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Manuel Iacono, 9, with his mother, Eliana Di Marco, in their home in Ragusa on the Italian island of Sicily. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

9-Year-Old Italian Boy Talks About Jesus

Manuel Iacono loves to share his personal testimony in Sicily.

By Andrew McChesney

In the morning, 2-year-old Manuel Iacono joined Father and Mother for Sabbath worship services at Ragusa Seventh-day Adventist Church on the Italian island of Sicily.

In the afternoon, they went with friends for a picnic in the woods.

Midway through the picnic, little Manuel began to struggle to breathe. Mother touched his forehead and felt a hot fever. Then Manuel vomited milk all over himself.

Mother grabbed the tiny boy and ran to the car. All the way, she prayed, “God, You created him. Only You can save him.” Father followed close behind.

In the car, Mother noticed angry red pimples on Manuel’s hands and arms. The pimples spread to his chest and back. He struggled to breathe.

“God, You created him,” Mother prayed frantically. “Only You can save him.”

At the hospital, a nurse placed on oxygen mask over Manuel’s nose and mouth to help him to breathe. The young female physician asked whether something might have bitten the boy in the woods. But no one could find any bite marks on his body.

Manuel was hospitalized for the night. Mother stayed with him, praying desperately. Even though the doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong, she felt certain that God could save her son.

“God, You created him,” Mother prayed. “Only You can save him.”

Twelve days passed. Manuel continued to struggle to breathe. He still had a fever, and red pimples covered his body. The doctor called physicians in nearby cities to ask for advice, but no could diagnose the illness. Finally the doctor told Mother to take Manuel home.

“We can’t do anything,” she said. “The only thing left to do is pray.”

Mother had been praying nonstop for 12 days, and she prayed again.

“God, You created him,” she said. “Only You can save him.”

Opening her eyes, she looked down at Manuel. He was breathing more easily.

Over the next few hours, the red pimples turned pink and faded away. The fever disappeared.

The doctor couldn’t believe it. No one could not explain what had happened. Everyone declared that it was a miracle.

Manuel was too small to remember his illness, but he knows all the details because Mother reminds him every day. He has been telling others about the miracle since he was 3 and in kindergarten. He constantly looks for opportunities to share his personal testimony.

Now 9, he recently told his story during Bible class at school. On another day, the teacher spoke about prayer, and Manuel told how his mother’s prayers had saved his life. When he hears classmates talking about God at recess, he tells them about God’s power during his illness. When he is invited to speak at important events like Sabbath School and birthday parties, he relates his story again.

“I look for chances to tell people about what God did for me,” Manuel said.

As a result of his personal testimony, friends have asked Manuel to tell them more about God. He gave a children’s Bible to one of his friends. Manuel hopes his story will lead many people to God.

Manuel Iacono loves to tell everyone about Jesus. In English and Italian. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Part of the 2016 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped construct a new church for Manuel’s congregation in Ragusa, Italy. Thank you for helping make it possible for Manuel and other church members to move from a rented building to their own church.