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) and 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 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 climates.

“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, 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. 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 the 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 water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby’ll be dead, so please send it this afternoon.” While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, “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 equator!

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 twenty-two 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 nice batch of buns for the weekend. 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, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?” 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.”

*Helen Roseveare, a doctor missionary from England to Zaire, Africa, told this as it happened to her in Africa. She told it in her testimony on a Wednesday night at Thomas Road Baptist Church on February 4, 1976. The following Wednesday night Jerry Falwell, choked up, said, “I almost feel guilty for standing in the pulpit after the one who spoke here last week.”

“Before they call, I will answer!” Isaiah 65:24.

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Comments on: "A Little Girl’s Prayer Sunday, May 25, 2008" (2)

  1. Ronald Risdon said:

    I noticed that there have been no comments. Interesting. Our God is the Almighty, as lucifer found out when it tried to take over and was kicked out of Heaven, along with those who partook of that idea. [ 1/3 of the Heavenly host ]…. Now, I am a born again Christian, my wife also, previous to our marriage she was with her parents in Venezuala, South America back in the mid 1950’s. We have both seen alot of this world, and how the power of prayer works ! Praise God !
    The account given here speaks to the POWER of our God, through Jesus Christ. Ask, and it shall be given unto you, according to Gods Will. He knows our hearts and needs, all we need do is…ask… The important part is to have the faith of that little girl and then watch the mighty hand of God move and make things happen that we adults ‘ think ‘ are impossible. As the Master Jesus taught, all we need is the faith the size of a mustard seed and great things will indeed happen ! Let us remember that lesson as we pray for whatever it is that we need. The Lord said that HE would never leave of forsake us. Furthermore, God does want to hear from us, not just in thoughts, but with our speaking out loud and addressing Him as our Father with our requests. Fellow believers, let us agree in prayer to continue to be the kind of children that our Father God wants us to be. Trust Him with child like faith.

    May God richly bless everyone that reads this and continue to Praise God, like Job, in good and bad times. The more we talk with the Lord, the more He loves it !!! Fight the good fight and never, ever …give up…Keep the Faith. Amen .

    All the best and God Bless,
    Ronald Risdon
    Manistique, Michigan USA
    July 31, 2008

  2. peacefulone said:

    THANK YOU BROTHER RONALD! YOU’VE BLESSED US ALL WITH YOUR MESSAGE! BLESSINGS & LOVE

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