Today's post was written by Karina Cortes. Karina is a daughter. Sister. Friend. Abolitionist. Missionary. Follower of Christ, whom she has currently followed to Guatemala.

It was another rainy night in Guatemala. Our team had been asked to visit this small church that was literally on the water. Many members from that church had traveled by boat to get there. After the service, we mingled with the Guatemalans and tried to communicate with them. As I was talking with our translator and host in Guatemala, I heard someone coughing. I turned around to see who it was, and I saw this precious little girl. I asked in broken Spanish if she was ok. What I assumed to be her mother replied and told me that she had gripe. I then nonchalantly asked, “Puedo orar para ti?” (Can I pray for you?) because that’s the missionary thing to do, right? I got up to move toward where she was sitting, she got up as well, and we met half way. So there we were standing in the middle of this shanty church building as she wrapped her small, frail arms around me and embraced me, and I began to pray. As I prayed her grip got tighter. I didn’t want to stop praying for her because I didn’t want to let her go. Little did I know that the Lord was breaking my heart for His precious daughter. In those few brief moments, the Lord gave me just a glimpse of how intense His love is for us.

After I said “amen,” we had a brief conversation where I told her just how beautiful she was. I then asked if I could take a picture with her. When I showed her the picture, not only did she want to see the one of us but all the pictures on my camera. After we looked through them and came back to the picture of us, I told her in my broken Spanish that the photo we were looking at was my favorite. She flashed me the most beautiful smile and gave me the sweetest hug. Our team was getting ready to head out, and the last words I told her were was that she had a very sweet heart and that I wished the Lord’s blessings on her. As we left the church, I could feel my heart ache and the tears began to form. I had no idea that I could come to love someone so quickly and so intensely.

When we arrived back to our home, we had team time to discuss the highs and lows of the day and to encourage each other in how we saw the Lord work through each teammate that day. I was sharing how much I wanted to see my new friend become healed because every time she coughed it shook her whole body and it tore me up inside. My teammate then said that even if she isn’t healed when she wakes up in the morning, she will remember the love that I showed her. That love does not even compare to the love that her Heavenly Father has for her. The Lord taught me that night that prayer is intimate and is not something to be taken lightly. It has the power to change lives - forever.