Kingdom Invasion: A Miracle in Nicaragua

_DSC0173photo by rick mcnary

PART ONE

Maria listened to the doctor and wished she could fly.  She could not, so her little son would die. She could not get to the hospital soon enough. It was three hours journey by taxi, and she had no money. The doctor patted her shoulder, then let her cry for a while privately before he came back.When he did, he had a paper for her to make a mark on. He told her the paper said that he had explained everything to her. Just a formality, he said. The paper said six month old Edine Augustine had double pneumonia, and a temperature of 106. He would die that night if he was not taken to the hospital immediately.

Wetting the paper with her tears, she made a mark on the line he pointed to.

In a daze, she finally stood up. The doctor opened the door for her. With her little son in her arms, Maria walked through the waiting room out into the dusty street.

The children playing outside stopped and were quiet as she passed by.

Maria walked along the dustyroad, past the tiny houses with dirt yards. She got near the end of the road and then turned right. Five years earlier, Hurricane Mitch had wrecked Nicaragua. Now the long neglected road she turned down was nothing but a long steep gully. Maria stepped carefully down a mud trail now hard packed in the heat.She held little Edine Augustine close. His head and limbs hung limp and bounced a little as she walked.  She passed along the row of hicaro trees planted as hedge for tiny houses and their dirt yards. Everywhere was trash and the smell of burning. It was the poorest place on the town.

Nearing the bottom she saw Abuela Rosa sweeping the dirt yard in front of her tiny house. Abeula Rosa was her closest neighbor. Looking up from her sweeping, the old woman saw the look on Maria’s face, and the way Edina’s little body hung limp. Her voice choked with sorrow as she called after Maria, who would not look at her. Weeping quietly, Maria just shook her head hard and kept walking. Abuela Rosa understood. I will give her a little time, she thought. Leaning her homemade broom beside the door, she went inside to prepare her young friend a little food.

Down at the bottom, Maria turned where the road ended and walked to her house. It was one of the worst houses in the village. Her front door was a torn cloth. Her two empty window openings had dirty rags for curtains. The dirt floor inside was uneven from the rain that poured through the missing roof tiles. Inside, there were two woven hammocks hanging from the support posts. Beside the fire pit was a rock where she set her cooking pot. In the middle was a blue plastic chair. Beside that, was a mat to sit on. That was all.

She lived there with her younger sister and little son, Edine Augustine.. Edine’s father was a caballero for a ranch not far from there. When he could, he would come and stay for awhile. He always brought a little money from wherever he found work, and then they could eat. Sometimes Abuela Rosa would bring her some rice and beans, sometimes some cornmeal and oil. She often had no food at all.

She stepped through the ragged curtain and sat down. Once she was inside she let herself cry again, rocking her son back in forth in the little chair. Edine was not moving. She kissed him, breathing in the smell of his little head. Only six months old, her only child. She sat in the blue chair and cried a long time, trying to pray but could not.

Maria did not think God would hear her prayers. The church she knew would not let her come because Edine’s father was not her husband, and the church people would not help her. So she sat alone in the stillness a long time listening to the soft rattle of Edine struggling for breath. Not knowing what else to do, she got up and stepped back outside.

 PART TWO

Back at the clinic, three Americans were talking to the doctor. They were in Somotillo to do what they could for the poorest people in the town.  There was a teenage girl and  her father, from Kansas, and a young woman from Texas. They had come down many times before and seen God do great things. They had just gotten back from visiting a nearby village, but when they heard the doctor’s story about the little boy who was dying, they decided to go find Maria and her son.

Dr. Anderson shook his head as the three walked out. “It is a waste of time. His temperature was 106 degrees. I’m afraid the poor little guy will be dead soon.”

They stepped outside where the children were still playing. The Americans asked the way, and the children knew exactly where Maria lived. They followed them to Maria’s road. The washout from the hurricane was so deep not even a 4wheel drive could drive down. Trash was everywhere, and the smoke from cook fires mingled with the reek of pig and human waste. It would be dark soon.

