I'm in Afghanistan, at CURE hospital, where Nazar just had her surgery to repair who cleft lip and palate. She'll need a couple more, including a rhinoplaasty. Air1 listeners paid for her treatement. Nazar is 15. When I walked in a waiting room this morning, two hours before her procedure, she sat alone.
Like any dad - any feeling human, really - I wanted to sit next to her and put my arms around her. I was struck by how small she was, and looking down at her feet, I thought of sitting next to my own daughter, and how much I loved her.
I saw her again when they wheeled her into the operating room, and I saw her eyes flutter as they put her under, and the doctor began his life-changing work.
Below is a letter I wrote before her surgery, for translation by hospital staff, to Nazar. Because she is in Afghanistan, she knows only Islam. And for that reason, she likely has never heard, before, of a God
who LOVES her. Thanks to the people who listen to Air1, she now knows.
My name is Mr. Brant Hansen.
I am from America, and have come to Afghanistan to tell you how important you are to many people.
The hospital told me about your story, and I have shared it with many friends, who have helped pay for your surgery. These friends did this because they love God, and they know how much God loves you.
And because you are precious to Him, you are precious to us, as well.
I am a father, who has a girl just your age! When I go home to her, I will tell her about the wonderful girl I got to meet so far away. I pray that God watches over her, and blesses her the rest of her life. And Nazar, I pray the same for you.
Please always know that you are very loved, even from far away.
When I return, I will tell them about your surgery, and about you. I will tell them that you are changed, and you are healthier! And I will tell them, Nazar, that you are now beautiful.
And you know what, Nazar? In God’s eyes, and in ours, you were beautiful before your surgery, too.
Mr. Brant (and Carolyn) Hansen