Sunday, May 29

Miracles with dolls and hot water bottles

This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa . 
It was sent to me by a friend.

One night I had worked hard to help a mother
 in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could
do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature
baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We
would have difficulty keeping the baby alive;
as we had no incubator (we had no electricity
to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.
Although we lived on the equator, nights were
often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student
midwife went for the box we had for such
babies and the cotton wool that the baby
would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a
hot water bottle. She came back shortly in
distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it
had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical

'And it is our last hot water bottle!' she
exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying
over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might
be considered no good crying over burst
water bottles.

They do not grow on trees, and there are no
drugstores down forest pathways.

'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the
fire as you safely can, and sleep between the
baby and the door to keep it free from drafts
Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went
to have prayers with any of the orphanage
children who chose to gather with me. I gave
the youngsters various suggestions of things
to pray about and told them about the tiny
baby. I explained our problem about keeping
the baby warm enough,mentioning the hot
water bottle, and that the baby could so easily
die if it got chills. I also told them of the
two-year-old sister, crying because her mother
had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl,
Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness
of our African children. 'Please, God' she
prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll
be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will
be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the
prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it,
would You please send a dolly for the little girl
so she'll know You really love her?'

As often with children's prayers, I was put on
the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just
did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything;
the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't
there? The only way God could answer this
particular prayer would be by sending me a
parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa
for almost four years at that time, and I had
never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who
would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was
teaching in the nurses' training school, a
message was sent that there was a car at my
front door. By the time I reached home, the
car had gone, but there on the verandah was
a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking
my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so
I sent for the orphanage children..

Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot.
We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly
Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or
forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large
cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out
brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes
sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were
the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients,
and the children looked a little bored..
Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas -
that would make a batch of buns for the

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....
could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new
rubber hot water bottle. I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly
believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She
rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent
the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box,
she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed
dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over
with you and give this dolly to that little girl,
so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'

'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five
whole months, packed up by my former
Sunday school class, whose leader had heard
and obeyed God's prompting to send a
hot water bottle, even to the equator.

And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an
African child - five months before, in answer
to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to
bring it 'that afternoon.'

'Before they call, I will answer.'
(Isaiah 65:24)
Thank you for reading this. If you would like to copy this and email it to a friend, or print it off for whatever reason, please feel free to do so.
Also a COMMENT would be very much appreciated !!!!!!!

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