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The Reading Room
2014 October
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
The Faith of a Child
This is story was written by a doctor who worked
in South Africa.
One night I had worked hard to help a mother in
the labor 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 facili-
Although we lived on the equator, nights were
often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student
midwife went for the box we had for such ba-
bies and the cotton wool that 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 path-
¡°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 young-
sters 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, and
that 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 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
Treasures From The Inbox
Two sisters, one blonde and
one brunette, inherit the
family ranch.
Unfortunately, after just
a few years, they are in
financial trouble. In order to
keep the bank from repos-
sessing the ranch, they need
to purchase a bull from the
stockyard in a far town so
that they can breed their
own stock.
They only have $600 left.
Upon leaving, the brunette
tells her sister, ¡®When I get
there, if I decide to buy the
bull, I¡¯ll contact you to drive
out after me and haul it
While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the
prayer, she added, ¡°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 Bi-
ble 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
homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four
years at that time, and I had never, ever re-
ceived 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 verandah, was
a large twenty-two pound parcel. I 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, tak-
ing 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 colored,
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 rai-
sins 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 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 believ-
ing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ¡°that
¡°Before they call, I will answer¡± (Isaiah 65:24)
If you get email, you
get stuff. Sometimes
it is spam, sometimes
it is a true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
A life of abundance is a life that leads with
When you treat life with kindness and gener-
osity, the rewards are much more meaning-
ful to one¡¯s soul. Love is the most powerful of
all blessings bestowed upon mankind and we
need to understand that love is connected to all
things in life.
An abundance of love is to be shared. Giving
with gladness, and receiving with grace, will ul-
timately bring more happiness your way. This is
truly the path to fulfillment of happiness for the
one who seeks it.
As the holiday seasons approach, it is a gentle
reminder that it is the season for giving thanks
and having the blessing of giving to those who
are in need.
It is a great feeling to be a blessing in someone
else¡¯s life, so create that for one another.
(Mark Looper of The Pony Expresso shares
inspirational thoughts & lessons learned in life
from Dolores, Colorado. Visit him at:
Unseen Energy
by Mark Looper
The brunette arrives at the stockyard, inspects
the bull, and decides she wants to buy it. The
man tells her that he will sell it for $599, no
less. After paying him, she drives to the near-
est town to send her sister a telegram to tell
her the news. She walks into the telegraph
office and says, ¡®I want to send a telegram to
my sister telling her that I¡¯ve bought a bull for
our ranch. I need her to hitch the trailer to our
pickup truck and drive out here so we can haul
it home.¡¯
The telegraph operator explains that he¡¯ll be
glad to help her, then adds, ¡®It¡¯s just 99 cents a
word.¡¯ Well, after paying for the bull, the bru-
nette only has $1 left. She realizes that she¡¯ll
only be able to send her sister one word.
After a few minutes of thinking, she nods and
says, ¡®I want you to send her the word ¡®comfort-
The operator shakes his head. ¡®How is she ever
going to know that you want her to hitch the
trailer to your pickup truck and drive out here to
haul that bull back to your ranch if you send her
just the word ¡®comfortable?¡¯
The brunette explains, ¡®My sister is blonde. The
word¡¯s big. She¡¯ll read it very slowly ... com-for-