by Hannah, Children at Risk DTS student
I walked down the rocky path with a guy we call Chef. A very thin woman greeted us and welcomed us into her home. The first thing I noticed about her was how warm her eyes and smile were. Her eyes looked tired and sad, but she didn’t look hopeless like so many others we had met.
Her home was one room with a wooden bench, a small TV, and a dresser. Behind a curtain was a bed. I sat on the bench and made as much room for the rest of my team as I could. That’s when I noticed someone was on the bed. I could only see a dark figure in the shadows.
Eventually, the woman, Mulee, told us about her daughter, Yapseelah. Yapseelah is 17 and very ill.
When Yapseelah was seven, she was running down a path like all kids her age, when she fell and hit her head on a rock. Since then, she has had debilitating headaches. The further along she got in school, the more her head hurt. Finally, she had to quit school because concentrating hurt too much.
Mulee pulled back the curtain and we saw Yapseelah there on the bed, curled into a ball.
I glanced at Yapseelah and my heart started to pound. I didn’t know what was happening, but I was overwhelmed by love and concern for her. It got hard to breathe. I tried my best to listen to what was being said around me—more talk about the doctors and her prognosis—but it felt like something was pressing hard on my chest.
This morning, she was taken to a hospital to get a scan of her brain. The doctors discovered that her brain is still bleeding from the fall—but the doctors don’t know how to treat her. Today, they quadrupled her medication, but no one knows how she’ll respond to it.
“I’m so worried for her,” said Mulee.
“We’ll keep her in our prayers,” said Tesefaye, our translator, just before we had to go.
I knew I had to do more than just say I would pray for Yapseelah on my own. I had to pray for her right then and there. Maybe that would make my heart go back to normal. I knelt at Yapseelah’s bed and put my hands on her shoulder and head. I had never done anything like this before, and it felt both strange and completely natural.
“God, will you heal her?” I cried out.
And then it was like my heart couldn’t hold the love that God had for her—I began to shake as I prayed for her. In that moment, I wasn’t aware of anyone else in the room. All I saw was this girl a few years younger than me, who was simply being a kid, who took one wrong step that has left her in pain for ten years. So I prayed for her for a few more minutes until that feeling of urgency went away. I stood up and my team and I said our goodbyes.
While we kept walking along the path, I thought about what had just happened. I’ve never prayed like that before, nor felt what I had for this girl. Yapseelah didn’t “get up and walk” that afternoon, and I don’t know how or when God will answer our prayers. But I got to feel a little of God’s overwhelming love He feels for her, and I know He is holding her. And yes, I will keep praying that God will heal her.