I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to smell French style Guinea bread without thinking of Mariama. Mariama was an outcast. Her dilapidated hut sat beside a peanut field on the edge of a small village in the Fouta Djallon mountains.
Friends who lived near her were faithful companions through difficult trials. A year earlier they took her to the Africa Mercy ship where doctors removed a disfiguring tumor from her jaw. Mariama was freed from a curse that took everything.
She must have harbored great hope that life would return to how it was before the tumor grew. But in a matter of months, what appeared to be cancer began eating away at the side of her mouth and neck. Gaping holes in her cheeks kept her from eating well.
One day we visited Mariama and took her boiled eggs and Fouta French bread. She was terribly ill but no one in her village would care for her. Once again she was cursed. It began to rain so we were forced to step inside her hut. The air was thick and the smell of rotting flesh made me gag. Toads hopped in and out of her aluminum cooking pots sitting on the floor.
We talked. David played his guitar. We sang. We washed her clothing. We spoke of an Eternal hope in a God who loved her.
Within weeks Mariama opened her heart to Jesus. It wasn’t long before she met Him face to face. Praise God that He does not leave us. He comes to us and He rescues us. He is a Healer and the Lover of our souls.