“Teacher, my sister is about to give her newborn baby girl away because she is not able to nurse. Can you help us?” Timothy asked me in desperation. Timothy and his sister live with their impoverished mother who can barely provide enough food for the family. The baby’s father left Timothy’s sister before the little girl was born. As they discussed who to give the baby to, Timothy thought we might be able to help.
“We want to help. We will pray about what we can do,” I said.
We went to see the little girl. We climbed the steep, rickety stairs up into the small house on stilts, and we sat on the floor next to the little family. I have never seen an un-cute baby before, and this baby girl was no exception. I recounted Jesus’ words to them, found in Matthew 5:42, “Give to those that ask of you, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
We began providing formula for the baby, starting with two cans a week. As time has gone by, the number of cans per week has steadily increased. Now 10 months old, this baby is fat and healthy.
Many mothers here in Cambodia don’t know that babies can start on some soft foods at less than a year old. We told Timothy about how to cook sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots to feed the baby. When Timothy introduced the idea to his family, his stepfather assumed we were cutting off the milk supply, so he got angry and started throwing things. “Teacher, I was scared and left,” Timothy told us. “I don’t think the baby will be able to eat food. Everyone else thinks it is too early as well.”
My wife had just shared with me this powerful promise of God’s ability to change hearts: “In answer to fervent prayer, God can turn the thoughts and hearts of men as He turns the waters of the sea” (RH, Dec. 30, 1902, par. 8) I knew God could help the stepfather find peace in his heart. I prayed with Timothy for his stepfather and the rest of the family.
Two days later I met with Timothy again. “Teacher,” he said, “I want to tell you what happened with my stepfather. He is not angry anymore about giving the baby food. He was even talking about trying to get some better tools for preparing baby food. God helped him!” We thanked God for changing his heart. The baby doesn’t even want milk now! She is feasting on sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and rice.
Maybe you are going through a tough time with someone you love. Or maybe you see another family where unkind words are spoken and unhappiness reigns. Let’s remember together that our Heavenly Father has promised that when we earnestly pray for others, He will turn their thoughts and hearts like He turns the waters of the sea.