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Last month in Macedonia we had the privilege of visiting some of the physically and mentally handicapped in the town of Negotino. I love this type of ministry because is so simple yet so amazing. It is simple in the fact that the ministry just involves loving people, giving them attention, and caring for their physical needs. It is amazing because you see the capacity these people have to love unconditionally. I’m often perplexed by the light of love that radiates from those with limited mobility or limited ability to understand. A great example of this light was displayed in a young woman named Dragica- who also goes by the nickname “Gaga.” She did not have mobility of her hands and feet but she had a smile that would light up the room.

We visited Dragica’s home one day and got to meet the rest of her family. Her brother is severely disabled, but her mom took such good care of them both. You could tell the mother was suffering from back pain yet she still had the strength to carry her children in her arms and move them around the room. My heart broke for the her brother. He was visibly in pain crying from hip displacement and there are not any procedures or physical therapy that he could do to recover. All we could do was pray over him continually and hope for a miracle.

Despite the hardships of her situation Dragica still had joy. She had trouble communicating verbally, but understood everything we were asking her- with translation of course. When you complimented he- she smiled, when you looked at her- she smiled, when you asked her a question- she would just continue to smile. It was great hearing about her hobbies because they revealed her heart for the Lord. It was evident that her joy came from God because she loved listening to worship music and sermons from the local pastor. She also loving talking to her friends online and spending time with her family. Also fun fact- she and I shared a birthday on May 11th!

After the house visit, we took Dragica to her favorite coffee shop. At the shop, I witnessed the tremendous impact that she had on the community. Everywhere we went from her home to the coffee shop people knew her and loved her. Even as we were on our way home a few of her friends stopped us to hug her and say hello. It was evident that God was using this incredibly joyful young woman to bring light into her community. We brought her home soon after prayed with her family. It was the last house visit we made in Macedonia, and it was one I will never forget.

Dragica if you are reading this we love you and miss you. We are praying for you and your family!

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