As our Impact Team visited the children’s hospital in Santo Domingo, D.R., we met Cindy.  Barely 13 years old, this young girl reclined in her bed, with a blank stare in her eyes. Courtney, one our Impact Team volunteers felt instantly drawn to her.  It didn’t take long for them to make a connection. Courtney’s compassion and desire to be a blessing to Cindy was clear and welcomed.

“Why is Cindy here?” we asked the nurse.  “Cindy was molested by her father. She ran away, and was found and placed in an orphanage.  Her father found her and got the courts to return her to his house. Again he molested her. This time, Cindy found a bottle of Drano and drank it to end her life in an attempt to escape her situation – permanently.”  

This is where God performed the first of His miracles for Cindy.  The police found her lying in the street dying from the poisoning and rushed her to the hospital.  There He used the medical staff to save her life. As we visited with her, the Lord moved in Courtney’s heart.  All she could think to do was show Cindy love and friendship. Before we left, Courtney braided a nice colorful bracelet for Cindy, using a weaving kit she brought on the trip.  That gift cemented the bond that had begun between them.

Courtney’s compassion for Cindy continued.  What will happen to Cindy? Where will she go?  Who will take care of her? What will she do? We learned that before anyone could help bring answers to these questions, someone needed to pay her hospital bill.  She would not be released or helped beyond these walls until that was settled. Courtney wondered, how could she, a struggling college student, help raise funds for Cindy’s bill?  As we left the hospital, God continued to work in Courtney’s heart. She could not stop thinking about and praying for Cindy. The next day she asked if we could possibly go visit Cindy again.  When we arrived, Cindy’s contagious smile returned as soon as she saw Courtney! She sat up quickly and reached out for Courtney to hug and hold her. Cindy was receiving the love she longed for.

After a long embrace and many tears, Courtney gave her weaving kit to Cindy and taught her how to make bracelets like the one she now wore proudly.  She could try to sell them to visitors at the hospital for some money. It was at least a start. Her caring nurse took us to the hospital administrator where we learned about some options for Cindy.  We then spoke with our host, Carlos from Mission Emanuel, and one of their local partnering ministries, who knew of another ministry that helped with this type of situation. They were all too happy to go meet Cindy, and find a family who would take her into their home, into their family, cover her costs, and raise her to love Jesus!  Courtney’s prayers had been answered, and her heart and love for Cindy had begun the weaving of a new story for Cindy’s life.