This morning 4 of us had the special privilege of praying for Bayana, a 4 day old baby who was brought to Daugthers by her aunt who works there. Bayana has spina bifida and club feet. Her birth mother is extremely poor and did not want the baby when she discovered all the medical disabilities. So yesterday, Bayana's aunt showed up with the baby and asked if anyone could help as the family could not even afford milk or clothes for the baby. This morning Tara, Marty, Nancy and I decided we would spend time praying over this little Bayana. When I first laid eyes on her, I could not help but cry. She looked like a little angel sleeping, so beautiful and I could not imagine anyone not wanting her. Tara began to pray into her ear saying: Jesus loves you, Jesus died for you, Jesus is your healer....on and on she prayed and then the rest of us joined in. It was a special time albeit an emotional time. After we had finished praying, I had a conversation with Lois and the thought came that we should ask Marie Ens if she would be willing to adopt this little girl into her orphanage Place of Rescue. A quick phone call and several more later, Marie agreed to take Bayana. Tonight Bayana has a new home at Rescue, a place where she will receive much love and which will provide the appropriate medical care for her. How we thank God for answered prayed for Bayana and for Mat Yei (Grandma) Marie for having a place where this little girl can find refuge.
Bayana has been in my mind most of today perhaps because many years ago when I first came to Cambodia I found myself in a similar situation holding a 3 month old AIDS baby. I recall crying to the Lord asking why this had happened and what did she do to deserve such a fate. The response I got was simply ‘I am using the weak to shame the strong. However short or long this baby’s life, she will be in a place of love, a place that seeks to restore her dignity , a place where she is valued and is as important as anyone else.’ As I thought of Bayana, I can’t help but see the symbolism through her life. She is a reflection of many of the girls in the brothels. Broken, unwanted and viewed simply as disposable because of her disability. For the girls caught up in the sex trade, their ‘disability’ is the stigma they carry around day in and day out living with shame and guilt.
But in God’s eyes, Bayana is not forgotten. Isaiah 49:15-16, says: ‘Can a mother forget her baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you in the palm of my hands, your walls are every before me.’ God indeed has not forgotten the Bayanas of this world. HE is the defender of the poor and needy, He is the one who brought her to Daughters initially and now that she has been transferred to Place of Rescue, I can’t imagine any other more appropriate place than this one. In God’s economy isn’t this how it always works. The poor and the needy are not forgotten. He not only welcomes them, but goes before them preparing the way and taking them to the best place where they can find rest under the shelter of the Almighty.