God wasn’t through amazing us yet. It took fifty years before my dream of going to Africa came true. As a child of eight-years-old, a missionary ignited that fire in my heart. Finally, after many years, I had the opportunity to go to Uganda to preach, help with construction and minister to children. That’s when I met Joshua.
“That’s my brother Joshua,” she said. He’s eight years old; he doesn’t talk. We’ve never heard him talk.”
Monday morning arrived, and our time of ministry completed. The team prepared last minute things while we waited for our buses to take us to the airport. As I sat outside the church building, I took a balloon from the last pack. I blew it up and began to tease a child sitting beside me. I had seen this child over the two weeks, thinking this was a girl wearing a filthy dress. Another girl sat beside her.
Unable to Speak
The girl sitting beside the child said, “That’s my brother Joshua. He’s eight years old and he doesn’t talk. We’ve never heard him talk.”
At that time, a native pastor passed by us and heard what she had said. He pointed at Joshua in agreement. “He can’t talk, he’s got a thick tongue.”
I said to Joshua, “Joshua would you like to be able to talk?”
Looking up at me with his big brown eyes he simply nodded his head.
“Joshua, say ‘dear Jesus.’”
He opened his mouth in an attempt to speak but nothing came out. His tongue literally filled his mouth. It’s a wonder he had survived as long as he did, eating and breathing. I took my bottle of anointing oil and simply touched his forehead.
“Jesus, Joshua wants to talk, make him talk.”
Then a Miracle Happened…
I got out a few more balloons to blow up for the children. All of a sudden, many kids surrounded us to get one last balloon. I was busy blowing up balloons and then realized Joshua was now teasing me — hitting me with his balloon.
I smiled at him and said, “Joshua–say, ‘thank you, Jesus.’”
Then, a miracle happened for Joshua. For the first time in his eight years of life, he said as plain as day,
“Thank you, Jesus!”
His tongue was perfect and normal.
Just then our buses rolled in. There may have been almost 400 kids and adults there to see us off. They went ballistic as the Americans were leaving.
When we arrived at our destination, a coworker told me, “David, when I was getting on my bus, Joshua was standing at the door with all the other kids. He was still talking.”
I have wondered since — could it be that God gave me a dream and planted a seed in my heart as an eight-year-old boy to go to Africa? Did He allow fifty years to pass just to be able to pray for healing for young eight-year-old Joshua? God only knows.
When God gives you a dream, hang on to it. It might take years—maybe fifty years, or maybe a lifetime– but never let it go.
You never know what God has planned for your life’s journey.
David W. Iverson lives with his wife, Sharon, in Phoenix, AZ. Now retired from active ministry, they operate the Extended Hands Food Bank.