It’s wonderful to be home, but I am grateful I was able to take this trip to Burkina Faso. I witnessed some miracles, and I confess, I am usually a skeptic. I am a firm believer now!
I started the year off being incredibly busy with work, but this trip helped me put things into perspective as to why I do what I do. I ended up sponsoring another child on this trip. Sometimes, I just have to listen to God and obey him. Meet Seni.
He is shy and sweet. At six years old, he is skin and bones. And we share the same birthday, so I just didn’t have a choice.
I had a lot of fun with my Monterey Church friends, and I witnessed God work in mighty ways. Things happened on this trip that the world might not understand, because they were nothing short of miracles.
Let’s just start with a small one.
Ok ok, this isn’t the kind of miracle that I am speaking of, and I didn’t actually slay this crocodile either, but to me this was a bit of a fear conquering moment. This crocodile, and all of his 100 hundred friends that surrounded us, didn’t try to attack. I am guessing the live chickens they are fed have something to do with this, and the fact the locals in this village have a strong relationship with these crocodiles.
Truly though, we had many moments on this trip where God displayed to me how mighty He is. We visited a Compassion center in this small village (where I ended up sponsoring my child). In this village there are close to 300 kids sponsored. Of course there were hundreds more that showed up on the day of our visit.
The pastor of the church was a powerful man, full of amazing faith. The pastor told us that on Thursdays, when all the children come for the Compassion program, the adults in the village come to the church to pray, and many want prayer for healing for diseases and sicknesses. You see, there isn’t much of a health clinic close by, and no hospital in sight, so they come to this church.
One of the staff from the church led me into the church while the adults were praying, and he showed me this corner filled with crutches, walkers, casts etc. I thought to myself, how nice that the church offers this equipment to the people who have needs. How great it was the church would provide crutches and such for those who are hurt.
Later that day, my mind was blown when I learned these are not donated crutches to the needy, these are the crutches of people who were healed by the hand of God in this place. It’s in these moments I discover how little my faith is and how much of a skeptic I am. There is no TV evangelist making a living in this church by claiming miracles, and there is no money making or offering needed when the healing happens. There is no explainable reason this should happen, except to say, God works in mighty ways in this village and He is the GREAT HEALER.
On Thursday, one of the couples from Monterey Church didn’t come with us to see this Compassion center. They were off on their own miracle-making journey.
Earlier in the week, our staff had informed this couple, Matt and Chandra, that they would not be able to see their sponsored child on our Fun Day. The child had malaria and was very sick in the hospital. Matt and Chandra were so sad as they barely were able to make this trip to Burkina Faso, and almost had to back out. However, they felt compelled to come to see their sponsored child. But the child lived in a far away village, so the logistics seemed impossible.
The good news was, our staff in Burkina made the arrangements for them to travel 250 miles each direction (on African roads), to visit their child in the hospital.
When they arrived at the hospital, the sponsors were shocked. Matt, who had been to Iraq years back with our military, told me it was just like a hospital in the midst of the war in Baghdad. It was pitiful and smelly with people moaning and crying out everywhere. Unfortunately, there is nothing else close by in this remote village.
When they walked into the room where the sponsored child was laying, the child was moaning in pain, and a high fever had consumed her body. What was even worse was that her siblings were sick too and in the hospital and the three of them shared two beds, as this was all the hospital would give them. One sibling suffered from Typhoid and had uncontrollable diarrhea. The hospital had just plopped this child on a bucket and left him there. The other sibling suffered from malaria as well. All of them were lethargic, in pain and looked horrible.
The sponsors of course were completely overwhelmed by the horrible scene. The villagers in this area had decided the family was cursed and nobody wanted to be near them.
Matt and Chandra held their sponsored child to pray, for this is all they could do. They could feel the heat of the high fever in their child, but as they were praying, something happened in that hospital, that again, nobody could really explain. Their sponsored child’s fever broke, and the sibling with diarrhea had no more diarrhea, and the other sibling sat up from bed out of a lethargic state and began to act normal. All three children instantly felt better.
Friends, you tell me what happened here?
After they had prayed, the parents took Matt and Chandra to their home. The sponsors saw the poverty and once again, they encouraged the parents and prayed for them. The villagers all came out to see how this family was honored by the sponsor’s visit, and they changed their thinking on “the curse.”
After the sponsors visited the village, they went back to the hospital, only to witness the children happily playing in their beds with the toys the sponsors had brought.
As we flew out of Burkina Faso on Friday, our staff told me, one of the children had already been released from the hospital and the other two were on the mend. Compassion is covering all the bills.
To God Be the Glory Forever. Amen.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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