Alfredo is not your typical primary student. When he first came to us he didn’t know how to read at all and hardly knew his alphabet. He was so shy he would hardly say a word. He just kept his head down and answered any direct questions as briefly as possible. It didn’t help that he was more than twice the size of his classmates and nearly twice their age, and that they would laugh when he didn’t know the answers despite the teachers’ admonitions and punishment. It soon became apparent that Alfredo needed individual attention. Thankfully God already had the solution. This year we had more teachers available than we ever have had before, and Zuleka Esteves from Puerto Rico volunteered to take Alfredo as her personal project. With her patient instruction and a lot of prayer, Alfredo began to make slow but steady progress, and he held his chin a little higher than he had before.

Then one day Alfredo came to school with his hand all bandaged up. He assured his teacher that it was nothing but a minor injury. But a day or two later Alfredo didn’t come to school. As it turned out, Alfredo had tried to tattoo his finger, and it became infected. His family took him to the local clinic in Yata and the nurse cut open his hand to clean it. Unfortunately the infection only worsened. By the time Zuleka found out what had happened, Alfredo’s finger was losing sensation and turning black. Zuleka called the rest of the staff together to have special prayer.

“God can save your finger” she told Alfredo. Damaris and Susie cleaned the wound the best they could and kept fresh charcoal compresses on all throughout the night. The next day they took him to the hospital in Guayaramerin. The doctor took one look at the wound and shook his head.

“We can inject some penicillin and try some antibiotics, but he should be prepared to lose his finger.” He said.

But Zuleka was sure that God would do a miracle and save Alfredo’s finger, and she told the doctor so.

“Well, a miracle is what it will take” was his response. Zuleka continued to pray for healing and that God would use this situation for His glory. Alfredo went home. Every day for the next couple of weeks, Zuleka and Damaris faithfully cleaned and reapplied charcoal compresses to Alfredo’s finger and Alfredo massaged it to encourage circulation and keep the finger warm. Soon he began to regain feeling. God healed Alfredo and his finger was completely restored.

Alfredo can read now and he comes to church every Sabbath. His brother tried to persuade him to go to the school in Yata, but he says if he doesn’t come back to our school he won’t study at all because he won’t learn anywhere else. Next year he wants to come as a dorm student so he can learn more and attend morning and evening worships and be with kids his age. We don’t usually accept primary students in the dorm, but we plan to make an exception for Alfredo. He needs to get away from negative influences in Yata where nearly all the boys his age drink, smoke and party. Please continue to pray for Alfredo I expect God will continue to do great things in his life.

Kody, Bolivia