Phillip Prime (pictured left with his wife, Cynthia), is grateful for prayer warriors who petitioned on his behalf . Vanlalthalahlova Chawnghlut was on a ventilator for 22 days and doctors didn't expect him to survive Covid-19.
It was my night to remember. I had just called the hospital for the fourth time in one evening to try to get an update on the condition of my husband Philip. On this last call they connected me with a nurse or physician’s assistant in charge of his care. She began reading numbers to me from his chart that didn't make sense to me, but I remember distinctly her telling me that she had worked at the hospital for many years and had cared for many similar patients. She said, “Someone in his condition is not likely to survive. I know that is not what you want to hear, but that is the way it is.”
I simply said, “ I'm going to pray!“ and put the phone down. I called [Glendale] Pastor Ramon Ulangca very distraught and told him that I didn’t care who he contacted, just ask for prayer on Phillip’s behalf. He spent the entire night in prayer with me, calling every two hours or so. I contacted my friends in Canada, my ministry partner, Linda Schultz, who wept with me and prayed all night along with her husband. People in South Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, the US, were praying, and it is at that time that I experienced the amazing uplifting power of prayer. I was at home where no one could visit because I was under self-quarantine.
Phillip was wasting away, his temperatures up to 104. I prayed that God would save me from illness as well. I did not even have a thermometer; I couldn't find one anywhere in the city. There were no gloves, no masks; there was nothing. I had to lean on God alone and the kindness of friends, family, and church members who mailed or left care packages outside our door. We come to times in our lives when there is only God, and it is in these difficult crucible moments that we truly discover that prayer does work, and God is enough!
In so many ways the truth of this story is more about Cynthia’s love and devotion, the prayer and effort of our families, church family and friends. I was the one totally dependent on her for I was often oblivious to my own needs or unable to address them even if I knew them. I was admitted to the hospital and spent one week there. The one thing I felt was extreme tiredness, weakness, and no interest in food. I just wanted to be left alone. I heard the warnings often, Mr. Prime, you will die if you do not eat. My thought was if I eat, I would die and if I do not eat, I would die. It’s a matter of dying with a full or empty stomach. If I die with an empty stomach, I would have at least saved myself the effort of eating. At home I prayed between sips to have the strength and desire for the next one. Thank God for a caring and supportive staff at the hospital and praying family, friends, and a praying church family and their support for Cynthia.
I am especially thankful for my wife Cynthia who has been so attentive to all my needs and in such a loving way. The Lord quickly restored my health and improved upon it. The first visit of the occupational and physical therapist was also the last. I did not need them, they said. Surprisingly, my blood sugar and blood pressure are now normal, and medication is not needed anymore. Isn’t God good. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalms 23: 4.
Cynthia Prime founded the organization Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO) which directly works with feeding, clothing and caring for children and families in Swaziland, in the southern region of Africa. She co-founded the perfume brand, Parfums Llewellyn along with her husband, Phillip Prime.
Elder Van's Testimony
My friend, you cannot die yet, were the words that Vanlalthalahlova Chawnghlut, Indiana Mizo Church elder, believed he heard as he struggled for his life in the ICU of St. Francis Hospital in Indiana.
It was late in March when Vanlalthalahlova began to feel ill. With a temperature of 104-105, Vanlalthalahlova went to his family doctor the next day only to be told that it was a normal cold and fever and to stay home.
After continuing to feel sick for another week with no improvement, Chawnghlut decided to go to the hospital as he now had developed breathing issues. Doctors at the clinic immediately transferred him in an ambulance to another hospital where more doctors performed a test for Covid-19. It was, as he and his wife had feared, positive.
“When Elder Van first got sick, I planned to visit to pray and anoint him,” says Pastor L. Chawngthu. “He told me not to come, but I came anyway! I thought, ‘Satan must be behind all of this, so I’m coming!’” And so the pastor visited to pray and anoint him.
After Vanlalthalahlova’s admission to St. Francis, he was put on a ventilator a mere two days later at 90% oxygen. As he lay in the hospital bed, the ventilator placed over his mouth and nose, people from around the world, including India, Burma, England, Canada, Australia, along with their 240 church members in Indiana, began to pray for his life and recovery. Twice a day, his fellow church members prayed for his health and recovery.
“This is the main reason I survived. The answer to prayers,” says Vanlalthalahlova. “I often heard the voices of these prayers while I was in the hospital, including that of my good friend Pastor Chawngthu. Many times, the doctors and nurses were sure I wouldn’t pull through. My liver and heart had nearly failed during my time in the ICU. Twenty-six times, in fact. They told me I had nearly come close to death. Hearing these prayers gave me strength to fight for my life.”
The members of Indiana Mizo Church have continued to pray every morning and evening.
After 22 days on the ventilator and various medications, Vanlalthalahlova was taken off the ventilator for the first time and moved to the general ward. He was officially in the recovery process, and on May 4, 2020, Vanlalthalahlova was discharged from the hospital and allowed to go home to his wife and two children. God had healed him!
Vanlalthalahlova cannot recall very much about his stay in the hospital. But there was one thing he was sure he was not worried for. He was not worried about his salvation. God still had work for him to do.
“God gave me a second, even a third, chance to do His ministry,” says Vanlalthalahlova “We have a ministry team, Final Messengers Ministry, building a camping site to host evangelistic meetings in India that is still not finished and we have more ministry work to do. God called me to do His ministry and I can go anywhere He sends me. I still continue to keep praying for His guidance to where He wants me.”
Today, Vanlalthalahlova is back to his normal, healthy self. His brush with the coronavirus had caused him to lose 40 pounds, joint pains, and minor residual coughing. Doctors told him his recovery would be at least three months long. But only a month and a half into his official recovery and his blood pressure, oxygen levels, lungs, and heart are back to normal.
“God is healing me and the recovery has felt much faster. I believe, because God did a miracle in my life,” says Vanlalthalahlova. “I will be okay.”
Katie Fellows, Michigan-based freelance writer