You’ve got to love those email forwards that you get with those little stories about the mysterious ways that God works, and the miracles, like a gallon of milk showing up at a house with a hungry baby just in time. Most of those stories are likely made up whole cloth, and they can never be tracked back to an original source. Every now and then you come across one of these stories where you can trace it back to it’s source, but just because you can trace something to a source, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. Here is the story as told by Christian Missionary Helen Roseveare, which was included in her book Living Faith, …
One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that 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. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.
A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for 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 a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right,” I said, “Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.”