Even though it was a mostly somber procession, some of the smaller children laughed and teased one another on the way. Younger boys laughed and dodged the girls kicks as they tormented them. Some of the girls carried a younger sibling they had been watching all day.

When Maria’s house came into view they could see her standing outside. The man nodded in her direction and then quietly asked the children leading them, “Maria?” The children nodded.

Maria heard them and turned to see the crowd of children and the three Americans coming. As they got close she saw the Americans strange light colored eyes searching hers, smiling at her, then looking at Edine Augustine with sadness.  The children circled around.

They saw Maria’s dazed sorrow. Her son already looked dead.

The man looked at Maria. He spoke to her quietly. “Maria?” She looked at him and nodded. The man’s Spanish was not very good but he managed to say “Oremos” which means “let’s pray”. He motioned the two young women with him to help.

Maria watched as they drew closer and reached out to put their hands on Edine. She seemed confused. The older American girl, Laura, looked at the man and said “His little body is on fire”.

It was. He was still alive, but the man had never touched anyone who felt so burning hot.

They prayed for just a moment. Less than a minute.

Laura spoke again “He feels cool!”

The three of them looked at one another with big eyes. Edine Augustine did feel cool.

The man watched as Edine suddenly lifted his head and looked straight into his eyes. The little boy began to laugh. It was such a happy sound, and the little boy laughed and laughed, like only a six month old can laugh. He stared at the man and laughed for a long time.  The man and the two young women laughed too. All of the children began to laugh with excitement. Maria watched it all wide eyed. The man was very happy. He put his hand on Maria’s shoulder and pointed up at the sky and said “Jesus!”

Maria did not understand what was happening. She looks at her son with amazement.

The three Americans stood there and praised God. They were very excited! After awhile the man looked around and saw it was nearly dark. He needed to get the young women back to the clinic. He spoke to Maria. “Mañana”! Tomorrow! Mañana!” He smiled at her and nodded. Maria finally smiled too. She was still in shock. Edine laughed again.

Maria watched them go for a moment, listening to their happy voices fading into the dark. She looked at her baby bouncing and kicking in her arms. He was looking at her now , still laughing. She stared at him, then let out a cry and laughed with him. Shouting, she ran for Abuela Rosa’ house.

PART THREE

Early the next morning the little team of Americans got up to a breakfast of eggs, refried beans, toast, fresh pineapple, and lots of of excitement over the miracle they had seen.

Dr. Anderson was at the table and did not believe it. He was drinking coffee, and shook his head.  “That little boy was as good as dead when he left the clinic.”

“You will see!” the rest of them said.

The three had been making plans. “Food.” The man said. “We need to buy a lot of food and then go see Maria and her son!”

Taking their plates and cups to be washed, the man put his hand on the doctor’s shoulder “Doc, I can’t wait to see your face when Maria and that boy get here!” The doctor watched them leave, sipped his coffee, and wondered.

The three of them walked out into the morning. Roosters were still crowing and the smells of cook fires filled the air. The children stopped their playing and noisily followed them towards the market. It was a long walk, and the procession grew larger. All the children in the village knew about Edine Augustine and talked about everything excitedly.

When they got to the market the Americans bought 50lbs of beans, 50lbs of rice, 50lbs of corn meal, 10lbs of sugar, 5lbs of salt, several gallons of oil and a big bag of candy. Young men from the market shouldered the load and they all took off towards Maria’s house.

By that time, word had got around, and the walk to Maria’s house was a regular parade.

Back at Maria’s House

Maria’s sister had come home that evening before expecting to find her little nephew dead. Tiptoeing in, she was amazed when she saw Maria nursing him in the candle light. She listened to Maria’s story. Overjoyed, she lay down for the night. As she lay in her hammock that night she wondered what it could mean.

