Desperation to Restoration

By Esther Schaeffer, serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa

I’ve had difficulty teaching in this church. Each year, when I learn that I’m scheduled to lead the women’s group for several months, I think: it can’t be as bad as last year.

But then it turns out to be worse.


This year I learned that most of the women in the Bible class I was to teach had not been attending, including the group’s president. Sali has always been faithful. But I was told that she and another woman had disagreed about something—so both dropped out of the class.

After several months of teaching at the church, imagine my surprise when I showed up last week to find Sali lying on the floor. (Her prone position wasn’t unusual, however, since the women who come to church early often will take a short nap before others arrive.) But as I approached Sali, I could see that she was quite sick.

Half of her face was so swollen that one eye was closing shut, and she couldn’t talk. I immediately bent down and began to pray for her.

A Cry for Help

I couldn’t imagine why she would have come to church being so ill. But then I realized that she must have been desperate for help.

Members of the Bible study prayed for SaliSeveral women arrived and joined me in interceding for Sali. After some minutes had passed, I asked her if she could talk.

When Sali explained in a few halting words that her tooth had been bothering her for several days and she now had a severe headache, the pastor’s wife urged her to go to a nearby clinic.

Several of the women helped her into my car. We drove her to the clinic, where she was prescribed an antibiotic and given a pain reliever.

It was interesting to see that when we arrived back at the church a short while later, Sali was able to sit upright on a bench and follow the study (the antibiotic couldn’t have kicked in that quickly).

Tears of Thanks

After the meeting, Sali asked us to pray that she would be well enough to sing with the women’s group on Sunday. Once we prayed for her, she began to cry, telling us that she didn’t know how to thank us for showing such love and concern.

When I left that afternoon, I saw that most of the swelling in her face had gone down. Sali was sitting with the women, laughing and talking about the song they would sing on Sunday.

Through this challenging situation, God brought physical and emotional healing to Sali as well as greater unity to this fractured women’s group.

Praise the Lord for Sali’s healing; please continue to pray for relationships in the group to be fully restored.

What You Can Do


Join the Alliance family in praying for our international workers in Burkina Faso and worldwide. They serve in often challenging circumstances that require an extra measure of godly wisdom. Use the Alliance Weekly Prayer Requests to assist you.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance international workers who are pushing back the darkness as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus and remind believers of His saving grace.
  • Give now

 Learn More

To Seek and to Save” describes how a Burkinabé woman came to Christ through her physical healing.


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