Botswari

When I met Botswari he was a hardened and tough young man of 13 years. Just from the expression on his face and the coldness in his eyes, I could tell that life had dealt him some circumstances that I could never understand. Circumstances that no 13 year old should have to endure. When we gathered the children around for Bible time and prayers he was always around but would rarely participate. He would always sit on the outside of the circle and mock the other kids and heckle us at times. However, each week he would come back. As I would ask questions about the last week’s lesson, he would quietly answer in the back when no one else would.

The crowning moment with Botsawari came the week of Easter. He has been kicked out of the school where we meet each week due to not having enough money to pay his school fees. The group of children was small that week. As we began singing and dancing with the kids that were there, I heard singing coming from the sugar cane fields. As I listened the singing got louder and louder, as we asked the children “Do you love Jesus?” they would echo, “Yes I do!” From the field I heard a resolute “Yes I do!” It kept growing louder and louder. Out of the field marched Botsawari leading a group of his friends with a huge smile on his face! Botswari seemed to be saying “you can keep me out of school but you can’t keep me from worshipping Jesus!” When his group arrived I asked if anyone wanted to share something they had learned about Jesus. This tough, hardened young man volunteered to step in the middle of all his friends, he said: “ I have learned that Jesus came to Earth in the form of a man and died on a cross for my sins so that I may have eternal life.”

Jonah

Jonah is 12-year-old little boy who always has a smile on his face and loves to dance! Any bit of music and Jonah is dancing! This was not the case one week when we drove into the village. At the school where we meet we found Jonah curled up in the fetal position wrapped in a dirty, ragged men’s blazer. I was shocked to see this normally happy energy filled boy crumpled on the ground. He was shaking uncontrollably, tears running down his face and there was no life left in his eyes. I knew right away that Jonah was in trouble and he had the worse case of malaria I had ever seen. As we tested Jonah I could feel the heat coming off his body from the fever ravaging his body. I knew the medication we had would have no affect on a case this bad, so we loaded Jonah up and took him to the local clinic.

In this one-roomed clinic with a tin roof and dingy walls, they were able to get IV antibiotics running through Jonah. As we gathered to pray for Jonah I thought how could this little boy who is so full of energy and life be this close to death because of a mosquito bite. My heart was telling me Jonah would be fine, but my mind and medical training told me Jonah would not make it through the night. Through God’s Grace Jonah was healed of the malaria in his body! This was the closest I have ever seen someone to death without physically dying. He was one sick little boy. We saw God’s hand working on Jonah, yes the medicine helped, but the only way a child that sick could recover was through the Great Healer. After three days Jonah was well enough to return to his home in the village. When we went to check on him the emotions of the team could not be expressed in words. The picture shows a physically weak Jonah, trying his best to smile, but the smiles on our faces show how happy we are to see Jonah!