In the second discipleship class of the day, we had two new ladies in attendance from a village about an hour away. It just so happened one of the ladies, Alba, was sitting next to me.
Hard work, long hours, exhaustion, and the impact of extreme temperatures were painted on their faces. As you may know, life is different in Africa than most Western cultures. Food is prepared over open fires after you have walked an hour to draw water from the nearest water source. Food is grown and animals are raised if the land is not scorched. There are no grocery stores, laundry mats, restaurants, running water, electricity, or other modern conveniences. Life is sustained very differently, especially for women.
Eighty percent of the food eaten globally is planted and harvested by women. No doubt by one of these 11 women we were meeting today. Outside the home, they may work in fields as a sustainable source of income, if they don't work in their own smallholder farm.
As a treat, we decided to bless these hard-working women with a hand massage. I started with my new friend, Alba. As I rubbed lotion into her hands and began to massage them, she shared what life was like as a single mother with two children. I’m not sure if it was the children who caused this, but she also shared she had a headache today that sounded more like the symptoms of a migraine. I asked if it was okay to pray for the pain to leave and she agreed.
Normally I would stop everything I was doing to lay hands on Alba's head and begin praying. Sometimes people even close their eyes or bow their heads as most churches would teach. However, Alba was not a believer and had not experienced these cultural norms. Instead, I continued massaging her hands, adding lotion as she stared at me with her tired eyes. Looking into her eyes, I prayed out loud, “God, we know that you came to give life and life more abundantly. We release your healing power into Alba right now and command all pain to leave her head, in Jesus' Name.”
Alba's inquisitive stare relaxed and you could see the relief in her eyes as tears stopped in the creases of the wrinkles on her face. God had done just what we asked. To confirm, I asked Alba if she still had pain to which she responded, “No.”
We sat in silence while I continued massaging her hands and I’m sure as God’s presence continued to minister to Alba. Later that day, she accepted Christ as her Savior.
Alba never imagined as she started her one hour walk that morning that she would meet the only God who loves her. The God who sent an American woman to an African village to massage her hands. The only God who gave His son's life to have a relationship with her and bore stripes for her healing.
Thank you, Jesus!
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