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This demonstration of faith is what it's all about. The faith of a child is
precious. As we age and gain life experience, we lose our innocence. It is
replaced, subtly, but calluses and scepticism. Imagine, for a moment, that
you can get that innocence and obedient child like innocence back and that
this story is written about your complete trust that prayer is answered,

The Hot Water Bottle...

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 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. 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 the 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 water bottle. 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 by way of a
corollary, "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
there? 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 bottle?
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 veranda, was a
large twenty-two pound parcel. l 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 collared, knitted jerseys. Eyes 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 weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the... could
it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out-yes, a brand-new, rubber hot
water bottle 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, Mummy, and give this
dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"

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

Live as if Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back

Please share this amazing story with as many others as you can. Our God

1 minute prayer

This awesome prayer takes less than a minute. When you receive this, say the
prayer. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. This is
powerful. Just send it on to whomever you want - but do send it on...
please! 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.

Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this right now. I am asking
You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain,
give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a
renewed confidence in Your ability to work through them. Where there is
tiredness, or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance,
and strength as they learn submission to Your leading. Where there is
spiritual stagnation, I ask You to renew them by revealing Your nearness,
and by drawing them into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear,
reveal Your love, and release to them Your courage. Where there is a sin
blocking them, reveal it, and break its hold over my friend's life. Bless
their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends
to support and encourage them. 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.

In Love,

Your Friend

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both.

Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do.


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Copyright 2006 Joke A Whenever

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