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ISAIAH 65:24]

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in Africa ..

One night, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labour 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). We also had 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 that 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, and
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, and that 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 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 hot water bottle today.
It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby
will be dead, so please send it this afternoon. '

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ' 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

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
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 22-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.
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 batch of buns for the
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really
I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water
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 and give this dolly to that
little girl, so she ' ll know that Jesus really loves her? '
Of course, I

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. '

' Before they call, I will answer. ' ?(Isaiah 65:24)

When you receive this, please pray the prayer below.
That ' s all you have
to do.
No strings attached. Just share this story to whomever you want - but
please do share it.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a
lot of rewards.
Let's continue praying for one another.

This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.
' Heavenly Father, I ask You to bless my friends reading this.
I ask You
to minister to their spirit.
Where there is pain, give them Your peace and
Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence to work
through them.
Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give
them understanding, guidance, and strength.
Where there is fear, reveal
Your love and release to them Your courage.
Bless their finances, give them
greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage
Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around
them and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it.
I ask You
to do these things in Jesus ' name. Amen '


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