“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
When I read the words of Matthew 5:16, I always think of my cousin Britani.
As a result of problems during her birth, Britani had physical and intellectual disabilities that prevented her from being able to walk, talk or care for herself. She was completely dependent upon her mother and father caring for her.
Although her life didn’t look like the rest of the world’s, it didn’t stop God from using her to bring LIGHT to the world.
Throughout her 21 years of life, Britani reflected God’s love to all who crossed her path. People were just naturally drawn to her. There was an innocence / purity about her that made her shine. She didn’t need to communicate with clever words or have unique physical abilities for you to notice her.
To be honest, I really can’t find the words to adequately describe how God’s presence surrounded her, but it did. It inspired and changed the hearts of so many people.
We often talk about God writing the story of our lives, but I feel that we forget that God continues to write that story even beyond when we leave this earth.
After God called Britani home in 2012, our family wanted to do something special in her name that would benefit at-risk children in Africa.
The Malawi Orphan Ministries (MOMS) is an amazing organization that shares the love of Jesus with at-risk children through their humanitarian efforts. At that time, they had recently purchased land to build an orphanage on, but still needed more funding to build those accommodations.
In knowing that, my family prayerfully decided to partner with this ministry.
Through the support of her loving community, we were able to raise enough money to build a girl’s dormitory for the MOMS orphanage. This cottage would provide 12 – 14 girls a warm bed and an opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus.
Today, that cottage has been named – Britani’s “Be the Light” House.
And all of the girls that call it home, have been told Britani’s story and how God used her life to bring them life. I’m thrilled to say that every one of those girls have chosen to make Jesus Lord of their lives.
And God still wasn’t done!
Britani’s story inspired MOMS to find ways to bless special needs children in the local villages. This included gifting them clothing, food and financial assistance for medical treatments.
I’m still amazed at how God can use terrible situations / circumstances to bring about good. How He cares to intentionally write each of our stories with purpose even beyond what the world may identify as a “limitation”. How He can use a young girl who is unable to talk or walk to provide a hope and a future to children on a different continent.
So please be encouraged today… if you’re facing difficult circumstances in your life right now, and you’re wondering how can God bring about good through this… Think of Britani.
Let her life be an example of how God sees you and loves you! Let her life remind you that He is the master at working all things for good (Romans 8:28).
By: Keeton Storts, Modern Day