An excerpt from...
A Visit for Silas
Using a long weekend to share God’s loveBy Linda Spriegel, Kenya
“Mom, this weekend when I come home, I would like us to get Silas from the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center and bring him to see his mom.” My daughter Julia was calling from boarding school, planning for the long mid-term weekend coming up. With all three of our teenagers at Rift Valley Academy, my husband, John, and I look forward to these precious times when they visit and the anticipated family games, hikes, talks, and relaxing. But add a 21-month-old to the mix? And there were several hurdles to jump to get the needed permissions and make the arrangements. Yet we knew this was not the first or last time we as a family would be stretched by Julia’s compassionate heart, so we agreed to pray with her and began working on the details.
We had met Jennifer and her son Silas 10 months earlier when Jennifer brought him to Tenwek Hospital. Silas, at 11 months, was a classic picture of malnutrition. At this hospital visit, Jennifer told Dr. Chuck Bemm that she needed to give up her baby and that someone else needed to take care of him or he would die. Knowing Julia’s love for children and her hours of experience volunteering at the nursery, the Bemms asked her to care for Silas while they handled the necessary paperwork. Then Julia and our other daughter, Rebecca, escorted him the three hours to the Baby Center and handed him over to the staff’s loving care.
In the months that followed, Julia visited Silas a couple times, and we were able to show his pictures to his mom, who expressed a desire to see him. When Julia heard that Jennifer was in her last stages of HIV, she wanted to give Jennifer a tangible evidence of God’s care by bringing healthy Silas to see her.
It was a beautiful morning when we drove to Jennifer’s village with Silas to reunite him with his family. His mother and his four siblings who were there were overjoyed to see chubby Silas. As Jennifer shared her gratefulness, she referred to the story of Moses, identifying with his mother who had given up her son and one day he had been mightily used by God. She has the same vision for Silas. When her other children asked if they would get to see Silas again, she said, “He is in God’s hands. We don’t know if he will help our family or someone else’s, but he will be used by God in his future.”
Silas is back at the Baby Center, waiting to be adopted. Sadly, Jennifer passed away in December 2012. Even though she was very sick before she died, her favorite thing to talk about was Jesus, and she knew He had good plans for all her children.
You can offer continued care to Silas and other little ones at the AGC Baby Center through the Great Co-Mission Catalog. By recruiting your friends and family to personally connect with this need, you have the opportunity to change these little lives forever. Learn more about the AGC Baby Center project needs at www.wgm.org/catalog.