Finding Hope -Isaac
Isaac was born in Ghana. Being in America since his teenage years, he knows the difference between a child's life in America compared to his small village. His family's daily mission was survival. Everyone pitched in no matter how young or small. Schools cost money thus were deemed non-essential. From the age of three Isaac had to help transporting water from the local stream to fill the well near his hut. The same stream where they bathed first. Food was scarce, sanitation was minimal.
Isaac's dad tried his best especially since his wife had died. He had to work every day processing charcoal for the " market truck" which came into the village once a week. One day his dad noticed one of Isaac's hands was different. He took Isaac to the local witch doctor. The brew and ointment were terrible and didn't help. The "medication" opened wounds in the skin which couldn't be healed, and emitted a stench so bad that villagers avoided him. Things got worse quickly. Desperate, Isaac's father begged the "market truck" to take him and his son to the local hospital. They were forced to ride in the back with the charcoal despite Isaac's open wounds..
The nearest hospital was in over their heads and suggested a transfer to a city hospital. Isaac's father allowed the transfer knowing that it would be almost impossible to pay for their specialists. Ultimately his only alternative was to abandon his son at the hospital, knowing that there was little possibility that the administrators would be able or willing to find Isaac's isolated village. He knew they wouldn't put a 5 year old out on his own, so he said goodbye and Isaac lost all contact with his family.
Ill and scared, Isaac was left to cry himself to sleep every night in an isolated hospital room with one small window. Within earshot, there was a ward where daily a Christian preacher would share The Word with the patients. These words seemed similar to the Koran prayers he had heard from his father, but in some ways they seemed so different.
One day the preacher asked him if he knew of Jesus and how to pray. Isaac only knew of the few Muslim teachings his father had relayed. He had never heard of Jesus. The preacher taught him a few basic prayers and convinced him that if he continued to pray, Jesus would help him. Although Isaac didn't know who he was praying to, he would look out his window daily and say ""this man told me to talk to you…if you can hear me…help me"
Isaac's first answer to prayer was a nurse named Mary. Beyond going through her duties, she spoke with him in his native language and arranged for clothing and other donations to help. Ultimately she would become his interpreter with English missionaries.
Mary realized that the reason the hospital was keeping Isaac was to use his unique case as part of teaching their interns. He had multiple surgeries and skin grafts almost being used as a human experiment. Mary also realized that Isaac's usefulness was going to eventually run out.
That day came. The hospital decided they had done all they could for Isaac, and arranged for a transfer to a government facility where he could live and pay off his debt. On first inspection of this facility Isaac knew he would never make it there. It was worse than his poor village. He continued to pray for help.
The day before he was going to be transferred, Mary introduced Isaac to his second angel, Rebecca. She was from America working as a missionary in Ghana. Between these two angels Isaac was given a medical visa and arrangements were made to send him to a hospital in New York City. Eventually he received the medical treatment that he deserved. Unfortunately years of medical experimentation has scarred him physically for life.
Isaac's story was far from finished. He had a foster family in North Jersey until his Visa expired. He returned to Ghana but was sponsored from America to attend a boarding school and learn English. That would be necessary if he wanted to ever return. Eventually his "angels" arranged a permanent adoption to parents in West Berlin, NJ. His American parents were active Christians before their passing.
Throughout this entire story I referred to this man as Isaac. That is his name now, but not his given name at birth. In order to get a Visa for his medical exit to America, the child had to be given an "easier name" to put on his records. Because so much of his story was associated with the bible, his angels helped him pick Isaac.
Over his young life, Isaac had so much to learn. Fortunately the most important lessons were first. The lessons about prayer and what faith in Christ could offer. Then came all the joyous things, like his first taste of American food, pancakes, a favorite of his to this day.
There are very few native born Americans who can understand or appreciate Isaac's story. Every Christian should be able to see the power of prayer in his life. Even as a Muslim child who couldn't understand much of the language, he got the message that there is life, love and hope in Jesus. His goal now is to share his story as part of his praise of the Father and angels who saved him.
- Jim Randazzo
Finding Hope within a Community of Faith
Never give up on God even when it seems hopeless