Thursday, April 03, 2008

Beti's Baby

"He's dead! He's dead! He's dead!" was the shout being raised through out the small village. The news roared through the houses like a wave. One woman lifting her voice to pass the awful news on to her neighbor, until it reached my own ears.

But who was dead? At this point, no one knew any longer who had died, just that the death wail had begun. One by one, people dropped whatever chore they were doing and ran towards the Monolo Clan's clearing of houses. The closer we got, the louder and more anguished the wails.

The smallest house. The house of Beti, was surrounded by people with fearful eyes and uplifted grieving voices. My husband and I worked our way through the throng and into the small round hut. We both had to duck to pass through the low door and into the dark, hot, crowded, small one room.

The wailing by the women was even more dramatic in here as they were mostly immediate family members.

Beti is the smallest woman I have ever met, standing at barely 4' 6". Her husband had left her and her children and the rumors were he was living in Brazil with a new, younger wife. Beti's youngest child was nearly three years old, the other 4 children ranged in ages from 10 downwards.

The smallest son was lying in a hammock, naked, and dripping wet. In the corner sat a 7 year old sister, crying and pulling her hair.

My husband rushed toward the baby, I rushed to the little girl. She sobbingly told me the story.

She had been sent to the river to do laundry and had taken the youngest with her. He had cried to go along and as is fairly normal, he was taken and allowed to play on the banks or in a canoe nearby. While doing her chore, a few more children came down and the girl became distracted. She forgot about the baby brother, joined in to play, and when done, headed home towards the village. She had arrived a few moments before us to hear the wailing and realized she had forgotten her brother at the river!

Before finishing her story, my husband stood up and yelled out,

"Be quiet! He is not dead! I need to listen to his heart!"

I rushed to his side as the crowd quieted. We began CPR on the baby and after a bit, the child came to and began to cry. First weakly, but more and more robustly!

The people in the house became stone still and eerily quiet!

A new cry began!

" He's alive! He's alive! He's alive!"

Beti took the baby in her arms and rocked him as he calmed down. She told me the rest of the story. She had been to her garden and just arrived at the clearing when another woman came up the path with her son. The woman was Gloria, a christian woman, who thankfully, was not afraid to touch what she thought was a dead body.

Gloria had been paddling home in her own canoe when she found the small boy floating with the current towards her, face down in the water. She had fished him from the water, thinking him dead.

When I had seen the baby lying in the hammock, he looked lifeless and purple. My husband had been able to detect a weak pulse and had revived him.

To the Ye'kwana this seemed like a miracle of a dead one coming to life again. We explained that we had not brought him back to life, but had been able to revive the small spark of life left in him, just as the women would revive the apparently dead fire each morning by blowing and fanning the blackened embers.

We could see the comprehension arise in their eyes, but they were none the less grateful that we had been there and my husband had known to look for the " spark" and had known to breathe life back into the child so that his "fire" did not extinguish...forever.

Had we not been there, this child would have been buried by nightfall ! Instead, he is now a 16 year old, a capable hunter for his mother.

God graciously allowed us to save the child's life that day.


redneck preacher said...

Fodder for a chapter in your book.

Did the boy ever get saved?

Even if we read the stories here we will still bye your book.


Becky said...

Wow! What a beautiful story...a picture of God's mercy extended to those lost and helpless folks. Does Beti know Jesus now?

It's amazing to me that he would just be left for dead without any attempts made to revive him, but one forgets (or perhaps takes for granted) that not everyone in the world is 'equipped' with basic knowledge of such things as we are in the U.S.

Bar Kochba said...

Wow. Beautiful. What a miracle.

Jungle Mom said...

redneck preacher,
Beti is a Christian. Her son attended church and made a profession of faith as a child in my Sunday school class.

Pam said...

Tears are flowing and goose bumps to boot! This story always touches me profoundly as it shows how God opened a door for your testimonies to shine through. It was HIS plan to have you there at the right time. I'm so glad you chose to share it here.

Pam--in Jerusalem said...

What an amazing story! God is so good!

Cheesecakeluvrs4life said...

Wow, that is an awesome story...and you are an awesome writer! I can imagine what that mother felt like thinking her little boy was dead! Praise the Lord ya'll were there!!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for miracles! I was so afraid of a bad ending to the story.

Thanks for sharing with us.

MightyMom said...

ok, but can we add a tissue alert to your stories?? I get blindsided by them at times!!

:-) great post.

Stephen Renico said...

That's a wonderful story. God bless you and your family.

Shortstuff said...

that's an amazing story...I almost cried!
Can't wait to buy you're best-seller.

Warren said...

Dear Rita,
Greetings in the Name of Jesus. I read you often, but seldom, if ever comment on blogs. However I enjoy reading your stuff and appreciate your service for Christ in VZ. Jane (Cozy Reader) encouraged me to send this to you. We are in the process of buying your brother-in-law's house in Cabudare and you know the Cosby's who will live there. Here is a link to our blog:

Anonymous said...

Good for you and your husband. That's something concrete you can chalk up to your willingness to go without and sacrifice for other people. You folks did a good thing.

Brenda said...

what an opportunity! How wonderful to be a part of a persons life in that way

Michelle said...

What an amazing story! And count me as another who would buy your book - even if you post all of the stories here.


Melissa Lea said...

What an amazing story! I know those people were so glad that you guys were there to help!!!

Happymama said...

What a great story!!!! I know that mother felt blessed that day.


Beth said...

Wow! What a happy ending! And it's not even over yet! LOL What a blessed woman to have such a fine son caring for her. I'm sure he's doubly appreciate just for the fact that she almost lost him.

Mrs. Who said...

I find it so beautiful how you related the spark of life to the spark of fire. You're not trading one superstition for another, but at the same time not decrying their beliefs. Christianity is truly 'sparked' by beginning with respect.

pilot-pooja said...

God's mercy!!
Thank you God & thanks to all the great souls like you who made it possible!