We believe God works through ordinary means, empowering our efforts in health care, in order to bring hope and healing to the sick and suffering in South Sudan. Yet every now and then, we witness Him at work in the extraordinary and the spectacular. Baby Gloria is one such miracle – a testimony to God’s power to do as He pleases! He is to be praised, and trusted, and revered!
Gloria’s mum had an routine pregnancy and uneventful labour so it was a surprise when her baby was born and failed to breathe. The situation did not improve, despite our best efforts at resuscitation, and at 60 minutes, after counseling family about options and outcomes, we made the difficult decision to withdraw treatment.
The emotions were raw and intense. But as Gloria’s mother prayed (in Arabic), we sensed there was something more than grief – “Malish, Rabuna! Malish Rabuna! Malish!” (Sorry God! Sorry God! Sorry!). This was confession, at a deep, gut-wrenching, heart-broken level of her soul.
As doctors and nurses, we stepped back, allowing the family and our pastoral team to be alongside. We grieved as well, struggling to understand and make sense of an unexpected bad outcome.
Within an hour, she was behaving as a normal healthy baby, suckling at her mother’s breast, content, loved and ALIVE! We kept her in hospital for a few extra days, ‘just in case’, but also so we could be witnesses to, and enjoy, for a few more days, the miraculous beginning to her life on this earth.
Without God, it cannot be explained. But with God, it makes complete and perfect sense. These things happen, because He is the God of second chances, who loves to heal and forgive, as people reach out to Him, in the depth of their need.
“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:15-16)
God made sure we had done all that humanly and medically could be done, and then chose to give grace and life and healing in response to the confession and prayer of a grieving mother. And in honour of what God did at her birth, her mother named her Gloria – that she might be a living testimony to the Glory of God, at work in a broken world!