When I first landed in this country I believed in miracles. I had read enough books and blog posts and sat through enough inspirational church services with the missionary from Africa telling their incredible stories. I thought miracles happened every day here.
But the thing with books and blog posts and sermons is that nobody likes to hear about the time the baby actually died or the father who is still an alcoholic or the mother who never got saved. We only share the success stories.
Last fall three children who I had known and worked with died within a six week period. It got to the point where I was afraid to even check facebook each morning because I was terrified another one was gone. I prayed and prayed and still children died.
When Ajuma died I said to someone that I just wanted a miracle… one of the miracles I was always reading about and hearing about. Why was it that when they prayed kids lived? And when I did they all still died.
And they reminded me what exactly a miracle is. It’s uncommon. It doesn’t happen every day. This is Africa. The healthcare is awful, these kids were incredibly sick, all the odds were against them. We always pray for a miracle but if we got one each time then they would cease to be miracles.
If miracles stopped being miracles would God get the same amount of glory? These children were meant to be with Jesus and we can rest in the assurance that it is all within His will and that they are with their savior.
So a few weeks ago I met a baby in the village who was malnourished and sick. I took her and her grandmother back to Jinja with me and had her checked out at the local hospital. They prescribed medications and special high calorie food. I was not confident that her grandmother would be able to keep up with the medication and diet so I tried to get her to stay in Jinja for a week or two. She had another grandbaby at home under her care so she said no and went home with the medications and food.
A month later I went back to visit her with nothing but negative thoughts filling my head. I was more than ready to find a sick malnourished baby and a grandmother looking for an easy fix I couldn’t provide. I was terrified that I was going to have to just let this case go. I was leaving in three weeks and without the grandmother’s willingness to come to Jinja I didn’t know what else to do.
I was prepared for the worst as we walked up to her home but instead I found a miracle. I found a beautiful little girl with meat on her bones and a smile on her face. Her grandmother proudly showed us how she could now stand all by herself and thanked us enthusiastically for our help.
The thing was though that it wasn’t us. This baby girl in front of me was one of those miracles I had been praying and asking for. This was the answer to my plea to God to show me that He was indeed working here and that he did see these children.
“Miracles are retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see”
- C.S. Lewis
She had God’s fingerprints all over her.