Bawling Tattoo Artist
By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
Dr. Hernando Díaz was assisting a patient at the Adventist Medical Center in Medellin, Colombia, when a shadowy figure at his office door startled him. It was a shaven-headed man covered with explicit tattoos. Tattoos formed a black-and-blue web over his head. Tattoos covered his arms and hands.
“It’s my turn to see you,” the man declared.
“Please wait for your turn,” Hernando said.
Several minutes later, the man entered the office and immediately broke into tears. The big burly bloke was bawling like a baby. Hernando looked at the man’s paperwork. It said he was HIV positive. “I don’t want to have HIV,” the man said, tears streaming down his tattooed cheeks.
“What happened?” Hernando asked. “What do you do?”
“I’m a tattoo artist, and the body is my canvass,” the man said.
“How did you contract HIV? Are you promiscuous or a homosexual?”
The man said he was neither and had contracted HIV through his work.
“But I don’t want HIV,” he said. “I don’t want to die.”
“There is Someone who can heal you,” Hernando said. “I know you may not believe in God, but He can help you.”
The man acknowledged being an atheist. But he was willing to reconsider.
“Do you want me to pray for you?” Hernando said. “Do you want to accept Jesus as your Savior?”
“Yes,” the man said, weeping.
Hernando led the man through the sinner’s prayer. When the man said Jesus’ name at the end, he fell to the floor.
Hernando sent the tattoo artist away for a second HIV test. The next week, the man returned with a happy grin on his face. “I don’t have HIV,” he said. “I want to give thanks to God and you because God has healed me.”
Follow-up testing had given him a clean bill of health. He considered his HIV-negative status to be a miracle from God.
Months later, Hernando and his wife, Monica, were shopping at a mall when they heard someone screaming, “Doctor! Doctor!” The tattoo artist ran over to Hernando and picked him off the ground in an enormous bear hug. He praised God for working a miracle in his life.
The tattoo artist is one of dozens of people led to Jesus by Hernando, a 60-year-old Seventh-day Adventist physician serving at the Adventist Medical Center on the campus of Colombia Adventist University in Medellin.
This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a missionary training center at Colombia Adventist University.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org