This story happened at the Passion Play at Andrews University during the April 23, 2011 Resurrection Weekend. Andrews puts on a huge outdoor “Passion Play” which covers many acres of land, and covers the whole story of the life and times of Christ’s ministry. People come from all over the state to see it each year, and i most of the faculty and student body is involved in putting it on. It is free, and all are welcome. It provides a great ministry opportunity…
It was Sabbath and Pastor Ron, the VP for Spiritual Life on campus, had been busy coordinating various aspects of the Passion play, running here and there, when he received a text from the hospitality tent (HT): “We have a little girl here, about eight years old, who wants to meet Jesus.”
He replied, “Well we have eight Jesusi (plural for Jesus?) running around and they are kinda busy right now.”
HT wrote back and said: “You don’t understand. She is terminally ill. She has a brain tumor and has lost some of her sight due to chemo.”
Pastor Ron replied, “I’ll see what I can do.”
At Johnson Gym, the scene of the Resurrection, he headed back stage. It was break time. He found an angel and a Roman guard and asked if they would talk to the little girl, since he couldn’t find a Jesus that was available.
The angel and the Roman guard agreed, so Pastor Ron brought the girl and her family back stage. The cast who were present all gathered around and doted on her, talking to her and her family and even decorating her with some glitter. The group around her kept growing and then someone thought of putting on the Resurrection scene just for her and her family. So they quickly called all the angels and the Roman guards who were chilling in the gym waiting for the next rotation of guests and everyone got into position. They turned on the music and when the Angel came out on stage, he called the little girl up as well. All the while, the cast wondered who would come out of the tomb since no Jesus was available just then.
The Angel Gabriel started the song but when his part was over and he could leave, he slipped backstage and put on the extra Jesus costume. At the end of the song, he came out of the tomb and picked up the little girl. There was not a dry eye in the gym…
When the song was over, the little girl said to “Jesus, did you know I pray to you every day? And I ask you every day to heal me. Jesus can you heal me?” The actor replied: “I am just an actor portraying what Jesus would be like to you. In my Bible though, it says that one day you will be healed. You keep close to Jesus and one day everything will be okay.”
She responded quickly, “Okay, I can do that!”
In the days that followed, the family texted Pastor Ron several times, thanking him for the spiritual attitude on campus and for the love and ministry of the students who cared for their little daughter. Unfortunately, she continues to deteriorate rapidly…
This little girl blessed the students with the urgency of her desire to meet Jesus and her faith that He could heal her, and they gave substance to her Hope with their love and ministry that helped to carry her through the difficult days ahead of her.
Someone near you is longing to meet Jesus… Put substance to the Blessed Hope and make a difference in someone’s life today!