As I peered into the little farm hut, my eyes met the gaze of the lady looking quietly at us. As I looked at her, my mind searched to connect her face with my memory. Once I was reasonably sure, I asked, “Are you Lisiya?”
“Yes,” was her straightforward response.
“Do you remember me?” I pressed.
“Yes,” was the response once again, but this time it was accompanied by a hug.
So she was still a hugger. Almost seven years earlier, during her highly memorable stay at the clinic, she would pull me down into a hug as I sat by her bed. She would hold me in a hug for minutes at a time. I think it was a way to try and express some of the emotional trauma that her mind was struggling to process.
Her mother and aunt had almost succeeded in strangling her during her stay at the clinic. They had been overcome with the fear that she was possessed by an evil spirit and reacted to that fear by trying to kill her. After a week-long stay at the clinic, she had recovered to the point that she wanted to go home. Although I had not seen her since she left that afternoon all those years ago, she had never been far from my thoughts.
Now here she was, looking healthy, though still a little challenged mentally. She agreed to lead us the rest of the way from the farm to her village.
Before coming across Lisiya in her farm hut, we had been on a scouting trip, hiking through the mountains for several days and visiting different villages. So when Friday came, I knew we were in the general vicinity where Lisiya lived, but I did not know if I would end up seeing her or not. We were glad we did and we spent two nights in her village.
That Sabbath afternoon, two of us went to visit a girl from the Kamantian area who we heard had married a man from Lisiya’s village. When we arrived at the couple’s house, it ended up being the home of Lisiya’s mom and dad. As it turned out, the girl was actually Lisiya’s sister-in-law. She had married Lisiya’s adopted younger brother, and the couple was living with his and Lisiya’s parents.
Memories of the whole situation flooded back as Lisiya’s family recounted the story, knowing that we were from Kamantian but not realizing that I had been one of the nurses there during that time. They expressed how they were not thinking straight during that time and did not feel like they knew what they were doing. As we visited and talked with others from the village, it became evident that everyone knew the story and what had happened and that they were appreciative to the clinic staff for having stepped in that night and saved Lisiya from death.
Ever since that unforgettable night all those years ago, there has always been a special place in my heart for Lisiya. Going through tough times together builds bonds like nothing else. I have said many a prayer for her. I do not know how the seeds planted in Lisiya and her family will take root, but I know that God allowed us to be part of a significant event in her life for a reason. Will you join me in praying for Jesus’ love to reach her and her family’s hearts and for them to experience the peace and joy that only Jesus can give?