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Afflicted Child Story Told
By Donald Barnhouse
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TOPIC: Affliction (Handicapped Child Story From Donald Barnhouse)

TITLE: Afflicted Child Story Told By Donald Barnhouse

The late Dr. Donald Barnhouse told . . . how once he was conducting a week of services in a large church. The pastor of that church was on the "hot seat."

His wife was about to have their first child. This was the source of great anxiety for the pastor . . . but it was a source of real humor for Dr. Barnhouse . . . and he joked about it throughout the week.

On the last night . . . when he went to the podium . . . Dr. Barnhouse waited and waited for the pastor to introduce him. But the pastor didn't come. So smiling . . . and in a knowing fashion . . . Dr. Barnhouse got up . . . introduced himself. . . and conducted the service.

Toward the end of that service . . . Dr. Barnhouse noticed the pastor as he slipped in at the back of the sanctuary . . . and made his way silently to the podium. When the pastor took his seat . . . Dr. Barnhouse turned and smiled at him in a knowing fashion. All the congregation joined him in smiling.

At the end of the service Dr. Barnhouse asked the young pastor, "Everything all right?" No one had noticed the pastor's expression.

"Could I see you in my study, Sir?" the pastor asked Dr. Barnhouse.

"Certainly," Dr. Barnhouse said.

So they made their way to the pastor's study. Then the pastor blurted out . . . "Dr. Barnhouse . . . our child is a mongoloid. I haven't told my wife . . . and I don't know what I'm going to tell her."

"My friend . . . this is OF THE LORD," Dr. Barnhouse said. And he turned to this passage . . . the most overlooked passage in all the Old Testament. The fourth chapter of Exodus . . . and he read aloud: Exodus 4:11: "And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?"

"Let me see that," the pastor said. He studied it very quietly. As he studied it . . . Dr. Barnhouse said . . . "My friend . . . you know in the promise in Romans 8 . . . that all things . . . including THIS MONGOLOID CHILD . . . work together for good to those that love the Lord."

The pastor closed the Bible. He left the study . . . and he went straight to a telephone to call the hospital room of his wife. As he talked to her, she said, "Cap . . . I want to see my baby. I've asked, . . . and they won't let me. Is anything wrong with my baby?"

"WHO MAKETH THE DUMB, DUMB AND THE BLIND, BLIND AND THE DEAF, DEAF . . . IS IT NOT I, THE LORD?" "My precious darling . . . " the pastor said, "the Lord has blessed us with a mongoloid child." The young wife and mother cried long and hard. Then she said . . . "Where did you get that?"

"From God's own Word." "Read it to me." So he read it to her. Meanwhile on the switchboard . . . there was an operator . . . not unlike so many switchboard operators in little towns that hated to convert to the dial system. Now that hospital operator could barely believe what she heard. But when she absorbed it . . . it made "the rounds" of the entire hospital. She told everyone she knew.

The following Sunday, the pastor was back in his pulpit. In the congregation, UNKNOWN TO HIM, was the TELEPHONE OPERATOR, AND 70 NURSES from that hospital. At the conclusion of that service, as he always did, the pastor stood down front and he said:

"If you've never met Jesus Christ I want to extend to you the invitation to come down to the altar and receive Him as your PERSONAL LORD and SAVIOR."

The pastor barely glanced up. Do you know that 30 NURSES from the hospital came to the altar that day! Can you imagine ONE MONGOLOID CHILD being patently used of the Lord for bringing ETERNAL LIFE TO 30 NURSES!

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