I can't retell her story, but I want to include another story that she emailed to me this morning. Dr. Helen Roseveare was also a missionary in Congo at about the same time. She has written books about her experience, including "He Gave Us A Valley" which I have on my shelf. This is a story she writes about her own experience. It speaks for itself.
When I had been in Africa for four years, I was called one night to work in the maternity part of our hospital to help a mother have her baby. Sadly enough, despite everything I did, the mother died. I was left with a tiny, premature baby. I knew that the problem to keep the baby alive was to keep it warm. We had no incubators and no electricity. We were in the jungle. A nurse went to get a box to put the baby in, cotton blankets, and a hot-water bottle. She came back into the room and said, “I'm very sorry, Doctor. I was filling our last hot-water bottle and it burst.” I told her to keep the baby as close to the fire as possible and to sleep between the baby and the door to protect it from drafts.
The next day I went over to the orphanage to have mid-day prayers with the children. I told them some things to pray for, and mentioned the baby and the fact that if it got cold it would die. I also told them about the burst hot-water bottle. And I told them about the little two-year-old sister who was crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, a ten-year-old girl named Ruth prayed:
“Please, God, send us a hot-water bottle now, God. It will be no good tomorrow. The baby will be dead by then. Please send it this afternoon. And while You are about it, God, would You send a dolly for the little girl so that she will know that Jesus really loves her.”
I did not believe God could do it. The only way that a hot-water bottle could come was in a parcel from home. I'd been in Africa four years and never had received anything from home. And anyway, if anyone from back home sent a parcel, who would put a hot-water bottle in it? I lived on the equator!
That afternoon someone came for me. A large 22-pound parcel was setting on the veranda. I glanced at the postmark----London, England. I felt that I couldn't open it alone, so I called for the orphanage children. We opened it together. We pulled out brightly knit jerseys, knitted bandages for leprosy patients, and a big bar of soap. The children looked a bit bored. A box of dried fruit made the children's eyes sparkle because they knew I would make cookies.
Then, as I pushed my hand down into the parcel, I pulled out a hot-water bottle. I cried. Ruth rushed forward from the front line of the children. “If God sent the hot-water bottle,” she said, “He must have sent the dolly.” She dived into the parcel and from the bottom pulled out the dolly. She never doubted. She looked up with bright eyes and said, “Please, Mummie, can I go over with you and give the little girl the dolly so she will know that Jesus really loves her?”
That parcel had been on its way for five whole months, and previous to that a girls' Bible class had been knitting for a solid year. When the Bible class leader put the parcel together, God told her to put in a hot-water bottle. She had probably said, “God, a hot-wlater bottle for the equator?” It came that afternoon because a ten-year-old prayed believing. God had started that parcel to be made before ever the baby was conceived. Such is the enormous love of our eternal God for one tiny baby in an unknown hospital in the jungles of Africa.
Recounted by Dr Helen Roseveare who served with the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade at Nyan-kunde, Congo