My Mother, My HeroAdd Comment
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Voices coming from the back door immediately caught my attention. I toddled down the hallway, my 3-year-old feet slipping on the smooth stone floor as my socks hung halfway off my feet. Add Comment
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight . . .” my little voice sang. When I peered around the corner, a smoky smell tickled my nose. I identified it as the strong scent inside a Masai hut.
I immediately stopped singing and surveyed the dismal sight before me. My mother, a strong, incredible woman, was taking a small Masai boy in her arms. His tiny stomach was distended, and his hair, red from malnourishment, matched his mother’s red blanket. We lived in Kenya, and multipatterned red blankets were a major element of the Masai people’s dress.
“Salome,” my mother said to our housekeeper, “please go run a warm bath.”
Fear, etched deep in my mother’s forehead, caused her to act quickly. At first glance she thought the little boy was already dead. But shallow breathing, like the rise and fall of a small balloon, confirmed the life still in his body. The 3-year-old, whose name was Sibidi, was unconscious.
“Ask her how he got like this,” my mother requested of the translator, a young Masai pastor. He questioned the young woman thoroughly, coming up with little useful information.
“He shook all night long. She did not know what to do,” he answered. After asking him to take the weeping mother home, my own mother rushed the little boy into the bathroom.
Following her, I watched as she stripped him of his dirty T-shirt and ripped shorts. She gently put him into the warm water and began to wash his body. Looking down at his stomach and noticing a filthy string with a piece of goat intestine attached to it, she asked our housekeeper what it was. n “Masai tie it around the sick child’s body to chase away bad spirits. It is supposed to heal the boy,” Salome patiently explained.
“Please go get me my scissors,” my mother said as she resumed washing the comatose boy. When she cut the string, she explained to Salome that as Christians we did not believe in such things.
Minutes ticked by. I sat and watched. My curious mind never let my thoughts stray from the little boy in that water. Growing more and more concerned about Sibidi, my mother showed Salome how to finish washing him.
Then she stepped back and knelt down. Raising her voice to heaven, she begged God for mercy. She asked Him to show her what to do, how to save this little boy. Asking for His strength and power to fall on her, she continued her vigil.
After what seemed like hours, Sibidi began to move his arms and legs. Eyes slowly opening, he looked around, confusion and fear registering on his face.
Holding her breath, my mother joined Salome beside the tub. More warm water filled the porcelain basin, and the more they washed him, the more alert he became. In no time Sibidi was smiling a gorgeous, heart-catching smile. Finishing the bath, they wrapped him in warm towels, and my mother sent me to get a pair of my fuzzy red footed pajamas.
Sibidi went from being unconscious and unresponsive to being happy and very hungry in just an hour. After eating a warm, comforting, nutritious meal, he joined me in my room to play quietly. Although Sibidi and I were the same age, my pajamas hung long on him. Life had not been easy for this poor little boy, and it would likely get harder.
A doctor living on our compound after escaping the genocide in Rwanda came over to check on Sibidi. She listened to his chest and heard heart murmurs. Concern showed on her face, and she explained to my mother that he needed to be watched at all times.
That evening Sibidi had worship with our family, and my mother and dad tucked him into the extra bed in my room. He received the same treatment and love that my brother and I did.
Sending my mother to bed, my father promised to check on Sibidi throughout the night. About an hour later the helpless little boy started seizing. Grand mal seizures wracked his frail body all night long. By morning he was once again comatose.
At 8:30 the next morning Sibidi’s parents and the village chief came to pick him up. Feeling impressed by God to do more for Sibidi, my mother wrote a lengthy letter to the government-run hospital in Nairobi. In the letter she described in detail Sibidi’s symptoms and pleaded for the hospital to admit him immediately. God guided her words. She sealed the letter in an envelope, told Sibidi’s parents to take it to the hospital, gave them bus fare, and sent them on their way.
When they arrived at the hospital and presented the letter, a doctor rushed Sibidi in ahead of all the other patients even though Masai were usually treated with disdain. Because the letter was so detailed, the doctors thought that my mother was an important doctor herself, and Sibidi received immediate medical attention, saving his life.
God worked through my mother in many ways during the course of those two days. Throughout my life my mother has remained my hero. She gave of her time, her money, and herself to save little Sibidi and be a witness for God’s love, power, and mercy. Because of her witnessing, strength, and willpower, more than 3,000 Masai were led to Christ during our time in Africa.
Through her sacrifices she taught me how to love, give, and fully rely on God. Because of her I learned the full meaning of these words: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight.”
Caitlin Edwards writes from Idaho.
Jesus Speaks About Christian Service
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ . . . ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:34-40).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. . . . By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
“For every tree is known by its own fruit. . . . A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good” (Luke 6:44, 45).
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:38).
“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
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