Second-born faces death sentence

The statement "Leave them alone. They are happy like they are" takes on life and death meaning when missionary Melissa Williamson looks down at the kicking, breathing newborn.

Her fate: being born second, which, among the Nagi people, is a death sentence. The newborn’s pathetic cry grows weaker as no one holds her. No one reaches down to bring her to the life-giving sustenance of her mother’s milk.

Melissa pleads with the baby’s mother to consider saving the other twin. Her pleading, her reasoning seems to fall on deaf ears. Long-established tribal traditions and fear will dictate what the young mother will do with her second born twin.

Melissa quietly leaves the birthing hut where one baby is cuddled and the other lies alone on a mat. This missionary team needs God’s wisdom. What can they do? What should they do? How can the missionaries among the Nagis change the family’s mind?

A quick e-mail is sent to ask for prayer. Only a miracle can save this newborn twin.

And a miracle does happen. The birth family agrees that the child can live if someone would take her. Soon another family agrees to take the second twin and raise her as their own. The missionary team agrees to provide formula for the adoptive family, and show them how to boil the water for the formula.

“We still don’t know if she will live or not,” Obet and Olipa told missionary Joanna Jansma, ”but if she lives, she will call us mother and father.” Obet and Olipa plan to raise the second-born twin as their own.

Never in Nagi tradition has this happened. The prayers of God’s people have made a difference. Perhaps this example will help the people understand God’s grace when the missionaries are able to present God’s story in the Nagi language.

The Nagi people need to hear and understand the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They need the redemptive work of God’s Spirit and a newborn heart and mind that desires the sincere milk of the Word of God. Please pray this day comes quickly.