Where There is Hope

When she walked in the door, she held out both hands and offered me a plastic sack full of guinea eggs. I squealed with delight, not because I really love guinea eggs, but because I really love her, and I knew what a significant thing it was for her to bring me a gift, and I wanted her to feel my thankfulness. And I wanted her to be honored. 

I set the eggs on my table because what I really wanted to hold in my hands was her baby, who was snuggly attached to her back. She had covered her in a colorful piece of African fabric to protect her from the dust of walking down the road, but now that she had arrived to my house, she removed the cloth and uncovered a sleepy face poking out. 

Her mom swung her around to her front, untied her, and placed her in my arms. She opened her eyes, and I started talking to her in my best baby voice. “Hey there! Yeah, we know each other! I was there right after you were born. I’m the mean nurse who kept messing with you and poking you!” Her mother laughed. I served her some water and a bowl of rice and sauce, and we sat on the couch together and caught up since a couple of weeks had passed since I last visited her in her home. 

We keep doing this, you know. I visit her in her home and bring a gift, and then she comes to visit me and brings me a gift. I guess the ball is back in my court now, but I also think I want to let her win. 

“Her wound is all healed now,” her mother announced as she uncovered her baby’s abdomen to show a large protruding scar over her umbilicus. The baby had been born with an omphalocele, which is a malformation where the abdominal wall is not closed and the intestines protrude to the outside. She was born at our hospital and then received corrective surgical care a few days later by our incredible surgery team. In this kind of setting, you could call it a miracle. Her family definitely considers it that. 

We rejoiced together over the baby’s health. Especially her chubby cheeks. We prayed over her and took a Polaroid picture together, which was a huge hit. This family doesn’t know Jesus, but he sure knows them. And I see him at work in their lives because when I look at them, I see hope. It burns in the eyes of her mother; it spills forth when she speaks. Only Jesus can bring hope like that. Only Jesus can bring life and health to a tiny baby with such a difficult start to life in such a crazy hard place to survive. God has glorified the name of his Son, Jesus, in the life of this baby and her family, so even thought they may not know him yet, I see him all around them. Now I just pray that their eyes will be opened to see him, too, and to know where this hope comes from. 

For where there is hope, there is Christ; and where there is Christ, there is hope. 

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