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Bringing in a baby was the last thing we thought we’d be doing right about now…but the call came, we couldn’t say no, and baby Judah is sleeping on the bed behind me as I type.

His story is made up of familiar, sorrowful elements: new baby, sick mother, brutal poverty, fear for the child’s life. But as we listened to the details of Judah’s life, his story became even more heartbreaking. Judah was born a twin, but his brother died just two days after their birth. Another of his siblings had been sold a couple of years ago for $50. The mother, only 23 years old and living in and out of a relationship with the father, has two other children, and photos of her house show rotting palm branch panels over a rickety bamboo frame. The mother has not been released from the hospital since the birth of the twins, and we’ve been told she may have cancer.

She was no longer able to nurse the baby, and had no money for formula. At the close of the story came the urgent question: “Can you take him?”

Can we take him? Our family glanced around the room at each other as we considered the unspoken flip side of the question: “What if we don’t take him?”

The baby arrived at our home a few days later. Not yet 5 weeks old and weighing just 6 ½ pounds, he wore a worn red fleece jacket and pants, and smelled of the village. As the legal documents were filled out, we learned that his story had roots even deeper and sadder than we’d imagined. His mother had also been born a twin. Twenty-three years ago, she and her brother were discovered in a plastic bag in a garbage heap. A wealthy family took the boy, and the woman who found the babies raised the girl for 10 years. Eventually the woman’s poverty overrode her compassion, and the girl who would become Judah’s mother was taken to a local orphanage, where she stayed for only a few years before running away. She later married, and the rest of her story we have already told you.

Though the first thought we always have is towards helping a family keep their children (you may remember our experience with Tiny and her twins), we cannot often enter into a situation in that way. Because of the location of Judah’s family, in a village eight hours from here, we have no way of personally helping either Judah’s mother or her older children. Their urgent situation was made known to us by another foreign missionary who may be able to do more for her, but he was more immediately concerned for Judah’s life, and he knew that our focus was care for children.

And though bringing in a baby is a small act, and leaves so very much undone, we do praise God that we are able to help Judah. Judah’s name, chosen by our son Timothy, means Praise, and the last few days have been filled with praise as we have rejoiced over this precious little boy and the preservation of his life. He eats and sleeps as contentedly as any baby we’ve ever known. The scale tells us that he’s gained over a pound in the week and a half he’s been with us, and even if the scales didn’t show it, his chubby cheeks surely do. Above all, we praise God that this sweet little boy now has the opportunity to know abundant life in Christ, in this world and the world to come.

I awoke on Easter morning, just as the sun was rising. I love being awakened at sunrise on Easter, but this year I was feeling a bit tired from Judah’s 2 a.m. feeding…it’s been awhile since I’ve had that responsibility. I rolled over thinking how “un-Eastery” I felt and then caught sight of Judah sleeping safely beside me. At that moment, the testimony of his tiny life spoke of the Risen Christ in a way that no swelling hymns or Sunrise Service ever could. Jesus lives! Because He lives, I live. And on this Easter morning, Judah lives, too!

Please pray for Judah, and please pray for his family. Pray that the cycle of poverty, rejection, and despair will be broken in Judah’s generation. And pray that we would be faithful and enabled to provide the means to give Judah and all the children of Cosette’s Hope Children’s Home (CHCH) a future and a hope in our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

That I may know Him in the Power of His resurrection…
Linda and John