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I met a young girl back in the summer of 2006. She was just a teenager, carefree, and often laughing. She was married but did not yet have children.
In early 2008, this same girl came to our hamlet opening up her net bag, pushing back the leaves, and revealing a sweet baby girl. She was so tiny and new and sick. She was running a fever, and we were new at trying to diagnose illnesses. She quickly became very ill even after starting some medicine. Her parents decided to take her back to her home village because they were fearful she was going to die, and it was very important in their culture to die in your home village.
We thought for sure she would die without further treatment, but the Lord had other plans for her life and in His great mercy preserved her life.
It didn’t take long to realize though that the high fevers and complications of the sickness had taken her hearing. Over the years we have seen her from time to time and watched her grow.
She came to my house not more than a week ago. She is quick to smile and has long eyelashes like her mom. She didn’t hesitate to grab my arm and hold my hand as we walked together to church. She was here in our home village for several days, and I watched her play right alongside all the other children. She reads lips well and uses sign language to communicate.
Over the years we have treated many ear infections. We have seen many adults with very scarred ear drums due to ruptures and know people who have hearing loss because of their untreated childhood sicknesses.
Helping people with their health needs from the beginning was a way we were able to serve people and show Christ’s love early on when our language attempts were meager. From there, our ministry grew to eventually being able to teach God’s Word to those who were willing to listen.
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