That morning the two of them were quietly talking while they watched Edine Augustine take his morning nap. Maria smiled and stared at her son, softly smoothing his hair. Then they heard the sounds of a crowd approaching.  Pulling back the cloth hanging in the window, the sister saw the procession of the children,  the three Americans and the young men carrying the food. She stepped outside and smiled at the Americans.

The Americans now had a young man named Jimmy with them.. Jimmy was a Nicaraguan who interpreted for them. He told Maria’s sister they had brought food  and asked if Maria was home. She nodded and pulled back the door cloth open so they could go inside.

Maria was sitting on the mat bouncing her little son in her arms. She did not look like the same person as the evening before! Her face was shining with a joy that lit up the room. The man wondered if it was the same young woman. She looked so beautiful. She got up and told him to sit in the blue chair. With an even bigger smile she handed him Edine Augustine. The man laughed out loud as the little boy kicked and jumped in his arms  He looked at Maria and said “ ‘El es fuerte!”

That made all the Nicaraguans laugh.

The young men were bringing all the food inside when Edine’s father got there. He had to press through the crowd of people all trying to see what was happening inside. Lean and weathered and dressed like a vaquero, he walked in with a small bag of food in his hands. His name was Armando. He had been gone for three weeks working on the big ranch in the mountains. He had seen the crowd at the little house and was afraid something terrible had happened.

Maria embraced him and with a rush of words told him how his son had gotten sick, what the doctor had said, how the people had prayed and pointed at Edine  excitedly.

When he heard the story, he was amazed. It took him awhile for it all to register. He looked around at the big bags of food lying on the floor. He greeted the man sitting in the blue chair with a a big handshake and a bigger smile.

The American stood and handed Carlos his son and then offered Carlos the blue plastic chair. Carlos refused, and the man sat back down and opened up his Bible.

Carlos took off his hat.

It got quiet in the house. Everyone outside crowding in the doorway and peeking through the windows for quiet too..

The man in the blue chair breathed it all in and looked around, praising God in his heart. He laughed a little. Looking at the little family he said “The Lord Jesus Christ has visited your house. Yes?”

Maria and  her sister and Carlos nodded. They were beaming.

The man said, “He loves you very much.”

He  looked down at his Bible. “I would like to read to you from the Gospel of John.”

Jimmy interpreted as the man read the Gospel of John.

The presence of the Lord became very strong in the little house. The man finished reading and closed his Bible. He smiled and said “This same Jesus visited you and your son last night Maria. He loves you very much.”

The man explained the Gospel to them. He told them that God loved everyone. God saw that people were separated from Him by their sin. Jesus, God’s own Son, came and taught  them how to love and how to live. Jesus was a perfect man who died upon a cross to pay the price of everyone’s sin so they could know His Father too. This same Jesus, God raised from the dead and is alive. Jesus, and the power of His name had healed Edine Augustine.

“Do you understand these things?”

They all nodded.

“Would you like to trust Him?”

They all did.

Theyre led in a simple prayer of faith in Christ. There were tears and laughter and praising God.

Maria was shining with joy, laughing and wiping tears.

They looked at all the food and laughed again. The man in the blue chair kept thinking what a holy moment this was.

Afterwards the man took Carlos aside. He told him about a pastor in the town who knew Jesus and had a good church. He would hear their story and marry them.

When it was time to leave, it was hard to say good bye. God had knit hearts together so quickly in such a short time.

Finally,

This is a true story. I am the American man in this story. Although I have seen many healing miracles, this is probably my favorite. I have seen Edine Augustine many times since then. The last time I saw he was 6 years old. He was very strong, very handsome, and he laughed a lot.

And the doctor at the clinic? He was amazed!

7 thoughts on “Kingdom Invasion: A Miracle in Nicaragua

  1. As always, Jeff, you keep me wanting more. I love your stories, and like the honey that they are, they drip with the weighty sweetness of the TRUTH about Jesus. Love you, brother!

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