Friday, April 1, 2011

The Doug Nichols Story

In 1967, Doug Nichols was serving as a missionary in India. When he contracted tubercolosis, he was sent to a sanitarium to recuperate. Though he was not living on much more money than the people from India in the sanitarium, they thought that because he was an American, he had to be rich. Doug said, "They didn't know that I was just as broke as they were."

When he was hospitalized, Doug unsuccessfully tried to reach some of the patients for Christ. When he offered them tracts or Gospels of John, they politely refused. It was obvious that the patients wanted nothing to do with him or his God. Doug grew discouraged and wondered why God had allowed him to be there.

Doug was often be awakened in the night by the sound of coughing from him as well as other patients. But then, what would you expect in the TB ward of a sanitarium? Unable to sleep because of his coughing, early one morning Doug noticed an old man trying to sit on the edge of the bed. But because of his weakness, he would fall back. Exhausted, the old man finally lay still and cried. Early the next morning the same scene repeated itself. Then later in the morning, the smell that began to permeate the room revealed the obvious. The old man had been trying to get up and go to a rest room.

Doug said, "The nurses were very agitated and angry because they had to clean up the mess. One of the nurses even slapped him in anger. The man was completely embarrassed and curled up into a ball and wept." The next morning, Doug noticed the old man was again trying to generate enough strength to get himself out of bed. This time, Doug got out of bed, went over to where the old man was, put one arm under his head and neck, the other under his legs, and gently carried him to the rest room. When he had finished, Doug carried him back to his bed. The old man, speaking in a language that Doug did not understand, thanked him profusely, and then kissed him on the cheek. But the story doesn't end there.

Eventually Doug went back to sleep. In the morning, he awakened to a hot cup of tea served to him by another patient who spoke no English. After the patient served the tea, he made motions indicating that he wanted one of Doug's tracts. Doug said, "All throughout the day, people came to me asking for Gospel tracts." "This included the nurses, hospital interns, the doctors, until everyone in the hospital had a tract, booklet, or Gospel of John." "Over the next few days," he adds, "several told me they trusted Christ as Savior as a result of reading the Good News!"

One final thought: The world doesn't care how much you have or what you know. They want to know how much you care." Doug Nichols said, "I simply took an old man to the bathroom. Anyone could have done that."

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