Simon is the son of Japhet, African Vision of Hope’s Student Academic & Spiritual Counselor. When Simon was born, his parents looked at his future with joy and anticipation, excited to watch him grow up and fulfill the purpose God had for his life. What they did not know was Simon had a life-threatening heart condition.

Growing up

Soon after he was born, Japhet and his wife, Susan, noticed baby Simon was very weak and his heart was pumping very fast. They took Simon to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a hole in his heart and were told that if Simon did not receive immediate heart surgery, there was a chance he would die. Japhet and Susan went from hospital to hospital, begging for answers. The simple procedure to close the hole in his heart was very complicated. Zambia lacks the equipment necessary to perform these life saving surgeries. They were told about children with similar heart conditions who had been taken abroad for life-saving surgery. The desperate parents began searching for ways to fly their son to India and pay for the surgery and lodging, but the waiting list was growing longer by the day. Simon’s health was declining, and he was running out of time.

(Pictured: Japhet, Simon, and Susan at the airport, heading to India for heart surgery.)

heart surgery

This is where you stepped in. Your gifts made it possible for Japhet, Susan, and Simon to fly to India and receive life-saving surgery.

“As long as we live, we will cherish this gift. Each time we see Simon smile we don’t just see him, we see God and His goodness. Our prayer is that God will continue to strengthen Simon and use him as a tool to bring others to Him.” – Japhet

(Pictured: Simon (red shirt) and his family today.)

Heart Scar

Now, seven years later, Simon is in the second grade at African Vision of Hope School and is excelling in his studies. Here he is showing off his heart surgery scar. Simon is able to do everything his friends can do; he can run, jump, and play with joyful ease. When Simon grows up he wants to be a police officer to help maintain peace in his country. Thank you for giving Simon the gift of a healthy life full of possibility and hope!


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28