Trusting God when it hurts
One of Logos Hope's crewmembers, Theresa Barrett (Zimbabwe), shares her experience of meeting a faith-filled teenager while on a ministry team in Mexico City.
The team I was assigned to while we are away from the ship for this month had the wonderful privilege to visit a girl called Renata in her home. I was so inspired by her story, by her life. We all were!
Renata was raised in a Christian home and school. From an early age she was very excited about missions because her grandmother, who is a doctor, used to go on mission trips on her vacations each year. When Renata was 13 years old, it was discovered that she had a brain tumor and required two surgeries. During the second surgery, she needed a complete blood transfusion and ended up in a coma. It was unclear what her condition would be when she woke up, but her family and church were praying that God would work a miracle, to preserve Renata's mind and memory.
When she woke up, Renata could not move or talk. She stayed in hospital for four months, until all the patients had to be moved because of Mexico City’s earthquake. Renata’s grandmother is now taking care of her, to allow her mother to work and raise her younger children.
A year after her surgery, Renata is persevering with therapy and has recovered some movement in her right side. She is beginning to speak and can feed herself. She is now 15 years old. God has answered prayers in that she has all of her memories and is able to remember Bible verses, songs and stories. She is bilingual and loves talking and singing about God's faithfulness. Little by little, she is working towards and longing for the day she will be able to walk again and recover her life. In the meantime, she blesses the hearts of those around her with her faith.
I was so surprised to see how much she remembers, including full chapters of Scripture! I read Psalm 23 to her and felt the tears well up in my eyes as she began to say it with me. Making a circle around Renata, we three girls from Logos Hope stood with her grandmother and great-grandmother, plus a family she has known for many years. As we prayed—some in Spanish and some in English—the presence of the Holy Spirit grew so evident! It was incredible to experience. I'd never before felt [God’s] power like I did that late afternoon in Mexico City.
Renata is a beautiful girl, inside and out. Her story has forever touched my heart! I know that as she continues to grow in physical strength and in the Lord, she will be a light for many. Her testimony will touch the lives of everyone she comes into contact with.