Edivge, an 11-year-old girl, is from Burkina Faso, a poor country even by West African standards. This landlocked country has suffered from recurring droughts, military coups and very poor health care.
Edvige, who is blind due to an inoperable brain tumor, came to the Children’s LightHouse in Ohio in hopes of receiving a miracle from her Heavenly Papa and His son Jesus. When Edvige heard about the short stories being written about the various inhabitants of the Children’s LightHouse, she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of the tale. The imaginary world is a powerful tool for a child, especially those affected by incurable illness. Edvige decided she wanted to be represented as a goldfish in the LightHouse’s pond. The goldfish, she described, has a dream to be a beautiful mermaid with big blue eyes; orange, white, and blue tail; and long, flowing hair. Edvige unknowingly provided a perfect illustration of the transformation awaiting her someday when she will go to meet her Papa. The following story is dedicated to Edvige, whose precious heart and beautiful faith have been an inspiration to so many.
Matthew 19:14: Then Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.”
“Do you hear that?” cried Igy in Fish. She listened from under her lily pad as she heard barking. She knew what was going on: the Very Big, Very Big Dog LuLu and the Husky Dog Zoe were loose again. Igy could hear Destyna, one of the little People, laughing as she chased after Zoe, who ran in circles. Zoe gave a playful bark as she managed to stay just far enough away so as not to get caught.
“Yay! Everyone is playing!” shouted little Igy. “I love to play, too. I love to swim and swish my tail!” As she spoke, bubbles filled the water and floated to the surface. Iggy was a popular, very smart little fish that lived in the Children’s LightHouse pond. Not only was she fluent in Fish, but she could also speak French, a smattering of Tajik, Animal (the common tongue all animals use), and she was even picking up English by listening to the People talk as they passed by her pond.
“And someday,” Igy continued to her friend, Figgy, the snail, “maybe I can jump and flip just like a Mermaid!” Little Igy has an imaginary Friend named Edvige who also wants to be a mermaid.
“Now Igy,” cautioned Uncle Mert, “you must be careful. You cannot see where you are going because of the big booboo on your head!” It was true that Igy had difficulty seeing. She was always bumping into other fish and inhabitants of the pond.
Igy didn’t want to listen, though. She wanted to be like the mermaids Edvige had told her about. “I can too jump as high as a Mermaid! Watch me Uncle Mert!” cried Igy with a great flick of her tail.
“Oh No! Look BeBe!” Destyna cried.
Everyone turned around just in time to see Little Igy leap from the water, so high that the wind carried her over the water and beyond the pond. Both Detyna and Zoe darted toward Igy while the others tried to keep the Very Big, Very Big Dog LuLu occupied. With a firm voice, Destyna let Zoe know that she cannot hurt Igy. Zoe nodded her head and let out a short, soft sound assuring Destyna that she would not harm the little fish. By the time they reached Little Igy, she was twitching and flopping on the ground.
“Don’t worry Little Igy,” said Destyna as she scooped up the little goldfish and put her back in the pond. “Everything is going to be okay, little fish.”
Both Destyna and Zoe noticed that Little Igy was having trouble finding her way in the pond and kept bumping into the other fish. The others gather around with the Very Big, Very Big dog Lulu on a rope.
“BeBe, what is wrong with that little fish?” Destyna asked.
“You mean Igy?” answered BeBe. “She is blind and has a tumor in her head. The doctors are saying that Little Igy cannot be fixed. We need to pray for Little Igy just like we pray for Edvige. But don’t worry, Destyna. When Igy goes to be with Papa, she’s going to be a mermaid, just like she’s always wanted.”