I was walking through our neighborhood one afternoon when I was approached by a neighbor. She stated that her daughter had a sore on her foot, and she wanted me to come look at it. There was another missionary lady with me, so we both went to their porch where the little girl was sitting. They removed the haphazard bandage and what was below the bandage made my heart drop. I have never seen anything so grotesque. A sore the size of a small lemon covered the entire back part of this little girl's foot. It was covered in something black and looked crusted over. I asked, in my limited Pular, what had happened. The mother explained that the little girl had gotten a scratch/scrape and then it began to hurt more. The sore "grew" so they tried "local" remedies like motor oil (Yes, motor oil!! Thus, the blackness!). When those did not work, they took her to a witch doctor.
I explained that I would need to go back and get some of my medical supplies and would be back. I asked one of our lady workers that spoke English to go back with me to help with the translating. Upon arriving back at the porch, we removed the dirty, torn bandage and began cleansing the infected area. The little girl grimaced but was quickly "hushed" by her mother...a sermon in itself :). After cleansing as much as we could, I applied neosporin and cotton and wrapped the foot with a clean bandage. As I finished wrapping the foot, I knew it was time to discuss the little string bracelet with shells hung ever so clumsily. I gently placed the bracelet between my two fingers and asked what it was. I will never be able to put into words the "darkness" that fell over that place at that point. The mother solemnly stared at me, and in her eyes I saw a battle. "Should I be honest and tell her what that is? Does she already know?" She explained to me (with the help of the translator) that it was really nothing...just a bracelet. The Spirit of God became VERY CLEAR, and I was compelled to express these words, "I WILL NOT SHARE MY GLORY...I WILL NOT SHARE MY GLORY". I explained to the mother that God would not share His glory with ANYONE or ANYTHING. The bracelet HAD to be cut off.
It seemed like hours passed as the battle raged in the eyes of that mother. She finally agreed to remove the bracelet. We gently cut the fragile bracelet off the little girl's ankle, and their was intense anticipation on all parts!!! I asked if I could pray before I left. The mother agreed. I asked the translator to translate the words of my prayer so that everyone there could understand my words. I ended the prayer very strongly in Pular with "In Jesus' name".
As I walked home that afternoon, I felt my own battle. I found my self praying, "Please, Lord, do not test my own faith in this situation." I prayed frequently throughout the evening and night for that little girl. I prayed for a miracle!! I prayed that God would receive GLORY through his situation.
When I returned the next morning, I was met by the mother running frantically to me yelling something that I could not understand. I finally realized that she was saying the little girl was up most of the night crying with pain. I found my self saying..."Oh, Jesus, help me here!" When I reached the porch, the little girl sat in quiet anguish; tiny tears streaming down her little face. I slowly removed the bandage, and as I began to pull the cotton off, the little girl jerked her foot away. Once again disciplined by her mother, she slowly placed gher foto back in my hand. At that moment, I realized that the cotton had "grown into" the sore. "What in the world, Lord?" That is all that I can think! I gently began to "cut" the cotton/scab off. And what was eventually revealed, was a clean, open wound that was immensely smaller than it had been and practically COMPLETELY HEALED. Immediately the Spirit said to me, "Brandy, this is EXACTLY what I wanted. This is EXACTLY what I want for everyone. I , yes I, will remove the 'hard outer coverings'. The coverings that man strives for...wealth, pride, material possessions, etc...that he tries to fill his life with in order to feel complete. I, yes I, will remove those. It may hurt, just like it did for this little girl, but now look what I have to work with...a clean, vulnerable, open area that I can heal." Tears filled my eyes as I knew the Lord was working in this place and in my very own life!!!
As others on the porch realized what had happened, gasps could be heard all around. And softly I could hear the words, "Iisaa, Iissa" (Jesus, Jesus) beginning to be muttered. The voices grew louder and stronger until there was clapping and dancing, and the name of Jesus was being shouted from this front porch where the battle had RAGED the day before. People were PRAISING THE NAME OF JESUS AND THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!!! God was being glorified in a manner beyond what I had ever seen! Tears rolled down my face as I simply thanked God for working a MIRACLE that I was allowed to see with my very own eyes..for being the AMAZING God that He is...for being the I AM!!!
I left that home that day having learned numerous lessons of my own. And when I returned to check on the little girl the next morning, I was greeted with the most amazing smile..a smile that could have brightened the darkest of nights. The little girl, who previously had to be carried around due to the sore on her foot, hobbled out (on her own) to meet me. I will never forget that hug...or that miracle!
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Testimony of God's Power
I was appointed by the International Mission Board to serve in Guinea back in 1998. While things didn't quite work out there like we expected, I do have a remarkable testimony provided by a young woman who taught school to the children of other missionaries. Her name is Brandy Keith Mason. While she was single then, she is married with children now and lives in Missouri.