Christ Took a Baby to Heaven So I Could See

Babies in this line at the clinic

When Christ wants us to hear and see through His eyes, He is patient and loving but sometimes requires dramatic divine appointments. It was one of the most challenging trips we have taken in Africa, but my eyes were opened on many levels as to the vision Christ has for missions.

God took a baby to heaven so I could see.

There had been a drought for seven years, and with limited water supply, our team was suffering from dehydration and GI illness. The water looked like tea, and the stomach issues were dramatically affecting the team. Every night a team member was at my tent asking to be treated, and most of the night I was up sitting with them making sure they were improving. If it was not for the worry of treating the team it would have been very peaceful. The nights were warm with a beautiful clear sky and countless stars. The landscape was dark except for fires in front of the huts and the quiet peacefulness was occasionally broken by a baby crying in the distance. I didn’t realize that the sweet sound of a crying baby would have a profound effect on the way Christ was asking me to do missions.
no babies at this hospitalBabies in this line at the clinicIn the morning the line grew quickly in front of a large facility built by another organization that had been abandoned by the locals because they didn’t have ownership. Instead, they worked out of a small clinic next door. We cleaned the massive facility and prepared for our medical brigade arranging the 8 tables to see and treat hundreds of patients.

sick baby

My first patient was a baby wrapped in a blanket and his mother said he had been sick for two days, felt warm and was crying all night with a bad cough and noisy breathing.

I told her to unwrap the blankets as he probably had a fever. Confidently, I told her we would most likely treat him with antibiotics and he would be fine. To my horror and shock when I saw the baby, he was cold and lifeless. I could hardly speak as his parents waited for my assessment with worried looks on their faces.

I was heartbroken and through tears I gave them the news that Christ had taken their son home to heaven.

They were devastated, and I called out to the local pastor to come and pray with us and support them as they walked miles to get to our clinic. After years working in the ER dealing with situations like this, I was able to continue to work throughout the day, but distracted and asking what could I have done differently to save this baby.

Through my broken heart the Lord spoke to me clearly about the way I was doing missions.

Was it by chance that our team was getting sick at night and I was awake to hear the cries of babies in the evening? Was their baby one of the cries I heard? What if we had trained the mother and father to recognize signs of respiratory distress?

They don’t know what they don’t know.

Was it by chance that of the eight tables they came to my station unaware that I had been up listening to babies crying in the evenings? Their baby was no longer crying because the parents had not been taught to recognize medical warning signs in the newborn.

They don’t know what they don’t know.

Was it by chance that our team was treating waterborne illness with medication without teaching the locals how to drink safe clean water and make Oral Rehydration Solution?

They don’t know what they don’t know.

Was it chance that this newborn baby probably had a fever that could have alerted the parents to a problem?

They don’t know what they don’t know.

Was it by chance that my first response was to call out to the Lord by asking a local pastor to be with the family? Christ spoke clearly asking, “Shouldn’t you be teaching medical skills to the pastors and their disciples who know the language, the culture and have relationships to share the gospel long after you leave?”

Where was Christ in our mission work?
As it is said, the road to dependency is paved with good intentions.
Jesus Christ changes everything.

Matthew 11:4-5Jesus replied , “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight ,the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

Christ has given us a model of equipping partners around the world with medical and vocational skills they can use to share the gospel of Christ. Please join Teach To Transform in prayer, donations or come on a trip. Please visit our website and signup to our email list so we can share our work.

Forgive me Lord when I don’t see and hear your vision.

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Dr. Tom is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician in the USA with over 25 years of experience and an ordained minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky. His true passion is world missions and he and his wife Karen are the founders of Teach To Transform, an organization that exists to equip partners around the world with medical and vocational skills they can use to share the gospel of Christ.

1 Comment
  • Thanks Dr.Tom.
    Your testimony is inspiring.
    I am one of the pastors your group trained in January 2017 in Liberia.
    With the training I acquired, the Lord enabled me to reach out with the gospel in the interior of Todee. We taught them how to take of their water and their environment. They drank from a red muddy swam water. Running stomach was affecting many of them. Then we had water and sanitation workshop with them and of course shared the gospel.
    When I left, I prayed please help me give these people a clean drinking water facility. I started writing friends. One responded and paid for installation of a brand new well fitted with a hand pump.
    Today we have a church in that town and the water is being used .
    Praise the Lord
    James Kartee
    Rose of Sharon Church Liberia

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