Bethlehem, CURE Ethiopia
There is nothing like being confronted by a powerful enemy that makes us run so fast to our Mighty God. There is nothing that exposes like weakness: both to fight the enemy and also to act the way we should in our day-to-day lives when fighting such enemies. The enemy could be a lot of things. It could be an oppressive government. It could be an addiction. It could be depression. An illness. An abusive situation.
It’s funny (like funny-sad, not funny-funny) how movies portray such battles as romantic. The best characteristics always comes out in the hero or heroine when faced with such difficulties. Those watching root for the hero to win over such odds. They are so noble and so good and everything is so unjust. In reality, when faced with such ominous, unbeatable enemies, most of us are not our best. The noble side does not come out. Instead, the stress of it, especially when it is a long battle, tends to bring out the worst in most of us. I know it does for me!
I am utterly amazed at our God because of the way He rescues us. He rescues us completely by His own power, not only from the situation (if He chooses), but also from ourselves in that situation. He has so much mercy and grace to act on our behalf even when we are not honoring Him all the time. He knows and understands our weakness. He uses us in our weakness. He uses us because of our weakness. The glory all must go to Him because all we have the strength to do, day-to-day in such situations, is to run and hide in Him. It’s in this hiding that He is able to act. When we collapse at His feet and acknowledge that we can do nothing, He must be all and do all.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14 NIV
Bethlehem is a teenage girl from northern Ethiopia. She was born with bilateral club feet, but she was never treated because there were no resources and no access. She never attended a day of school in her life. As a young teen, she became a house worker to make income. She then fell in a fire and burned both of her lower legs badly. She was hospitalized at a different hospital for a year, and her legs contracted into 90 degree angles. Then, she was completely unable to walk. She finally came to CURE Ethiopia with her burns healed, but her legs were completely unusable and wheelchair-bound. At CURE, under anesthesia, her legs were manually straightened and she was placed into two casts on both legs. Somehow, maybe due to a massive blood clot being released to the lung, her heart and lungs stopped working. Miraculously, we were able to get her back. It was a very long recovery!
After years passed, she finally started walking on her own two feet, and for the first time in her life, on straight feet! When you see her face, she shines. This is not so obvious in pictures because Ethiopia is culturally strong, so Bethlehem doesn’t believe in smiling for photos. When you ask for a photo, she twists her face into a purposeful frown, as any picture should look (from her perspective).
During the long road of recovery, she traveled back and forth to CURE for treatment and she stayed at a Catholic charity. Now, she must move on. Never having had a day of school in her life, and now with a severe case of diabetes (no one is sure when or why this started), she doesn’t have many options. Please pray for her. As she starts out, the path is definitely not clear. Financial resources and skills are nil, but a sweet and tough spirit are obvious. We know God saved her life for something big!
Originally posted at: https://ethiopia.thebernards.org/2016/11/26/our-rescuer/