A personal experience



We have just recently returned from South Africa and from interviewing three of the five doctors and one hospital sister who were present at a double operation performed on me in May and June, 1944. I would like you to follow closely the circumstances.

In February, 1944, terrible pains gripped the left side of my abdomen. At first I thought it was a swollen spleen from malaria but when it became unbearable I went to Manono tin mines where the Doctor took X-ray photographs of my colon with barium. All the negatives showed plainly the horizontal and descending sections of the colon seriously constricted by disease, so that the food was almost unable to pass and had clogged into a great mass in the ascending colon. I had been anointed by the native elders of our Congo church as soon as the first onset took place but no improvement followed.

I was advised to go with all speed to the best man possible. I could not have found a better. A brilliant surgeon of international reputation and a lecturer at Johannesburg medical school. Further X-ray photographs in Johannesburg hospital showed how rapidly the growths in my colon were developing. Thus in May a hole was opened in my right side (a caecostomy operation) allowing my waste products to discharge there, and a month later the whole abdomen was laid open for a thorough examination.

On my return to consciousness they told me that the obstructing growth had been removed. This was untrue, however, and was only said to comfort me, as they admitted to me later that they could not possibly remove it and had just sewn me up, leaving me to die. The surgeon and hospital authorities called my wife and informed her that the whole horizontal and descending colon were choked with cancer. They said that I could only live six months at most. A month later a running abscess appeared in my left side, right over the place where the growths had been located.

My brave little wife took me from the hospital as soon as I could be conveniently moved. The hospital register says: ‘Mr. Burton was discharged from the hospital at his own request in a dying condition’.

We were given loving hospitality in the home of my wife’s sister and her husband, both earnest believers, and many came to pray for me. Also I was again anointed with oil in the Name of the Lord. In the Congo thousands of native believers were crying to God continually to spare my life.

The weeks that followed were a time of extreme weakness but instead of sinking I became stronger, until in January, 1945, six months from the operation, we returned to our missionary work in the Congo. I had gladly submitted my future to my Lord’s will, as instructed in James 4:15, ready and happy to go to Him if He wished, but yet with a feeling that my missionary work was not yet done, I asked God to allow me for my wife’s sake and for the work’s sake to continue a little longer.

For over a year after my return to the Congo I continued to wear a cup and rubber bag over my side to receive the waste products from my body. The running abscess in my side gradually dried right up and by May, 1946, my natural functions of elimination were so far restored that I visited a hospital in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia, where further X-ray examination revealed no evidence at all of cancer. My side was sewn up and I returned once more to normal life – a whole man and more active than most men of my age.

The accompanying X-ray photographs [see below] surely give all the scientific evidence that could be asked for as proof of this healing. When later (1948) I visited the doctors who opened up my body and saw the condition of the colon, they looked at me as though I were one raised from the dead, but all of them were men big enough to give God the glory and to admit that He had performed the miracle.


W. F. P. Burton


From: W. F. P. Burton, Signs following, pages 24-26



The X-ray photographs