It was only 10 p.m., but Grandma Dorothy awoke and could not get back to sleep. What is wrong? she wondered. She climbed out of bed and found her Bible. She read some passages and started to pray. Her mind went to her next-door neighbor, Joelle Thea. Any day now, she could have her baby. Perhaps it would be tonight. She needs my prayers! Dorothy began praying for a safe delivery and healthy baby. Sleep had abandoned her for the night, so she continued her vigil as the night wore on.
Two hours later, a concerned neighbor knocked on her door. “Dorothy, you should go check on Joelle. I’ve heard cries from her house.”
Light from the porch lit part of the way to the gate leading to Joelle’s place. The gate rattled, as Dorothy opened it. The midwife, who didn’t know much of the local language, met her and tried to communicate: “She’s having her baby, and everything is okay.” Twice more that night, Dorothy left her house and walked the short distance to check on Joelle.
As the night slowly gave way to dawn, the noises from the house next door changed. Joy filled Dorothy’s heart as she heard the first cries of a baby! She praised God. He had heard her prayers through the night, and now a child was born!
It was a long night! I (Joelle) heard the sounds of my concerned neighbor, who is like a mother to me, stopping by to check on me; my sister, a midwife, asking me if I wanted juice to drink; my husband by my side. But response wasn’t easy. My thoughts were clear; I just couldn’t express them in words at the time.
As another contraction hit, a Bible verse popped into my mind: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom. 8:22). I thought of how we are at the end of earth’s history, how the Father is seeking to prepare His people. Yes, he is preparing them for a wedding, but there are parallels with birth as well. I wanted to do all I could to birth a healthy child. I didn’t want the pain of the delivery to bother her. Truly, the pain of the mother is great, but the joy of bringing a child into the world is even greater! It is the same way for God. The pain of seeing His Son come to this earth, be born, and then die, must have been great! He feels more pain, too. The pain of watching those His son died for, living day to day unaware of what He went through to purchase our salvation. Whose pain is greater? The child being born, or the one giving birth? I would guess it is the one giving birth. Is it the same with God? Is His pain as He watches us greater than the pain we are going through here on earth? I believe it is.
The hours ticked by, and I began to wonder when it would ever end. Oh God, please help this to end by 6 a.m.! God does hear our silent cries. At 6 a.m. sharp, Joy was born!
There are so many things we have to be thankful for this month! We have awesome neighbors who sacrificed a night’s sleep to lift us up in prayer. We have a healthy, happy daughter. We have a loving sister/midwife who spent a month with us to help make sure our daughter arrived safely. God has truly blessed!
Please continue to keep our project in your prayers as we continue to mentor the believers here and help them grow in their ability to share Christ’s love. Also, please pray for the newest missionary on our team, that our daughter Joy will grow to be a powerful witness of His love to those around us.