The following incident took place in 1970, when I was a medical missionary, working in Tanzania, East Africa. Our son Matthew was about 18 months old, and was only just beginning to talk. He had been increasingly fretful that day, and in the evening I discovered that he had a severe middle-ear infection, acute otitis media. It was one of the worst cases I had ever seen. The eardrum was deep red and bulging.

I felt that he needed a small operation to drain the pus through the drum; but I did not have the right equipment. We thought of taking him to another hospital, but it would have meant driving 120 miles through the bush, and darkness had fallen already. In the end, we prayed, gave him an injection of procaine penicillin—an ordinary dose—and put him to bed. He cried for a time, but then went to sleep.

In the morning, my wife went into his bedroom, which was next to ours. He was standing up in the cot, looking very cheerful. As she came into the room, he pointed to the other door, which opened onto the veranda, and said “Jesus go there”. I came into the room almost immediately afterwards and examined his eardrum. It was completely normal!

Now some people will say that it must have been the single injection of penicillin which cured him. This would be a possibility if it had been a mild infection. But this was one of the worst cases I have ever seen. I have never known a severe infection like this clear up in a few hours—in my experience, it has always taken at least several days, with a course of antibiotics. You can judge for yourself, but my wife and I have no doubt that it was a miracle. More than that—and to remove any doubt—it seems that Jesus Christ appeared to Matthew in a form that he recognised, as well as healing him. (We had already started reading him Bible stories from an illustrated children’s Bible.)….

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