The humidity hung heavy and mosquitos swarmed around the make-shift spotlight illuminating a stage surrounded by a small patch of grass. Our team circled up, a cloud of insect repellant showering down on our matching green polo shirts. It was the first of a two-night evangelistic festival in Peru, the farthest from home I’d ever been.

Peru Trip 2008

The lively music played, then my brother-in-law took the stage with an interpreter to share a message with the Peruvians who had gathered under the mosquito-filled sky. Every person listened intently with nodding heads, their brown eyes pooling with tears of sorrow mixed with a glimmer of hope.

After another song, a local pastor directed the people to find a team member in a green shirt for prayer. The high school Spanish classes I took more than ten years prior prepared me to order food and make small talk, but this was a whole different level of insecurity. I saw Mike, our only semi-fluent Spanish speaking team member, and glued myself to his left side.

Outreach on the Amazon River.

I looked around and saw a woman holding a lifeless bundle, her face frantically searching for someone to pray with her. Two skinny legs hung past her hips and a little head rested on her shoulder. We learned the two-year-old had been sick for weeks, the town doctor clueless to help. Little Daniella life was wasting away. Her swollen stomach churned and buzzed like bees trapped in a jar. I looked into her exhausted hollow eyes, she moaned in discomfort.

I closed my eyes to pray. Not even sure what to say given Daniella’s dire situation. I didn’t see how my words could change a thing—my faith was almost nonexistent, much smaller than a mustard seed. Regardless, I prayed for God to heal the little girl. To do the impossible. To prove the doctors wrong. Honestly, to prove me wrong.

Daniella’s mother hugged me so tight I didn’t think she’d ever let go. I whispered, “Dios te Bendiga,” (God bless you) and she walked away with a smile on her face, hope in her heart. I stared at Daniella legs, hanging helpless and limp. My heart sank at the thought of what her future held.

I probably don’t have to tell you what happened the next night when little Daniella came bounding up to us. The little girl’s huge smile stretched from ear to ear as Daniella’s mom told us what happened in a mess of joyful tears. Mike and I were speechless.

My reliance on prayer changed that night, my faith soared to new heights of expectation around what God can do through the prayers of His people. Never again would I doubt His power. Never again would I question His ability to do the seemingly impossible.

If only we have the courage to ask.

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