Unexpected Miracle: Village Children Receive Needed Care

Asia Pacific

In the unforgiving heat of an Asian summer, I went on an explorative trip with a visiting pediatric physical therapist, planning for a short-term missions team to come the next year.

The first few days of our trip were a hurried mix of visiting schools and orphanages and having meals with local officials to explain why we wanted to help children with disabilities and how we planned to do so.

Upon visiting one community, we were overwhelmed by the response of parents with children in need of care.

Our van rounded a corner and was met with a line of people wrapping around the small government facility. One family walked all night pushing their child in a wheelbarrow just to see the doctor.

My heart started to race. This was only supposed to be an exploratory trip. We didn’t have any equipment or medicine to help these families. The physical therapist and I decided to do the best we could and cleared out a small room in the government building to start seeing kids.

Then, amazing things began to happen.

As I struggled to translate and record the children’s names and conditions, I heard laughter outside. I looked out into the courtyard and saw a mass of kids laughing and playing with each other. For many, it was the first time they got to play with other kids just like them. Parents also began to talk with one another, sharing different things that helped their kids and about how to overcome stigma in their communities. It was a time of hope and peace — a respite.

Soon, the morning turned to noon, and the heat became relentless. Still, mothers and fathers waited for their turn. Inside the makeshift exam room, the physical therapist and I started to tire. There were tears and messes, but we kept going.

Finally, the last child was carried in. The 4-year-old boy was wearing only a rag and was in constant pain, contracted from head to toe into a tight ball because of cerebral palsy. His grandfather had started walking at 5 a.m., carrying his grandson the whole way to see the doctor.

“Please,” the grandfather whispered. “Help him.”

The physical therapist gently placed the boy on the table and began to massage his joints to help alleviate some of the pain. She noticed that his little hands had been clinched for so long that his fingernails were growing into the palms of his hands. The grandfather became concerned when she began to work with the boy’s hands. He told me that his grandson was so fragile that when he had tried to move the boy’s fingers in the past, he accidentally broke one.

I reassured him that the physical therapist understood and would not hurt his grandson. She gently applied pressure to the boy’s wrist, and his hand opened ever so slightly. She then worked her finger into his tiny palm, and his hand opened. The grandfather quickly reached out and held his grandson’s hand.

“It’s a miracle!” the grandfather shouted, his eyes welling up with tears. “This is the first time I’ve held my grandson’s hand!”

The therapist and I spent the next hour explaining different exercises that the grandfather could do to help his grandson. As they left that day, the grandfather scooped up his grandson with a smile on his face. He kept holding the small boy’s hand and saying to anyone that would listen, “It’s a miracle!”

On that hot summer day in Asia, the Red Sea didn’t part, no one walked on water, and thousands were not fed. However, I saw that the miraculous does take place as Christians use their abilities with godly purpose and love. We steward the daily opportunities to show Christ’s love, and we pray for even more opportunities to tell His saving story.

Unexpected Miracle: Village Children Receive Needed Care

By AGWM personnel in a sensitive region

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