Every once in a while my husband likes to share stories from Voice of the Martyrs with our kids. Tonight he showed them the cover page of the January 2011 issue. It is a picture of a young girl from South East Asia. Her faced is very badly burned (that's a mild way of putting it). But she is smiling and her heart looks so happy.
Our kids' first response was surprise and amazement. Nienna even thought she wasn't human. But when we shared her story and how God is using that pain in her life for good - for her and others - they were very curious as to how this could be. Nate was able to share that her face shines brighter with the glory of Christ than it would if she hadn't been burned.
Then Nienna said, "I want her to be my friend. I need to pray for her right now." She then proceeded to pray that this girl and her family would be safe and not burned anymore. Then she drew a map (because we showed them how far she lived from the US) and put it up on her wall by her bed to remember "the girl who got burned". Nienna has never responded that way so strongly before. The mercy that God showed through her tonight was a gift that I don't want to forget. And I pray that will grow in her and be from a heart that is changed by God.