As a small child, I remember one of my favorite songs to sing was Jesus is All the World to Me. At that time, I was too young to truly understand the implications of that song, but after living for thirty-six years, seven of them being in Africa, I think I can now say that the essence of that phrase strongly resonates in my heart. Many of us speak of Jesus as though He were any other person we know, but after some of us experience the power of His name we can never speak it flippantly. When we speak it, His name resounds in every ounce of our being, and we cannot help but be overcome with joy and gratitude because we understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us. About two months ago I had another encounter that deepened my love and appreciation for all Jesus has done for me and confirmed the reality that even though I may lack certain things on this earth, having Jesus gives me everything I need.
On Sunday evening, my husband, Caitlin (our intern), and I were home with Caleb and Vanea. I walked back to our bedroom for a minute, leaving Caleb and Vanea in our living room with one of our boys, who was mopping the floor. Caleb and Vanea were singing and dancing to one of Vanea’s favorite praise songs, which speaks of glorifying God. Vanea climbed on top of our coffee table, but when she tried to get down, she fell off and hit her head on the cement. I was still in the bedroom, but I could hear the thunderous bang. The sound was horrifying. I sensed it had to be Vanea, and soon I heard her cry out. I ran to the living room, but as I reached, I could see her staggering across the room and collapsing into Victor’s arms. (Prior to this, Vanea convulsed and then tried to get up and walk toward Caitlin who was calling to her. Caitlin terrifyingly watched her eyes roll back in her head before Vanea became unconscious.) I started crying out “Vanea!, but her whole body was stiff and she wasn’t responding at all. I cried out, “What are we going to do?” Victor calmly said, “She is going to be okay, Jesus is here.” As I heard him speak Jesus’ name, it reminded me that even though I knew there was no hospital to evaluate her head injury, Jesus was going to help Vanea recover. We began praying. Vanea regained consciousness in few minutes, but continued to cry for 45 minutes. I immediately asked my mother and Caitlin to contact as many people as possible to pray for Vanea. I knew there was no better place I could run to than in the arms of Jesus and in the prayers of others. I then went back to our bedroom and began praying for Vanea’s total healing. As I prayed, I envisioned her dancing and jumping and thanked God for giving her an excellent brain. Vanea began moaning and then vomited twice. She wouldn’t talk, so at this time it was difficult to ascertain what she knew and didn’t know. We continued to pray, and I kept asking God to help me believe and not be afraid. Although we wanted to keep her awake, we couldn’t because she was so exhausted from the events of the day. We decided to wake her up throughout the night to check on her. In the beginning, I found it difficult to wake her up because she was so out of it. Then, at 2:00 A.M., she woke up and asked for water. I was very excited to hear her request and knew she was getting better. When she woke up in the morning, she was completely normal and back to herself. I cannot express the joy I felt in my heart. As I looked at our daughter all day, I continued to thank God for touching her. I knew her recovery truly was miraculous. I felt much gratitude to everyone who had prayed for her. It was very evident to me that prayer truly does make a difference, and as we stand together to believe in God’s healing power, wonderful things happen. The previous night I felt renewed courage to pray and believe because I knew many of our hearts were joined together in prayer. I once again realized missionaries would never reach the places we do, if it were not for those who support us. We are who we are not only because of who Jesus is, but because of who He is through other people. Some of you may never perceive all your prayers have accomplished. Some of you may never know the victories that have been won because of the battles you have fought on your knees. However, don’t grow weary in your efforts because they are yielding results! Vanea’s life is a testimony of that. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you and thank God for you. Please continue to stand with us. Hold us in your minds and hearts, as we do the same for you.