Saturday, October 5, 2013
About 3 weeks ago, when I got to the hospital in the morning, everyone was talking about the "unknown baby" that had arrived overnight and was admitted to our NICU. No one knew exactly what had happened, but from what they could piece together, a premature baby boy had been born at another facility and it appeared he had been admitted there. He had marks from an old IV site. It seemed that the mother and baby had been discharged. On her way home, the mother had stopped at another health care facility and reportedly had dropped the little boy into a pit latrine. Thankfully, someone else came along soon afterwards and heard him crying. They were able to get him out and brought him to Kapsowar, where he has been improving daily and gaining weight. My heart broke when I heard this. How, I thought, could a mother drop her child in a pit to die? What desperation must she have felt to do such a thing?
We heard that the police were searching for this mother, but for about 2 weeks she was not found. Then, the other day, I saw the police come into maternity with a young woman - she appeared to be about 18 or 19. When I asked who she was, they confirmed that she was, in fact, Moses' mother. I had named him Moses while holding him one day - deciding it was a fitting name, since he had been found and rescued from death. I asked them if I could speak with her before she saw her son.
She agreed to talk to me. I asked her what had happened, what had led her to leave her son to die. She explained that she came from a hard family life, the father of the baby had abandoned her when he found out she was pregnant, and she was trying to complete high school. She felt she had no other choice. At first she did not seem to grasp the gravity of what she had done - that she had attempted to kill her child, an innocent little boy who had done nothing wrong. As we talked more, though, she began to cry and said she was sorry for what she had done, but she just didn't see how she could care for her child. We talked about how she could receive forgiveness - forgiveness that only Christ can give. I told her that in order to provide forgiveness for our sins, God sent His son to die on the cross for us. All we have to do is accept that forgiveness, repent of our sins, and ask Him to be Lord of our hearts. She said that while she had grown up in church, she had never done this, but wanted to now. She wanted to know that she could receive forgiveness for the choices she'd made and she seemed glad to know that there was hope. I prayed with her then, as she asked the Lord to forgive her sins and she accepted Him as Savior. Afterwards, we discussed that while the Lord gives His forgiveness freely, we still often have to pay the consequences of our sins. The case is still under investigation, and she may have to serve jail time for her crime. We discussed, however, that there is still hope and she committed to taking care of her son. Her family has also come and they are committed to helping care for him as well. Please join me in praying for this woman and her son, "Moses", as they forge a new way ahead - pray that she would grow in her relationship with the Lord (we are working on getting her plugged into a local church) and that her family would also see the change in her and support her through this difficult time. Here is another recent picture of "Moses":
As I'm writing this, I've just heard about another mother who was admitted to the hospital today with ruptured membranes (water broke) at 30 weeks. When my colleague examined her, he noticed a stick in her cervix. After questioning her about this, she admitted to attempting an abortion (there are village women who will use sticks to try and induce abortion). It turns out that she had an affair and became pregnant and was trying to hide the consequences of her sin. My colleague spoke with her to try and help her understand that attempting to abort her child would not erase the sins she had committed. She apparently has not told her husband any of this and says that she will not take care of this baby. Kyle talked to her about the Lord, His forgiveness, and that this precious life inside of her is just that - a life. This baby is not something to just be gotten rid of. While this child may not have been conceived under good circumstances, his or her life still has value and is precious unto the Lord. This mother also needs to know the saving grace of Christ's death. She needs to understand what she has done, but also that there is a way out. Thankfully she will be in the hospital for awhile - will you please join me in praying for her and for her precious child? Pray that her heart will be softened and that the Lord will protect this little child - especially since he/she is just barely above the weight threshold at which premature babies typically survive here (based on estimated weight by ultrasound).
Both of these cases have highlighted to me the need for education on the dignity of life. These tiny children (preborn or born) are human beings and have inherent value and deserve the same respect and rights that you and I do. What does it say about us if we do not value innocent human life? It is such a reflection of the moral state of our world that these innocents are not more valued and protected. Each one of us is called to defend them. 40 Days for Life is going on right now - a time for all of us to focus on educating ourselves on abortion, the holocaust of our day. It is a time for all of us to decide what we can do to be a part of ending this atrocity, not only in the US, but around the world. You can go to www.40daysforlife.com to find out more about how you can be involved as well as to receive daily devotionals to direct you in how to pray for life.