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One early morning, around 2:00 AM, when the jungle was as dark as dark gets, I awoke to hear a little boy cough. Coughing when getting close to the house is the same thing as knocking on the door or ringing a doorbell here where we live. I called out a greeting. I heard a young boy saying his mother’s back was hurting and I needed to come check on her. That meant his mom was in labor. I had seen his mother the day before; she was heavy with child. So I quickly changed, got some needed items together, and followed him down my little mountain and along the unfinished airstrip. It was cold, and he had only a small flashlight.
We had just recently moved up to the airstrip site, so there weren’t a lot of people permanently living there at that time. Everything was in transition. Mike was gone on a survey trip at the time as well. So the mountain was very still and quiet. We entered the little makeshift house to find my friend deep in the throes of labor. Also in the house were the village grandma, my friend’s younger son, and a deaf lady who was sleeping.
I watched for awhile and realized that she was probably nearing transition by the closeness of the contractions and her edgy behavior. I got my gloves on and got ready when her water broke. I knew the baby would be born soon. We were all praying. This was the first time I had been by myself in this kind of situation, and I was nervous. I am not a doctor, nor a midwife, not even a doula.
When she began to deliver, the baby was breech. His little legs were just dangling. In my inexperience, I wondered if the baby was dead. For a moment I felt panicked, alone, and helpless. However, the Lord doesn’t leave us in times like this and the peace that is needed comes, the strength from the Holy Spirit is there, and you pray and do the next thing.
I explained the situation and I told her she needed to push. Soon, this sweet little boy was born; he started to cry and I think all of us did as well. I remember Grandma saying, “Thank you Yahweh, thank you, Yahweh.”
Within minutes of all the excitement, my friend called to me again. So my attention was turned away from this cute little newly born boy back to her. There she was still squatting in the dirt and she says to me, “His friend is here,” while she held her abdomen. She was right; she was only half-way through with her job. She was having twins!
So we geared up, not that my job was as hard as hers, for the next round. I was trying to encourage her, telling her how God had made her body to do this and He had been with us to deliver the first baby and He would continue to be with us now. As this baby began to enter the world he too was breech, though bottom first. However, within minutes it was over and she delivered another boy! He cried far more and far louder than his brother!
As things got tidied up and I had gathered some leaves to warm over the fire for my friend to sit on as they traditionally do, my friend was wrapping each of the babies in old shirts and handing them to their big brothers. They sat by the fire, each with a new baby brother in their lap, and they wore smiles from ear to ear.
My experience in the hut, watching God provide for my friend in the delivery of her twin baby boys, reminds me of a quote by Corrie Ten Boom. She said, “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.” In the midst of my fear and uncertainty that night on our cold deserted mountain, Christ was all I needed.
Note: The babies are now 2.5 years old.
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