Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For God

I was in a meeting when my phone began to ring. Not being Burkinabe (pronounced Burkina bay), I chose to hold off until after the meeting to answer the phone. A true Burkinabe answers his or her phone at any and all times...... I'm not there yet. I called back and found there was a 7 year old girl who was in the hospital, but needed to be placed in the orphanage once released. I exclaimed, "Of course! We would love to have her!". Two days later Social Action shows up at the orphanage with this little young lady whose name translated from Moore' means "for God." I can say with all my heart, this is the name was right on mark. I walked in and she looks up at me and smiles from ear to ear. Not too uncommon for a child, but the story attached to this particular one makes this smile nothing less than remarkable, amazing, and humbling.

I was told that she had just had surgery on her mouth and tongue due to severe damage done by drinking lye. Lye is the acid used to make soap here in Burkina. It literally melts all that it comes in contact with at full strength. She was rushed to the hospital in Ouagadougou for surgery, and for the most part, the surgery was a success. Unable to speak, she can only communicate with emotions, and the emotion she used when she arrived at our orphanage was a smile.

The history of the difficult childhood this little girl has had nearly made me collapse. There was a evidence all over of the hardships she had faced, but this child was different. She was "for God", and He had a different life in mind for His little princess. We handed her a small doll, and she instantly started caring for and hugging the doll. All the staggering details of her life just stopped, a u-turn in life with the hope for the future.

As impossible of a place Burkina can be, at times you think to yourself, are we truly finding "the least of these"? When we get tired, and worn out from running long hours 7 days a week, many times we ask ourselves "are we making a difference"? When I find myself once again walking into the cemetery with a heavy heart there are times I could even ask myself "why am I doing this?", and the answer is all wrapped up in this little girls name, For God. It was God who brought me here, it was God who brings me each of those who the world considers the least of these, but God sees the diamond in each of them.
Life is hard, but my life is not. People I know have suffered, but I have not. It is much easier to appreciate the life I have now that I live in Africa. When you see a smile on the face of a 7 year old girl who has endured more than I will in my lifetime, I am humbled. This smile was not for me, this smile was "for God."


  1. What an encouraging and convicting testimony. We are so grateful for how God is using you guys in Burkina Faso. We love you! Brian & Vickie

  2. This story made me cry. What a beautiful little girl. Is she physically ok now? another post on how she is doing would be great. You are Jesus with skin on for her. You know the pictures we all see with children sitting on Jesus' lap. Shame on me for ever complaining.