Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesdays Transformed

Due to my internet problems yesterday, I was unable to share this post with you. I want to tell you about a young girl I met last week...

Facing Changes: The Story Of A Young Girl

Junior High is one of the worst times in a teen's life. One is caught between being a young girl and maturing into a young lady. In America, pre-teens are faced with negative worldly influences, broken homes, and the intense pressure to be thin and beautiful.

Last week, I was introduced to a girl named Marlie. We didn't meet face to face, although I wish I could have. I met Marlie while watching a special presentation on TLC, A New Face for Marlie.

The program began with Marlie at the age of 13. A young girl, growing up in Haiti, Marlie was faced with an unspeakable disorder that caused her face to become grossly disfigured. It began when she was a young child, first as a lump on her face. It then grew as she did, interfering with breathing and threatening Marlie to go blind. The tumor, at 16 pounds, threatened Marlie's life.

One day Marlie's father was watching television. He and Marlie's mother, devout Catholics, had prayed and prayed for a miracle. They had nearly given up hope, until Marlie's father saw two Haitian nurses on a special television broadcast. The nurses work with an international mission organization that helps children receive medical treatment in America. Marlie's father immediately contacted the Haitian nurses and pleaded with them to see Marlie.

What they found was shocking. Marlie's tumor had grown so large and disfigured her so much that the people in their Haitian neighborhood ostracized her. They believed it was the work of a voodoo curse and were terribly frightened of Marlie. When the nurses arrived at the home, they found Marlie holding the heavy tumor in her hands to keep her head up. She could barely eat, breath, or see. They realized at once that Marlie must go to America.

Marlie and her mother traveled to Miami where Marlie received the first of several life-saving surgeries to remove the tumor and reshape her face. As Marlie was rolled into the operating room, the Haitian nurses and Marlie's mother began to sing...

"God Bless America. Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her..."

They sang. They cried. They prayed. Their voices echoed down the hospital corridors as Marlie was taken to the OR, where a very special surgeon would change her face and change her life. He is a surgeon, a Christian, and his name is Jesus.

When the nurses asked him why God would have a man named Jesus save this girl, the surgeon smiled and replied, "You'll have to ask my mother."

During the long surgery, Marlie's mother and the Haitian nurses prayed and sang hymns in the waiting room. They held hands and praised God for this miracle. Hours passed as they waited for the news. Marlie's surgery was a success.

A large portion of the tumor was removed during this first surgery. Marlie could breathe better and her eyes were no longer forced closed by the invasive growth. As the surgeon gave Marlie a mirror to see herself, tears began to flow down her transformed face. With her mother by her side, Marlie lay there in a Miami hospital recovery room, a 13 year old girl from Haiti, looking at the image of a girl that had always been there, trapped behind a terrible growth.

As Marlie healed, she began to be herself again. Though she was unable to speak because of a tracheotomy, Marlie started communicating with others again. She smiled and even danced. She was free.

Upon arrival to Haiti, Marlie was welcomed by her father and sisters. She was greeted by the same neighbors who had once shunned her. The children gathered around Marlie and kissed her healing face. Marlie was overwhelmed.

Marlie's mother and the Haitian nurses lead a community praise service in Marlie's honor. They praised Jesus. A chorus of praises to God rang out through the village. An entire community was changed by this one girl, whose only dream was to be like other young girls her age.

With more surgeries ahead of her, Marlie is on a journey to recovery. She has been promised eternal life by her Savior Jesus Christ. She has been given a beautiful future by a surgeon in Miami who is also called Jesus, and who calls upon Jesus as his Savior, The Great Physician.

To learn more about Marlie's recovery visit http://internationalkidsfund.org/ikf_kids/details.cfm?KD_ID=123

Also, look for of A New Face for Marlie on TLC. I hope it will air again. You don't want to miss it!

5 comments:

Susanne said...

Amazing! I hope it's on again too! And that they would end up with a Christian doctor who's name was Jesus just blows me away at God's grace. Thanks for letting us in on this!

Tammy said...

Oh, thank you for this post. I had not seen this, but just reading this brought tears to my eyes.
This an amazing story of God's mercy and love!

Tara Leigh said...

I actually saw this on TLC...2 times! It should most definately air again if it's already been on twice that I know of. It's absolutely beautiful. When I heard/saw the women singing praise/God Bless America as they were wheeling Marlee in to surgery it made me cry. I thought...this is a true example of God at work. My hope is that those who know Jesus are blessed by this example of God's love and perhaps those with question(s) about salvation are enlightened and moved to understand. Great Blog!

Linda Crow said...

I saw this, too. How grounding it is to see the suffering and yet trust in God and courage that people have.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story - thanks for sharing!