.
Vanessa and her son Mateo heard about God's love through the Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project.

The mother of a Children’s Heart Project patient says that God’s love has healed her own heart.

Save a Child's Life
013687
$
Give

Vanessa was mad at God and questioned why He had allowed her son Mateo to be born with a hole in his heart.

Mateo had to limit his physical activity because he was easily tired and out of breath. Even when he felt OK, his family cautioned him against running too hard or too long for fear that his heart couldn’t take the strain.

For a Bolivian boy who loves soccer, not being able to run and play was disappointing.

“All his life, we had to be careful that he didn’t overdo it,” Vanessa said. “Year by year, we kept hoping that the hole in his heart would close on its own, but it never did.”

They waited for a decade for the problem to resolve itself, which some local doctors had told them could happen. The longer that didn’t happen, the angrier Vanessa became at God. She resented that her child was facing a life-threatening condition and that her family didn’t have the financial means to seek further medical treatment.

“I thought that God had abandoned me,” she said. “Now, I see that wasn’t true.”

“I thought God had abandoned me. Now, I see that wasn’t true.”

Vanessa was overjoyed one day to hear about our Children’s Heart Project that arranges lifesaving operations for children with heart conditions who live in countries where cardiac surgery isn’t readily available. She quickly signed up Mateo, age 10, to be screened to see if an operation would be possible.

A Purpose in Life

Mateo’s screening indicated he would be a good fit for our program, so Samaritan’s Purse flew him and his mother to the Cayman Islands. There, the hole in Mateo’s heart was closed, thanks to the top-notch surgeons at Health City, one of our partner hospitals in North America and the Caribbean that donate their cardiac specialty services to Children’s Heart Project patients.

Vanessa and Mateo traveled from Bolivia to the Cayman Islands so that Mateo could have lifesaving heart surgery. Photo courtesy Courtney Platt.

Through our Children’s Heart Project, we cover the cost of airfare for the child, a parent, and a translator. A local church hosts them for several weeks, and a family from that church opens their home to them.

After his heart procedure, “I feel different,” Mateo said. “I can run faster, and I don’t get so tired. It took a lot of effort to play before.”

The testimony of fellow Children’s Heart Project beneficiary Munkhuu helped Mateo and Vanessa to realize that they needed to trust in God and His timing. Munkhuu, who is from Mongolia, came to the Cayman Islands to share her story with Mateo and the other patients.

Munkhuu was just a year old when she had heart surgery in Toronto. The Gospel witness of her host family and church led Munkhuu’s mother to accept Jesus as her Savior and to be baptized.

Munkhuu’s mother began taking her family to church back home in Mongolia, where Munkhuu’s sister, Alaituya, received Jesus Christ as her Savior.

When Munkhuu attended our Heart Camp for former Children’s Heart Project patients at age 12, she decided to follow Jesus and became a leader in her Sunday School and church youth group. Now 18, she is studying to become a heart surgeon.

“I was moved that God healed Munkhuu and worked through it for her to dedicate her life to healing hearts,” Mateo said. “God has given her a purpose in life, and that’s what I want—to live out God’s purpose for me.”

Growing in Faith

While Mateo and Vanessa are sure that friends and family will be amazed by the marked improvement in Mateo’s health, what Vanessa looks forward to hearing from them is, “You’ve changed.”

“I have faith in God now,” Vanessa said. “I’d lost hope. I didn’t see a way through this. But I needed to experience it to see how God is working.”

“I have faith in God. Only God could have made this possible.”

“Only God could have made this possible. God has put amazing people in our lives and has shown me the good in people through the love they gave to us,” she said. “Our host family and their church just breathe love. They have made us feel at home, like we are a part of them.”

Vanessa looks forward to joining a Bible study that friends started in her community to help people know about God’s love through reading His Word.

“Before, I was so mad about what had happened in my life that I forgot to see the love of God in others and to give this love myself,” she said.

Christmas Catalog
Since 1997, Samaritan’s Purse has arranged heart surgery for over 1,300 children, and many of them, like Bat-Ulzii, have become Christ-followers and witnesses in their home countries. We transport the child and parent to North America, where they stay with a Christian host family and undergo an operation donated by a local children’s hospital. Your gift will help cover the cost of airfare—about $2,200 per person—so a child can have lifesaving surgery and hear the Gospel.

Save a Child’s Life
At age 13, Bat-Ulzii learned he had a heart defect that not a single doctor in Mongolia could repair. He felt hopeless—until he learned that our Children’s Heart Project would bring him to the United States for lifesaving surgery. Bat-Ulzii recovered physically and healed spiritually as he trusted Christ as Savior. Now he pastors a church in Mongolia, proclaiming the Good News. Since 1997, Samaritan’s Purse has arranged heart surgery for over 1,300 children, and many of them, like Bat-Ulzii, have become Christ-followers and witnesses in their home countries. We transport the child and parent to North America, where they stay with a Christian host family and undergo an operation donated by a local children’s hospital. Your gift will help cover the cost of airfare—about $2,200 per person—so a child can have lifesaving surgery and hear the Gospel.


Children’s Heart Project

More