Thursday, February 25, 2010

Micah's Story

Just 2 days after Christmas of 2009, in a remote village on the Niger-Burkina Faso border, a mother was experiencing a very difficult labor. The family finally decided to take her into the regional clinic in the town of Makalondi, hoping that the midwife at the clinic would be able to help. In spite of the help she received, the mother weakened considerably and after delivering a healthy, strong baby boy, she slipped out of this world. An old Grandmother had accompanied her into this town, so it was she who now assumed the care of the newborn baby. Given a bottle and a ‘sippy cup’, some formula and instructions, she and the baby were taken home to the distant village by some of the relatives.

The baby’s father was overwhelmed at the thought of caring for and raising a newborn. He traveled often for work and felt inept. He went to his wife’s Christian brothers and asked them to help. Both uncles were married and their wives had just recently had new babies themselves. In fact, one of those babies had been born the same night as the baby boy. They also had other little children at home. How could they responsibly take on another baby and give him the best chance to live?

Living next to the brother’s compound, in Makalondi, was a Christian family who were warm and welcoming to all who came to their home. They had already taken in 5 other children, in addition to their own 6, in order that those children could attend the school in Makalondi. One uncle went to the woman and asked her to help. Could she please take in the baby and thereby give it a chance to live? She and her husband discussed their already stretched situation. Realistically they realized that they couldn’t provide what the baby needed. All night long the woman agonized and prayed about the baby’s situation. The next day she went down and visited her missionary friend, Palamanga, who also lived in Makalondi. She poured out the story of the baby and asked the big question, “How do we help this baby so that he can live?” Palamanga’s heart went out to the baby. Maybe she could take in the baby until a solution could be found.

Palamanga and her husband, Yumanli, discussed the situation and sent for the little baby boy’s uncles. Talking together, everyone decided to do all they could to help.

That evening, the baby boy made the 30 km. trip through the bush, being held by a family member on the back of a bike. It was late at night when they finally arrived at the Christian family’s home. The following day, the dear Christian woman brought the sleeping baby to Palamanga. She unwrapped the African cloth to see the little boy. All curled up, healthy and warm, was the most beautiful baby with smooth chocolate skin and a full head of velvety black hair, curly and long! He just snuggled into her arms and sighed, deep in sleep. At that moment, he also snuggled deep into her heart!

That afternoon and evening were filled with the preparations of a new baby in the home. Bottles, formula, cloth diapers and baby clothes came out of a box of gift items. How comforting to know that God had provided these necessities, knowing that one day they themselves would need these items.

As they fed him his bottles and cared for him that day, Palamanga and Yumanli were both musing over possible names for the baby. He needed a name! That evening, sitting in the yard as the sun went down, Yumanli suggested that they call him Micah. Both of them thought the name was just perfect!

The next day was Sunday, and Micah made his first visit to church. In the middle of the worship meeting, Yumanli and Palamanga asked if they could take the opportunity to dedicate the baby to the Lord Jesus. They brought Micah up to the front, and one of his uncles joined them. A good friend prayed for baby Micah and gave him to God. He asked God to let his life be a witness to the Glory of God and that he would become a Man of God. Yumanli then announced that the baby’s name was “Micah”, or “Mise” in Gourmantchema. The name, Micah, means, “Who is like the Lord?”

So that is how Micah came to us, Nana and Papa, and how he got his beautiful name. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!! We love you dearly, Micah!