As I walked through the village the other day, calling the children for Bible study, I happened across the sister-in-law of one of our guards. She was grinding corn in the shade of her hut, laughing and talking with the other women who were working with her. When she saw me approaching, she cried out and threw herself on the sun-baked ground in front of my feet, raising little clouds of dust where she landed.
The women sitting nearby laughed and asked her what she was doing. She replied, still lying facedown in the dirt in front of me, “This is the white woman who prayed for me at the clinic! She healed me!”
Shocked, I knelt next to her. “No, it wasn’t me who healed you, it wasn’t me!” I said over and over again, trying to get her to listen.
Meanwhile, the children who had assembled for the Bible study gathered around to see what the commotion was. My translator joined them, and began helping me reason with her.
“God healed you,” we said, “It was not any white person’s prayer.”
For a little while she resisted, but eventually she listened to our pleading.
“Oh,” she said.
She rose and brushed herself off, then shook our hands and proceeded with us to the Bible study, a huge, gleaming smile on her face smeared with dust and sweat.