Little Carine Cardoso de Oliveira thought Sunday was a wonderful day.
The 4-year-old girl went out with her parents to a shopping center in Salvador, Brazil. Mother looked for a blender to make fruit juice. Father bought slices of chocolate cake for everyone.
The next day, Father put on his police uniform — and didn’t return home for a month.
Several hours after Father left home, Mother got a telephone call and grabbed Carine by the hand.
“Come on,” she said. “We’re going to Grandma’s house.”
That night, Mother began to cry around bedtime. Carine had no idea why Mother was crying, but she hugged her and dried the tears.
“Mommy, you taught me that we need to trust God,” she said. “So, trust Him. Everything will be alright.
Mother silently hugged her daughter.
In the morning, Mother left Carine with Grandmother and only came back in the evening. The same routine repeated itself for the next few days.
After a week, Carine began to wonder about Father. She didn’t say anything earlier because she knew Father worked as a police officer and sometimes he came home late at night and left early in the morning. But she always saw him on Sabbaths when they went to church.
“Where’s Daddy?” Carine asked Mother.
Mother looked away. When Carine persisted, Mother said, quietly, “Daddy had an accident. He’s in the hospital.”
Alarm filled Carine’s little face. Mother quickly added, “Don’t worry. Jesus does miracles, and He will do a miracle for Daddy.”
That night, Mother opened the Bible and read to Carine the story about Jesus giving sight to a blind man. She also read about other miracles: Jesus healing a bleeding woman, Jesus resurrecting Lazarus from the dead, Jesus protecting Daniel in the lions’ den, and Jesus saving Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace.
When Mother closed the Bible, she still looked sad. Carine offered to sing a song.
“Singing brings hope to my heart,” she said. “You should have hope as well.”
Mother liked to listen to Carine’s clear, pure voice, and she welcomed the song.
Later at night, Carine noticed Mother crying in bed. She sensed that the tears were about Father.
“Jesus is with Daddy and will bring Daddy back,” she said. “He will heal Daddy.”
The sweet, trusting words touched Mother’s heart. She knew Carine was right.
A Video Surprise
After 11 days at Grandmother’s house, Mother walked in the door with a happy smile.
“I have a surprise, Carine!” she said. “Daddy made a video for you!”
Carine pressed close to Mother’s cell phone to watch the video. Father was lying in a hospital bed with white bandages on his head. He smiled and greeted Carine.
“I love you, dear,” he said.
Carine was thrilled to see Father, and she watched the video again and again. The next day, Mother brought another video from Father.
Finally, a month after the fun family outing, Father came home. Carine wept with joy and ran into his arms. Father looked tired, and he moved slowly, but he was glad to see his daughter.
“I’m going to take care of you by singing to you,” Carine announced.
She immediately sang a favorite song, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” but with new lyrics. She sang about her love of worshipping Jesus through music and how she longs to sing “hallelujah” at His feet in heaven. She thanked God for bringing Father home.
Carine sang to her father every day until he returned to work.
Three Living Testimonies
Today, Carine is 7, and she accompanies her parents to various Seventh-day Adventist churches as they tell the miraculous story of Jesus’ healing power.
Her father, Andre, 38, tells how he and two other police officers came under a hail of gunfire when they drove into a crime-ridden neighborhood in Salvador on Sept. 8, 2014. He was the only police officer injured when a large .38 bullet sank into his head. After several emergency operations and 11 days in a coma, he awoke and began to recover. Although doctors thought he would die or be paralyzed, he surprised them by walking out of the hospital a month after the shooting.
Carine’s mother, Josenice, 35, tells people about her daughter’s faithfulness to God during that difficult month.
“She was more faithful than me, even when she didn’t even know what had happened to her father,” she says. “She always believed that God would solve the whole problem.”
Then Carine sings “Hallelujah” — and puts her whole heart into the song.
“She worships God when she sings,” her mother said. “People cry when they hear her.”
Carine said in an interview that she wants to worship God all the time.
“When I grow up, I want to preach and sing,” she said. “Whether it is to a million people or to a small group, it doesn’t matter. I just want to worship God.”