Feb 27 2012
Dear Nazar

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.

-----

 

Dear Nazar,

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.

Love,

Mr. Brant (and Carolyn) Hansen

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Comments (9) -

2/28/2012 8:21:53 AM
AprettyJarrett United States
AprettyJarrett
Warm wishes to all who struggle. Faith in the goodness of Jesus's word and the Kindness of a strong heart is where it starts...hand ups not hand outs to all friends...love and take care of yourself and your family first....then spread that love song around the world...forgivness and love be with you all...just one special word from me; don't forget to save the nature all around...it is the light that preserves us from the dirty things we do....It was created for us and we need not destroy it or there will be nothing left! Nazar you are beautiful...never forget your wish come true and help others like they helped you....I hope you enjoy your beautiful new smile...I love those too!!!....I am full of wind and surely I have sinned. Never will I let it steal my enternal beauty or the song that reminds us where we come from....I think I will dance for Joy today just hearing all the posative things air 1 has to say... I'd love to see your beautiful new smile someday!...HUGS... BIG WARM HUGS.
2/28/2012 9:00:36 AM
Brittany Heinemann United States
Brittany Heinemann
I have a sister who is Nazar's age and I can imagine what this would be like. I have been praying for Nazar all month!! She is a precious girl who is loved very much by a GREAT God! Praise be to God for people who support her and answered the call. By the way,, this is a wonderful Birthday present to me! Smile
2/28/2012 9:40:27 AM
Lisa United States
Lisa
and now I am crying.....what an amazing letter I am sure she will cherish always. May God open hearts to receive the love He so freely gives us all...
2/28/2012 10:01:20 AM
Alex Ardoin United States
Alex Ardoin
I am Nazar's age and i can only imagine what she is going through My whole family is praying for her and the doctors that are preforming the surgery we hope that it is a success.
2/28/2012 11:51:29 AM
Susan United States
Susan
What a great story, I am humbled to be a part of this. Please let Nazar know how much she is loved!
2/29/2012 2:12:17 PM
Kim United States
Kim
What a lovely letter, Brant.  You have me teary eyed, good tears coming from the knowledge that in the name of love this little girl's life has been changed forever. I wish my arms could reach Afghanistan to hug her, and you, and all the CURE doctors and workers who are there helping these dear precious babies and children. Bless you, and safe travels...
Kim Smile
3/6/2012 2:11:57 PM
Jerry United States
Jerry
Brant, the love God has p aced in your heart is overflowing and pouring out around the world, ,y God continue touse you in this mighty way and and may all you meet see His love in you above all else.

Your brother in Christ,
Jerry
3/7/2012 12:54:00 PM
Kristen Hamilton United States
Kristen Hamilton
Hi Brant,
I want to take a minute to say *Thank You* for doing this - for going to be with Nazar for her surgery, for letting her know God loves her, and for the prayers and finances to make her healing possible.  Her story is close to my heart, because I was also born with a cleft palate.  I didn't have a cleft lip, but my palate wasn't completely repaired until I was 12. I have had three surgeries on my mouth, lots of orthodontic work, and had speech therapy in elementary school.  When I heard Air1 talking about how much of an outcast she is in her culture because of this, it hurt my heart.  I wasn't exactly an outcast, but I have "scars" of kids asking why I talked "that way" or if I was from another country.  As an infant, I had no ability to create suction, and the doctors didn't know what to do with me - they just told my mom "good luck feeding her"!  My parents used those hollow Playtex bottles that have liners and made the holes larger and had to slowly push the formula with the liner into my mouth.  I can't imagine people in poorer nations not knowing how to feed their babies because of a cleft.

Later in life, at the age of 26, I suffered three miscarriages in a year and after tests, discovered that I was also born with a uterine anomaly.  After surgery, I was able to go on to have three living daughters.  Because of my anomaly, though, all three girls were breech and had to be c-section deliveries.  Again, if it weren't for living in the US with our technology, I likely wouldn't have been able to have kids at all, (which in some cultures, a woman with no kids is an outcast), or I would have likely died in childbirth because of my girls' positions.  

And now, at the age of 35, I just discovered that I can't eat gluten.  So I'm re-defining my life to live gluten-free.  This is not something that people look at me as on outcast, necessarily, but I can't just waltz into a restaurant with friends and order whatever I want. (I love Kerry Roberts "Outcast"!)  

I have received full healing both physically and spiritually from all these things.  I've learned that sometimes physical healing doesn't come as a result of a prayer and a "zap" from God, but rather to recognize that healing can also come through other humans - medicine & science - God works through them, too!  I've learned a vast array more than I could write here - I have aspirations of writing a book, for which I almost have the proposal done.  

It has been through my toughest struggles that I have found my passions and callings and grown closest to God.  Helping people in poorer countries who are born with clefts is one of them.  I have a goal for being able to financially support organizations that do these surgeries.  (I also help to moderate an online support group for women with uterine anomalies and am very passionate about health & nutrition.)  My heart is for the hurting...mainly these people groups and I feel called to minister to them through writing (blog & book).  

So again, thank you for your heart and what you're doing.  I'll join in prayer for Nazar - that through this she might not only be restored from her "outcast" status but also restored to her right place in Christ.
3/13/2012 1:11:23 PM
Laura S. United States
Laura S.
That letter you wrote to Nazar, Brant, was so beautiful! Smile I am so glad that Nazar got her surgery and now can go outside! Laughing
You did a good job in Afg. and I hope to go there when I'm older too! Smile
God is so Good! <3
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