We just got home from a trip....a trip that I can't share a great deal of details about. But it was a good trip. I do want to share a story about a girl I named Linda.
We went to a small village that we've gone to for years. As we entered the village that day, two teenaged girls saw us and began yelling, "Ahndy!" They remembered us from years ago when we came to their schools and taught them English. One of the girls I remembered as the "mean wittle girl" who was as mischievous as they come. She hadn't changed a bit. She didn't appear to be mean any longer, but she still had that mischievous twinkle in her eye. I honestly couldn't place the other girl. But when they learned we were there to deliver glasses to their people, they wanted to join us. Since we had two different teams with us, they split up and both went with a different team. The beautiful girl I couldn't place came with my team.
We went to the first house to deliver glasses to an older woman. I began sharing the gospel with this older woman, but she was very distracted. We'd just talked that very morning about being aware--the person we're sharing with might not be who the message is actually intended for. So as I shared, I began focusing on the girl who'd come with us. When I finished talking, she turned to our interpreter and told him to ask me, "When you came to our school, we kids had horrible snot coming out of our noses. Our own teachers wouldn't touch it. And yet you cleaned our noses. Why did you?" I explained to her that God had filled our hearts with His love and we did it because we loved them. She then told me that she wanted to know this God. So with the help of our interpreter, I was able to lead this girl to the Lord.
Afterwards, I told her that when I had a baby sister, I'd wanted my parents to name her Linda. But they didn't. And since she was now my new baby sister, I wanted to give her the English name of Linda. She was so excited. Everyone we met after that, she told them she was my sister. Incidentally, the next house we went to, I asked Linda to share her story with the lady---and that lady came to the Lord! It was precious.
God showed me several things through that story. First, when we were going to the school and teaching English, we didn't even have interpreters. We spent the morning in the classroom pantomiming and trying to communicate. But it wasn't any words which were spoken which changed Linda's life--it was the smallest of actions--done with love. Secondly, she didn't find Jesus the day I wiped her nose. But it was 10 years later. Ten years of remembering the people who came to her school. She had a framed photo with some of our team from that year. Thirdly, it's all about God. God was drawing her to Himself from the time she was about 6 years old. He had a plan. And I got to be a part of that plan both times. That amazes me. I was there 10 years ago wiping her nose. And then He put me there this time to share the Truth of God's Word with her--with an interpreter who could communicate with her.