‘I think I am going to die’

POSTED ON 2011-06-21
  by David Bell

"Jennie, did you hear that?" Scott Phillips asked his wife as he sat up in bed.

"Yeah, I think so. It sounds like someone is yelling to us from outside our house,” Jennie responded.

"Well who in the world would be coming up here in the middle of the night like this?" Scott asked as he got up, grabbed his flashlight and headed for the front door.

Upon opening the door, Scott saw Paatoma standing there in the pouring rain. The Dao man looked distraught.

"My wife,” Paatoma said, “I think she is going to die. She has been in pain for hours now and she still hasn't cut the chord. The unbelievers in the village want us to let them do the spirit chasing rituals and incantations of our ancestors, but I have told them 'No! We need to call out to the Creator alone to help us! We shouldn't turn to the old ways.’ The chord still hasn't been cut though. I don't know what to do!"

"She must be having her baby right now!" Jennie said. "I will get my things together and go down to their house to try to see what is going on. Tell Paatoma I will be down in a few minutes."

Jennie soon gathered a few basic medical supplies and was out the door. Scott stayed behind to care for his own son and began praying that God would give wisdom and strength to both Jennie and the struggling mother, Paada.

As she neared the house, Jennie could hear all the commotion from some unbelievers who were visiting the village: "Demons! Demons! There are demons all over this house and we have to chase them away or Paada will die!"

"I think I really am going to die," Paada said in a weak voice as Jennie walked into the smoke-filled house and sat down next to her. Paada was giving birth to her first child so this was a new experience for her.

"Will you die or not die,” Jennie responded. “I do not know, but one thing I can tell you is that you need to call out to the Creator One and no one else for help because only He can help you in this life and also give you true eternal life in the life to come."

Then Jennie placed her hand on Paada's back and prayed for her. A little while later as Paada sat in a squatting position, still fully clothed with the traditional grass skirt of the Dao women, everybody in the hut heard a thud. Paada moved to the side and Jennie could see a little baby girl lying on the dirt floor of the house.

As Jennie took a closer look her delight quickly turned to concern because she saw the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around the baby's neck and she wasn't breathing.

 Traditionally most Dao women don't pick up or nurse the baby until the placenta has been delivered but Jennie knew she had to move fast if the baby was going to live. None of the other women in the house would move to help the baby and Paada had nearly collapsed in exhaustion.

After a moment of hesitation Jennie realized that she was probably the little girl’s only hope. She took the newborn in her hands, remembering that when her own son, Moses, was born he also had difficulty breathing at first. Jennie repeated what she had seen the nurses do for her son. She carefully untangled the cord from the baby's neck, cleared its nose and moth of any mucus and began to gently massage its little chest until finally the child started breathing.

Jennie stayed with Paada into the early hours of the morning, trying to encourage her and help her look after her baby. During the night Jennie and other believers testified how God had heard their prayers and acted on their behalf.

Paatoma was filled with joy that he was a father and many of the believers present took turns talking about how God had taken this seemingly hopeless situation and turned it around for good. 

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