By Henry Fuhrman, associate pastor of CenterPoint Church in Massapequa, NY, who recently went on a trip to Panama with Operation Christmas Child
The children were already singing and dancing when we arrived in Chilibre to hand out shoe box gifts. During the ceremony, a young girl was invited to address the crowd. She walked slowly to the stage, holding her father’s hand.
She was cute, wearing a red and white skirt with pink sunglasses. As I watched her closely, I realized without her dad’s hands she wouldn’t know the way. This sweet little girl was blind.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. She grabbed the mic with confidence and began to preach! She quoted Romans 6:23 from memory: “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
For the next 20 minutes, I listened to the girl expound upon this text in clear, passionate, and powerful ways. She talked about the shoe box gifts we brought and made the connection to the true gift that Jesus brought 2,000 years ago.
She urged her fellow children to not only receive the gifts in the shoe boxes, but also to receive the gift of eternal life. Then she prayed for them and for us.
Still in awe of what I had just witnessed, I walked up to her, hugged her, and told her with the little Spanish I know that her sermon on Romans 6 was one of the best I had heard. And I meant it. She smiled.
In the few moments I spent with her and her dad, I learned that she was 7 years old, completely blind, and totally in love with Jesus. She doesn’t own a Braille Bible, so her dad reads her the scriptures every day out loud. Over time, she has memorized portions of the Bible including her favorite verse, Romans 6:23.
As I began to walk away from this amazing little girl, I realized I didn’t know her name. I hurried back and told her my name was Enrique (Henry in Spanish). She told me her name was Milagros.
Milagros. What a beautiful name. All day I thought about this girl and I couldn’t get her name out of my head. When I got back to our hotel I looked up the meaning online. Wouldn’t you know it; Milagros means miracles in Spanish.