By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Anna, deaf from birth, found her seat on the plane. Her parents had given her the ticket as a graduation gift. She was about to embark on a life-changing experience: her first mission trip.
She traveled with her church deep into the countryside of Brazil. Once there, the men built churches while their wives taught Bible stories to the children. Anna tutored them in sign language.
Early each morning she assembled a small group under the shade of an old kapok tree. They sat on the large surface roots that crept out from its trunk. The villagers provided Anna with a homemade bench to teach from. She sang the words to “Jesus Loves Me” as she signed. By the end of the week, the children signed along with her, “for the Bible tells me so.”
Anna spent seven days entrenched in the small village life. She ate food provided by the villagers, worked with the children and collapsed at night on a mat.
The last day of Anna’s stay as she began to sing the children snuggled close. Some laid their small calloused hands on hers while others signed, “little ones to Him belong.”
Tears rolled down Anna’s cheeks with the significance of their actions. Jesus now lived in their hearts. Her own faith increased because of this humble demonstration of acceptance. Anna pulled them into her arms in a warm goodbye embrace.
The next evening, Anna boarded an airplane for home. She dozed off in a peaceful sleep as gentle memories of the children filled her heart.
Commotion and racket startled her awake. A jumble of unfamiliar noises surrounded her. The shuffle of feet and the food cart being pushed up the plane aisle told her it wasn’t a dream. She heard laughter for the first time in her life.
Because of the simple faith of children and a phrase from a beloved song, “we are weak but He is strong,” Anna received God’s gift of healing. God demonstrated His unfailing love through the innocence of children.
Because of Jesus’ love all things are possible.
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 19:14 (KJV).
I love you but Jesus loves you more.
By Jan Davis