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Joti in Challapalli


I didn’t know who or when. I just knew it would happen. That God would speak into my soul deep compassion for His people. It happened when I prayed for Joti.

The crowd on this first night of the open-air Festival was unusually small. After the worship time… the puppet show… the invitation for people to come forward to be healed of sickness or diseases… and a 30 minute presentation of the Gospel, Tom invited people down to the front if they wanted to commit themselves to following Jesus. A second time of healing followed. This time Dave and I—the white men—were invited to pray for people as well, using an interpreter. That’s when I met Joti.

Several men, women and children gathered into a small crowd. Joti had not spoken a word since she was born. Which was about 10 years ago. Her mother brought her forward, thinking… maybe this god—Jesus, could heal her precious child. If it worked it would be worth the trip. Her sisters and brother gathered tightly around as well. Their deep brown eyes were filled with expectation and hope-against-hope hope. Something about her touched me in a different way than the others. Deeper. With more compassion. As I prayed, I begged Jesus to have mercy on her, and her family, and to bring healing and wholeness to Joti. I looked into her eyes and I spoke her name personally before God. I spoke a blessing of God’s unbounded love for her.

When I was finished, I listened to see if she would speak. The mother thanked me profusely. Joti’s brother and sisters thanked me for showing so much love and kindness to their sister. They had already begun to leave, but I was waiting. And listening.

I continue to wait on into this next day as well. You don’t always get to see the fruit of seeds that you sow, you know. God doesn’t promise that you will. Just—that God invites you to be part of the process of bringing His salvation and healing into the lives of His people.

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