Photo by Indrani Basu
HOST INTRO: Many of us at some point in our lives wonder if our job is satisfying. Commentator Poppie Mphuthing had an unexpected meeting with someone who made her re-assess her priorities.
I was in a dream job as a TV news anchor at a big network.
But, it was predictable and superficial.
Two years ago, as usual, I woke up in my Johannesburg apartment.
It was the first day of the work week.
But, as it turned out, nothing about that Monday morning would be usual.
I lay in bed disorientated and lethargic.
My stomach was cramping painfully and I knew that something was very wrong.
I tried to get up and go to the bathroom, but my legs buckled beneath me.
I hauled myself back onto my bed and called my friend, who rescued me from my
He picked up my limp body, and delivered me to the hospital.
I could barely move or speak.
My body was shutting down… I could feel it.
Hours… and then days passed, punctuated by blood tests, a spinal tap, more blood
tests, an intestinal ultrasound…
The bodily invasions continued, yet offered no clue as to why I was gravely ill.
I was in so much pain, too weak to stay awake.
My next destination was intensive care.
There, the odour of vomit, urine… and death hung heavy in the air…
My family appeared at various moments through the haze of my interrupted
They just stared at me, helpless worry etched on their faces.
The drip in the crook of my arm pumped me with generic antibiotics for a masked
illness that refused to identify itself.
And then, almost a week after I’d been admitted, two magic words broke the spell of
mystery and misery.
“It’s Typhoid,” said my doctor.
In the hours and days that followed, with the help of the medics and the right
antibiotics, God saved me and brought me back to life.
What do you mean God saved you? So many people have asked me.
It’s simple really. I died in my hospital bed.
As my spirit left my body, Jesus Christ appeared to me.
I recognized Him immediately.
I wasn’t even religious, but I knew He wanted me to know Him.
He said, “Don’t worry, I’m here with you”.
I felt an incredible peace wash over me.
But I wasn’t ready to die.
My family would be devastated.
I told Christ, “I’m too young. Please save me.”
There were so many things I still had to do.
Get married, have kids… and become a real journalist.
“Please save me, I know your power God,” I said.
And just like that, he breathed life back into me.
I woke up in my hospital bed wrapped in his love… and his blessing.
I knew that God had a design for me.
He gave me the courage to quit my comfortable life.
I left Johannesburg and headed to New York.
BACK ANNOUNCE: Poppie Mphuthing is graduating from Columbia University’s Journalism School next week and soon after she’s heading to the Middle East to work for Al Jazeera.