He is always near

Halima is a 14 year old girl. One day, she was home alone and she wanted to make some breakfast. Her family was at the market for the day to sell their goods and make a living. She was having trouble lighting the cooking fire with homemade charcoal, so she decided to use kerosene to help get it started. Her life would never be the same.

The flames were out of control only for an instant, but it was enough to burn 40 percent of her body. She was alone for five to six hours before her family arrived from the market. She was utterly alone with no way to get help. Finally, her family returned home to find a nightmare. They brought her to a hospital. She stayed there for five months without any definitive treatment. Her body was eating itself alive because of the energy required to maintain all of those open wounds. Somehow, she heard of our burn surgeon, Dr. Einar. He brought her to CURE Ethiopia. After feeding her a high protein diet for a week, we started to cover her wounds. She began to heal. She began to rebuild. She began to be restored to health.

More importantly, her relationship with God was restored. She was in a religion where she felt that she needed to earn her way to heaven and a right standing with God. To know Him only as a slave would know Him―not as a daughter and not as a friend. If she knew Him when the burn happened, as she knows Him now, she would have realized that He was with her the whole time. He never left her alone.

He sees all of us in our troubles. It doesn’t seem like it sometimes, but He is the “God Who Sees.” This is what Hagar called Him in the desert. Hagar didn’t know that He was with her through her troubles leading up to that point. After He revealed Himself to her, she knew that God had been there all along. He has a plan. He loves us. He sees us and He is near.

If you could meet Halima, you would see an intelligent and bright young woman with incredible poise. She was living in a very rural area and had minimal experience with the world around her. Due to her accident, the world opened much wider. She has seen and experienced things that she never knew existed. Most importantly, she now knows the God who sees her as a daughter and a friend. She is changed forever. I know that our God has an incredible plan for her life. Somehow, this terrible accident is now a part of that. One thing I know, it is how He awakened her heart to Him. That is the most important thing in this life.

Originally posted at: https://ethiopia.thebernards.org/2016/11/22/he-is-always-near/


Photo of the Mary Bernard

About the Author:

Mary Bernard is an anesthesiologist and the Medical Director of CURE Ethiopia. Her husband, Christopher, is philosophy professor serving in Ethiopia with SIM. They have four children.

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