By ELIAS LARI
F OR the first 23 years of his life, John Kimam was made fun of and bullied for the disabilities he was born with.
He was the second of six children born to William Gend and Josephine of the Kalaku Komkane tribe of Kerowagi in Chimbu.
He could not speak. His arms were bent backwards. He could walk but on his toes. He was often seen with a running nose, scabies on his body and saliva drooling from his mouth.
He was born on June 9, 1980 at the Migende health center in Kerowagi, Chimbu.
To parents William and Josephine, John’s disability was a daily challenge because children often made fun of him. They had to do their best to protect their son.
While his brothers and sisters go out to play with others, John stayed in the house.
As he grew up, they gradually gave him small tasks around home such as fetching water and firewood to make him feel useful.
Now at 41, John can speak and carry out some tasks other able-bodied people do – all thanks to his faith in God.
“I was born a Catholic and always believe in God and pray that one day God will raise me from my sick bed.”
His healing story began in October 2003 when he asked his parents – using sign language – to ask the local Catholic priest Father George Mondia if he could join church members in taking the statue of St Mary from the Siure parish to the Boko and Kawa outstations.
“Fr Mondia came and picked me up with three other women at Barawaghi and drove us to Kuapu Mountain where church members from the 14 outstations were waiting.”
They then walked to the Boko station, and left the next day for Kawa about three kilometers away.
On the night of Oct 25, following a prayer session inside the Kawa church, the catechist asked representatives from each outstation to give testimonies. He also invited anyone from Barawaghi in the group to come up to the front.
“I was sitting at the back. I heard a voice telling me to go the front and share something. But I was disabled. The voice kept urging me. So I moved up.”
Those who knew him were shocked as they were aware that John could not speak.
“For a couple of minutes, I was standing in the front. Then something told me to greet everyone “Good Night”. I did. After 23 years, I received my healing that night.”
He also shared with those in the church that night the Bible verse from Luke 1: 26 – 48 about how the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become the Mother of Jesus.
“That same night, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. For years I had lived as a dumb and crippled person. But I always believed that one day God will save me. He repaid me for my faith.”
John’s miracle healing was confirmed by prayer group leader Peter Megane from Duglogambal who used to visit and pray for him.
“Yes, we used to pray for him.”
Peter described John as a living testimony of how God worked and performed miracles among the people.
John is now actively involved in church work in Chimbu.
He has also started a healing ministry to pray for the sick.
To celebrate the 18th anniversary of his healing in three months’ time, he plans to build a permanent prayer house to replace the bush material one he uses at his Maki village.
The Bible has many stories of how sick people and those living with disabilities have been healed through their faith.
John, the boy who some used to ridicule and scorn at because of his disabilities, also has a similar miracle story to tell everyone today.
John Kimam looking like any other able-bodied person
after his healing on Oct 25, 2003.