Thursday, June 18, 2015
“There is no prayer that isn’t heard.” ― Me
Three times in the past twenty years or so, I have been called upon to hold and pray for babies that were dying. The first was a call from the grandmother who was a member of my congregation to go the hospital and pray for the baby that was dying there. I rushed to the hospital and met the mother (not a member of my church) for the first time. I told her that her mother-in-law had asked me to come pray for her baby and would she mind if I did? She said, “Please,” with tears in her eyes. I held the baby that was screaming in pain, and prayed with all my heart. I then prayed with the mother since it looked very bad for the child. I left the hospital convinced that there was going to be great grief with which to deal. The next afternoon, the grandmother called me to tell me that the baby had miraculously pulled through the night and was improving. That little baby girl is now a 20-year-old college student and still doing well. She doesn’t know or remember me, and she shouldn’t because all I did was ask God to do His thing. The most I can claim is that I was the pipe through which the water flowed to a thirsty child. I wasn’t the water and I wasn’t the healing power—I just helped ask for it and direct it, nothing more. A few years later I got another call about another dying baby, this one with no connection to my church at all, but I went. Once again I held the baby to my chest, prayed and prayed, prayed for the mother and left thinking there was little hope. That little baby girl also survived and thrived. Her mother was very thankful and remembered me for a long time before shutting me out of her life and that of her daughter’s which was probably a good thing. The young woman needed to look forward, and I had been given too much importance for just asking God to intervene. I wasn’t the healer, just the asker for healing that happily came. After moving to Tanzania, we began to work with a woman that ran an orphanage for infants about forty-five minutes north of us in Bweri. Many of our visitors from the U.S. would go to his orphanage to help out and assist financially, so I visited often and knew all the workers there. One morning I got a call from one of the workers telling me that five babies were dying and that the woman who ran the orphanage was out of the country. The nurse wanted to know if I would come pray for the babies. Of course, I rushed to Bweri and for several hours held and prayed for those five tiny babies. All of them survived. One was especially sick, a little boy named Magesa who was from Bunda. He was the one I held the longest as he was the one who was the sickest and most likely to die. He is now seven years old and in school here in Bunda. He doesn’t know me, but the staff at the orphanage decided that I should have a tribal name (Jita tribe) and so named me Magesa after the little baby I held and for whom I prayed for hours. Magesa is a Jita name that means “one born during the harvest, blessed, and from whom many blessings will come.” I was quite pleased. Then they told me my second name would be Mamba which is a crocodile, since it looked like I ate everything that came near me. So, about seven years ago, I became Magesa Mamba and am known more by that name than any other. If I go to Mwanza or many other places, I will here people shout “Magesa!” when they see me. It is a reminder to me of the power of prayer and that there are three young people whom I held in my arms as they were babies and not expected to live. I loved them, prayed for them, and thank God that He heard and responded to my prayers. Prayer does work and it does change things. Sometimes, you even get a new name out of it.