I went to church Sunday ready to teach a simple Sunday school lesson on Philip and the Ethiopian. Little did I know that God had more in mind.
After singing, I gathered the children and went to head back to our little room. All the children stood up to go except for one little girl on the front row. They tried to encourage her to go, but she wouldn't. I picked her up and covered her little head as we walked in the rain back to the little concrete room where we'd meet.
As I taught the lesson and we played games I was told something that I could understand because it was in French about the little girl. Watching her I thought maybe she could hear or talk, but later I found out she was mute. I watch as the children played games and skipped over the little girl, who's name was Sarah. She didn't understand how to play. She looked very sad and didn't interact with the other children at all. Looking at her face I could tell that she longed to. She didn't even have a touch of joy on her little face. It made my heart sad because I wanted her to have the joy that all children should have.
After the lesson was over I turned around and there she was asking me in her silent way to pick her up and carry her back outside, just like I'd carried her in. When we got outside her mother was praying with the pastor so I stood there holding her and waiting. My translator explained that the little girl couldn't understand nor speak and that she was born that way. Holding her close I prayed for her, asking God to let her be the joyful child she should be and to possible heal her if that was His will.
Remembering I had a headband in my backpack I sat down on the bench, pulled it out and placed it on her head. I snapped a picture and showed it to her. Her face lit up just a little. One of the boys took a picture of the two of us together. I showed it to her and her face lit up a little more. She got the attention of the lady sitting behind her that was her mother's friend so that she might show her the picture.
I grabbed her little hands, placed them on the camera and helped her take pictures. You could see the excitement on her face with each picture she took. She had to take a picture of all the children there and had to show them all the pictures. I had accepted her as the child she was and she was finally showing the joy that a child should show. The pastor prayed for little Sarah, we put her shoes on and she walked away with her momma, turning to wave bye as she left.
It may seem to be something little, but for me seeing her light up and interact with the other children Himself through her, or maybe God has greater plans for her that he will accomplish because she is mute. It may not be through healing her or maybe we will never see how God uses her. I may never know, but God does. God truly does love this little girl, just as He loves each of us.
After they left my translator asked me, "How can we say that God loves the children when he allows them to be sick like her?" The truth is that He does love little Sarah. her being mute doesn't mean that He doesn't love her it's simply the result of sin being in the world. I was reminded of the story in John 9:1-12 where Jesus encounters a man that was born blind. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that eh was born blind?" Jesus told them, "Neither," rather "This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." It wasn't that God didn't love this man, but God had greater plans that he or anyone else would've thought. Jesus used this man's blindness to reveal God through the man. How great amazing is that!
Maybe it's the same for this little girl. Maybe she was born mute so God could reveal Himself through her, or maybe God has greater plans for her that He will accomplish because she's mute. It may not be healing as the man in the story, but God can accomplish His goal in so many different ways. I may never see what God's plan is, but God knows.
It was Sarah's mother's first time at church. I know God has a purpose in bringing them both to church that day. Please pray that God will bring her back and that she might be saved. Also pray for Sarah, that she would be full of joy and not worry what the other children think of her being mute and that, if it is God's will, she might be healed. She was a beautiful little girl and I pray she will see that.