Today I made a woman cry. Not out of meanness, but out of joy.
The woman had leprosy: she had very little of her nose left; her face and body were covered in scabs and greyish sores, and she was missing fingers and toes. Yet underneath all this, I saw a woman clearly in need. I put my hand on her skinny shoulder and prayed with her and told her that Jesus loved her.
After many questions, the woman aked me to tell her about "dis Jeezus". I did; she must have understood what I told her (in her native tongue, no less) because she started crying and asked Jesus to come into her heart; she hated living like a sinner. She felt that having leprosy was a punishment for having left the brothel. (She had been a hooker and was homeless until the woman who ran the place took her in. Then she got leprosy, and she ended up back where she had started: on the streets, with nobody to care for her.)
Yet the tears she cried were not sad tears or tears of despair. Oh, no. The tears she cried were tears of absolute joy. And I cried at the sight of them because even though we were both very different from each other and spoke two different tongues, somehow she "made the connection" and thanks to a simple little prayer, Jesus came into her heart, to dwell in her forever, giving her something she had never known: peace and hope.
Even with all the disfigurement and scars, the sight of this woman crying with happiness made her beautiful. I was crying too because I had done my job: sharing the gospel with someone who clearly needed to hear it and seeing her take the free gift of Christ's salvation into her heart.
Scenarios such as this always made my heart sing with joy. So many people tended to run me out of town or threaten me with every inch of my life or rejected Christ; this time was different, and it was good, not only for me, but for this desperately poor leper woman.
Yesterday, I helped my parents out at a clinic. We prayed and helped the doctors and nurses by trying to comfort sick, malnourished, or dying babies and children. It was hard to see so much suffering, but we stuck it through and prayed for a miracle. Some of these people got that miracle; others, unfortunately, died.
We do something different each and every day. Some days (like today) we end up on the streets of Mumbai; on other days we end up at clinics or makeshift hospitals, despensing care and prayers of healing to the sick and dying. In addition, we help build schools, homes, churches. Our job of ministering to the poor is never over: the problem is so much greater than us, yet if we can make a dent or a change in even just one person's life, then our job as missionaries has been worth everything!
~To be continued.~