The three villages we visited on Monday were all very similar. Dirt dominated the landscape, trash lay strewn everywhere, pigs stretched out in ruts where presumably there was a scrap of shade, and demon huts dotted the community of precious lives struggling to survive.
In the third village, which we reached after following a footpath for about 1/4 mile through heavy grasses, scrub bushes, and humongous baobab trees, we found Sara at home. She invited us into her house. The room we entered after stepping over a ten-inch high threshold had a dirt floor and walls and nothing else. Oh, nothing else except for a small boy on the floor. This little boy is five years old, but he was born deaf, blind, mute and totally crippled. His mother has carried him on her back his entire life. She had a second baby, but she had to give him away because she couldn't care for him with all the needs of her firstborn. Kate had told me that Sara was expecting a baby soon, and it was a happy surprise when Sara told us that she gave birth to a healthy baby boy one week ago. She took us through a doorway into her bedroom where the baby lay sleeping on a beautiful bed with colorful coverings topped off with a mosquito net that looked like lace. The contrast was startling, but I later learned that it is not uncommon for a married woman to have a beautiful bed even if there is nothing else in the house.About two weeks before we visited, Wade had paid them a visit and had talked to Sara about Jesus a little and told her that he would like to pray over her son to be healed. She agreed, even though she doesn't really know who Jesus is, but she does know that she would love to have her son not be disabled and totally dependent on her all his life. So Wade prayed. The day we arrived, the little boy who had never sat up on his own was sitting on the floor! Wade picked him up and held him while we ladies were holding the baby in the bedroom, then when he put the boy down on the floor he pushed himself up to a standing position!!! He was not yet able to take a step, but he was balancing and wobbling just like a one-year-old who is on the verge of taking that first step.
On the day that Sara came to receive her salon treatment, she was unable to come during the designated time so she just showed up around noon since that's when she was able to find someone to care for her oldest child. She and her husband had walked under the midday sun for 3 or 4 miles with her newborn baby, so of course we scrambled into action to give her the best experience possible. In fact, because she was the only one at that time, she received nearly a full hour of pampering while we took turns holding the baby in the other house where she would not hear him if he cried and could just enjoy the special attention being lavished on her. But I have never seen a sadder face on a woman in all my life. Her sadness is so deep it was hard to look her in the face.
After her pampering was completed, Lalas sat down with Sara and her husband and explained the gospel to them. They said they would think about it. My prayers will continue to go up to Heaven on behalf of Sara and her husband and her two sons. I want to hear a report one day that her five-year-old is walking, that her infant son has been dedicated to the Lord instead of to a demon whose amulets now hang on his wrists, and that she has a radiant smile on her face from the joy of knowing Jesus and being set free from the chains of demonic oppression. Maybe you would consider joining me in that prayer.