We met James for the first time last Fall when we were on Buvuma Island teaching the Bible Institute. He was about 9 and hanging around at the edge of the crowd. We wondered why he wasn’t in school. Finally, someone told us he was a deaf orphan, having been abandoned by both parents. We began interacting with him and formed a bond during that week. I heard many things about this boy, which I have previously shared, but the Holy Spirit was saying, “This boy is Mine and he needs to be rescued.”

So I returned to the U.S. with a conviction that God was going to use Alfred and me to move him to a deaf school (I had by this time located and visited one in Mbale, a distance of about 150 miles from the island by road). So began this great adventure (see previous entry, “James and the Giant Mountain.”)

This trip as we interacted with him on the island, we discovered the most amazing thing. We were backing up to turn around, and our vehicle makes a beeping noise when it is in reverse for safety purposes. James was seated in the back seat, and I heard this little voice saying, “Beep, beep, beep….” My head whipped around, which of course silenced the demonstration. As far as we had been able to tell up till now, James has no language other than imaginative gestures and pointing, but he is bright enough to get his point across most times. We haven’t heard anything but squeaks and squeals from him as he uses his much unexercised voice to express his excitement. But, “Beep, beep, beep,” as clear as a bell? I was entranced.

We began a series of experiments and the results are WONDERFUL AND HOPEFUL! James can hear claps, whistles, falsetto tones, and any high pitched sound. He is HEARING IMPAIRED, but not totally deaf. He hears in the high range, but not in the low range. It is a true wonder! Sadly, without diagnosis or family to care for him, this has now gone ten years untended. I do not know all of the implications of this discovery, but I am pretty sure it paints a different future for James than the one we had previously begun to cobble together.

Can his hearing be restored completely with modern medicine or technology? Can he recover what he has lost in time and education even more effectively than we had hoped? Will he one day speak as clearly as any other person and hear the sounds of nature and conversation? I am no expert and will have to consult an expert as soon as possible. But I just continue saying, “ISN’T THIS AMAZING! THANK YOU, GOD!!”

By the way, he also clearly says, “Bye,” when people are leaving. Who knew? The world is at this boy’s feet.

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