Elsa V. Malig-on
Three-year-old Jenny never missed the morning and evening worships in our village. So when she didn’t attend one morning, I missed her. “Where is Jenny?” I asked
“She’s sick, teacher!” one boy answered.
After worship I went to check on Jenny and found her lying in her family’s one-room house, writhing with pain. I prayed for her and mixed some simple herbal medicine for her. Soon Jenny fell asleep.
When I returned later to check on Jenny, I found several traditional healers in the family’s home. They were performing sacrifices and rituals to heal Jenny. I knew that if I tried to stop these false healers I could be killed. I found Jenny’s mother sitting outside and told her, “We must pray to God in heaven to heal Jenny. He is the true Healer, the greatest healer of all.” She stared at me as if to say, You are new here. You don’t know that we do these rituals every time someone is sick in the village.
We prayed for Jenny at school that day. But after school, Jenny’s brother told me, “My father said you must not come to our house today because you will disturb the healers.” My heart sank. I wanted to help, but I couldn’t. Lord, I prayed, please help Jenny. If it is Your will, heal her. Help her parents know that You are the true God.
But Jenny’s condition worsened, and the family took her to the forest to be closer to the spirits they worship. The healers continued their sacrifices, and we continued praying for Jenny.
Two days later as we prepared to welcome the Sabbath, Jenny and her mother appeared at our door smiling broadly. “We did everything our rituals decreed, but Jenny didn’t get better,” she said. Finally we prayed to your God. We promised Him that if He would heal Jenny, we would give our lives to Him. As soon as we prayed, Jenny’s pain left. The next morning we awoke to hear Jenny singing the songs that you taught her. I heard her thanking God for healing her. Then she came to me and asked, ‘Mama, can we go home now? I want to attend worship.’”
Today Jenny’s entire family attends worship in the village church. They plan to be baptized as soon as possible.
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Elsa. Malig-on was a SULADS, a student missionary teacher from Mountain View College in southern Philippines when she wrote this story.